By Ananya Mukherjee
The party rocked but the morning-after felt like hell, with a pounding headache, parched throat and rumbling stomach. If this was you last festive season, don’t let hangover play a party-pooper this time. Avoid the splitting headache and dizziness with these valuable tips before, after and while partying.
We know you can’t drink on a full stomach but drinking on an empty stomach will not just get you drunk quickly and make you dizzy, but it will also affect your liver. You need to line your stomach with some food, especially those rich in vitamin B12 (fish, cheese, meat, eggs) that slow down the absorption of alcohol. Eat a few hours before hitting the party circuit and you will be good.
Go for a probiotic
Hangover is caused by acetaldehyde, a toxic chemical produced when your body breaks down alcohol. Drink up a probiotic (you will find lot of options at your grocers) or if you can’t get one, go for a cup full of un-flavoured yoghurt. The good bacteria in probiotics reduce the level of acetaldehyde and you are less likely to be down with a hangover.
Have a prickly pear
This fruit is known for its anti-inflammatory properties that will prevent you from getting a hangover. Research has shown that prickly pears cut down the risk of a severe hangover by over 60%, if eaten few hours before drinking. If you can’t get hold of one, a glass full of normal pear juice ahead of a night of heavy drinking will prevent that hangover.
Water that is. Dehydration is one of the main causes of hangover because alcohol is a diuretic and your body loses four times as much fluid for each drink you have. The trick is to down a tall glass of water bottoms up, just before you start drinking. You can even match each drink with a glass of water, if the night’s going to be a long one.
Colourless drinks and no bubbly
Congeners (certain chemicals) in drinks aggravate symptoms of hangover. Darker drinks like whiskey, bourbon, tequila, cognac, are high in congeners and can cause terrible hangovers. Colourless alcohols like gin, white rum, vodka contain low amount of congeners and will keep your headache free. Also, avoiding champagne and fizzy mixers would do you good. Go for non-carbonated mixers like orange juice or lime cordial.
Dancing away is not just a great way to pace your drinks but as you show off your new moves, you enhance your metabolism and clear away alcohol faster from your bloodstream.
No coffee, but more fluids
Whether you have a hangover or not, avoid coffee. Caffeine is another diuretic and will make you dehydrated and aggravate hangover symptoms. Instead, drink more water or preferably a glass of rehydration salts (such as Electral). Coconut water or a glass of juice also works wonders. Keep a bottle of water handy as you go to sleep and drink more if you keep waking up.
Pop a pill
If a headache is starting up, an anti-inflammatory painkiller like an aspirin or ibuprofen will help fix it faster. Though it’s not advisable to mix alcohol with antibiotics, yet a mild painkiller can rescue you from that raging, alcohol-induced headache that won’t go away soon.
If you sleep fitfully after a night of heaving drinking, it will add to your hangover misery. After the party, try to get 8-9 hours of sound sleep in a comfortable bed, with a sleep mask and ear plugs. A good night’s sleep will help cut down your morning hangover.
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