7 Ways To Prevent A Hangover
It’s the last day of 2017, so you deserve to have a few cocktails to ring in the New Year with your loved ones. Start 2018 off on the right foot – without the hangover – by following these simple tips:
1. Eat! Focus on eating a larger meal rich in protein, complex carbohydrates, and healthy fats before the big event to help fill your stomach and slow the absorption of alcohol into your blood stream. Your body will thank you! Also remember to eat breakfast the following morning, as many hangover symptoms are largely related to low blood sugar.
2. Stock up on B vitamins. B vitamins are crucial when it comes to preventing hangovers, as they play a major role in the breakdown of alcohol in the body and can quickly become depleted when we drink. To ward of a hangover before it even occurs, take an activated (this is very important!) B vitamin before and after you drink, either when you get home or in the morning on a full stomach.
3. Take N-Acetyl-Cysteine prior to drinking. N-Acetyl-Cysteine is a sulfurous compound that acts as a precursor to glutathione, a potent antioxidant that is heavily involved in our detoxification pathways. Alcohol is broken down into a compound called acetaldehyde, which is a highly reactive compound that is responsible for the yucky feeling a hangover brings. Glutathione is needed to “mop up” the acetaldehyde and clear it from the body.
4. Hydrate! There’s a reason that water is the first thing on your radar after a night of drinking. The symptoms of a hangover are largely due to dehydration, so it is important to stay hydrated. Replenish your system by drinking a glass of water between every alcoholic beverage you have. Have another few glasses before hitting the hay and remember to keep a fresh one on your nightstand.
5. Avoid dark coloured beverages. Dark liquours, wines, and beers contain higher levels of congeners, which are chemical byproducts of alcohol fermentation that tend to worsen hangovers when consumed. Instead of drinking whiskey, dark rum, or red wine opt for vodka, gin, light beer, or white wine.
6. Rethink your mix choice. Aim to avoid sugary mixers such as pop, fruit juice, or energy drinks, as these will only derange your blood sugar and will intensify the dehydrating effect of the alcohol. Be creative and flavor with carbonated water, fresh herbs such as mint, citrus fruits or simply just stick to wine.
7. Swap Gatorade for coconut water. Gatorade sounds appealing but it is not the best choice for hangover prevention, as it contains a significant amount of sugar, artificial flavours, and colourings. These aren’t so pleasant when your liver is already working on overdrive to detoxify. Instead, try coconut water since it contains all of the same electrolytes as Gatorade and is rich in other nutrients such as magnesium, selenium, and manganese.
Do you have a favourite tried and tested hangover remedy? Comment below!