It’s New Year’s Eve, or if you’re in Scotland – Hogmanay – which of course means a late night and far too much bubbly (or whisky)!
I love my sleep, adore my sleep, but I also like wine and a late night with friends dancing (or chatting) the night away. However, I absolutely loathe hangovers and I am sure I am not the only person here who hates the dry mouth, sore stomach, and general grogginess a hangover provides us the next morning.
Too much alcohol means a sleepless night, dehydration, a sore stomach, anxiety over what we may or may not have done whilst inebriated and all in all an absolutely terrible following day! And given it’s the new year – who wants to start 2017 with a horrible day, let alone a hangover?
Over the years, I have learned a fair few tricks for keeping those pesky hangovers at bay and trust me when I say I will be following these tips and tricks tonight and tomorrow to ensure I bring in the new year as the best me possible – despite how much champagne (ok, let’s be honest – whisky) I have tonight!
Remember, the following is what works for me, and ensures I wake up each post-drinking morning hangover free. Everyone metabolises alcohol differently, and it also depends on what you drink and eat throughout the night. Always drink responsibly, and remember there is no one in this world more important to you, than you.
Eat Before You Drink!
Forget carbs – there is no bread or pasta heavy foods in your pre-drink meal. You want fat or protein heavy food! I don’t know why this works, but it does. I guess maybe focussing on low-glycaemic foods helps in metabolising alcohol? I’m not a dietician, I can’t be sure why it works, all I know is that it does work. If you want to get drunk fast – eat pasta. If you want to drink, have fun, and not go over the edge and feel sick? Stick to foods that are high in protein and fats, even if they do include some carbs, such as pizza, burgers, kebabs, steak or pakora.
Skip the Sweet Drinks
Do you drink 8 glasses of cola in a night? No? Exactly. But, you will have 8 Bourbon and Cola right? Yeah… Our bodies aren’t used to that much sugar in such a short period of time and it plays all kinds of games with us. I truly believe most hangovers are due to the sheer amount of sugar we consume in the name of getting drunk rather than how much alcohol we’ve had – sweet wines, mixers such as lemonade and coke, and ciders are the main culprits of the morning after death wish. I tend to stick to dry wines, or vodka and soda to reduce the amount of sugar I am consuming.
Know when to stop and have a glass of water
The very second you can feel yourself slipping into drunkeness you need to stop, take a breath of air, and a very large glass of water. The second you can say to yourself “yes, I am drunk” is the second you have had enough to drink, as anything after this point will only get messy. So, may as well drink a nice tall glass of water at this point to help maintain that nice buzz we all want. I mean, a buzz is nice, but being blind drunk is just not fun and leads to more anxiety than fun! After all, who wants to check their phones the next morning to see photos they don’t remember taking? We’ve all been there and not one of us hs enjoyed it.
Order singles, not doubles
Sure, maybe order a double for the first drink, maybe two, but that’s a standard you can’t and shouldn’t maintain through the night. Get your buzz, maintain it, don’t over do it. If you need to blink to focus, you need to skip those doubles, have that water, and go back to the singles if you feel (not think!) you can handle it.
Eat more food
If you’ve been drinking for a few hours and are starting to feel a little bit off, don’t be scared to eat some more protein rich foods. As before – not sure why this works, but hey there’s a reason the munchy box or late night kebab is so popular! Don’t be ashamed to get your greasy food on – if you’re with people who you’re too embarrassed to eat greasy food around, you are around the wrong people.
Drink as much water as alcohol before bed
Did you drink a whole bottle of wine to yourself? That’s 750ml of water you should scull before bed. Two bottles? Aim for 1L of water, and another litre by the bed to sip throughout the night. Your best bet for reducing a hangover is ensuring you are hydrated before bed, and remaining hydrated throughout the night. Turn off the heating, snuggle into the duvet if you’re a bit cold, because right now you need to maintain what hydration you have, whilst replenishing what you lost throughout the night. If you drink at least 1:1 alcohol to water throughout the night, you should be waking up feeling better rather than worse – although maybe a little tired.
If you’re worried you’ll wee your bed throughout the night after so much water – that’s not how the bladder works. Stop making excuses and have a glass of water.
Don’t forget your multis in the morning!
It doesn’t matter if you’re hungover or not, if you have been drinking your body is likely missing a vitamin or two so grab some Berocca to give you back that b-b-bounce! I tend to take a multi-vitamin, soluble gelatin, and some anti-oxidants the morning after to ensure all pistons are firing on full and I can be not only human, but a responsible adult once more.
Eat – again…
Once upon a time in Sydney I had an amazing night out with girlfriends, once of whom drank far too much. The next morning she had pasta for breakfast, and thus had a horrible hangover the rest of the day. Carbs do not cure a hangover – protein and fats do. Again, don’t ask why, just do what works for you and that bacon sandwich, bap or bun? That will work for you.
So, although these tips and tricks may not be endorsed by science or medicine, although they may be I am just too lazy to do the research required to back up my opinions, they are what works for me, and have worked for the past 15 years since I was first legally allowed to consume wine.
So, good luck tonight, get that new year kiss, but even more importantly…
Happy new year!!!