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Enjoying Yourself without the Hangover: 18 Tips

With so many delightful spirits and cocktail varieties out there, you’d want to sample them all. But then, reality sets in, and so does the buzz kill of the thought of a hangover. From headaches to being couch-ridden all day with Netflix, hangovers can ruin your whole post-celebrating day. 

But there are ways you can be smart about celebrating without the impending doom of a hangover. Consider these tips before, during, and after your night out so you can enjoy yourself without the massive hangover the next day.

Do These Things Before You Head Out to Celebrate

Whether you plan to take it easy with friends over a couple of beers or you’re getting all decked out for a full night of celebrating with martinis, the experts suggest you take a few precautionary measures. If you’re looking to stave off a wasteful day of hangover laziness, do these things.

1. Eat before you go

Even if you’re heading out to dinner, try having a few snacks at home first. In fact, the experts say you need to be full when you start consuming alcoholic beverages if you want to avoid the hangover. 

When you consume any amount of alcohol on an empty stomach, which you might already know, it leads to quicker absorption of alcohol into your bloodstream. You will feel the effects of alcohol faster when there’s nothing in your tummy and expect worsening hangover results the next day.

In one study, certain foods that are rich in nicotinic acid and zinc can significantly reduce hangover symptoms. So, dive into the pantry or fridge before you start celebrating, looking for foods like:

  • Mushrooms
  • Whole grains
  • Avocados
  • Shellfish 
  • Chicken
  • Red meat

2. Go to the gym

One of the biggest driving factors to a hangover is stress-drinking. So, the science says if you can try to unwind and relieve some stress before you go out, you’ll be less likely to overindulge. Consider hitting the gym to work off some frustration. And if you’re not a gym person, find another healthy outlet for stress relief before having cocktails. If you can find a way to avoid the “work hard/play hard” mentality, you’ll be more conservative about your consumption.

3. Hydrate all day ahead of time

If you know you have a big and exciting night of cocktails and shots planned, spend the day getting hydrated. Drink plenty (and we mean five to eight glasses) of water throughout your day to make sure you’re properly hydrated. It won’t necessarily undo a hangover. But it will make recovery that much smoother.

Remember These Tips While You’re Enjoying Yourself

In addition to preparing before you go out for a night on the town, there are also things you can do throughout the duration of your evening to reduce the impacts of a hangover. Keep these tips in mind as you enjoy yourself with cocktails, spirits, and favorite brews.

4. Incorporate water where you can

Explore those cocktails and beverages that mix well with water. You can always ask the bartender to add a splash of water to other drinks, too. Anywhere you can incorporate a little H20 with your celebrating, the better you’ll feel the next day.

5. Sneak in a mocktail in between drinks

Sometimes, you’re with a group of friends who are notorious for ordering additional rounds. And it’s easy to inadvertently lose yourself in the fun and get swept up in the moment if your glass is always full. But if you can sneak in a mocktail in between drinks, you can pause the alcohol intake momentarily and give your body a little hydration.

6. Keep track of your drinks

Try to keep up with how many cocktails you consume. You can try to stick to the best practice of one per hour. But there are also apps you can use to help, including drink calculators.

7. Stick with one variety

It’s easier for your body to process the alcohol if you’re pacing yourself and sticking to one variety. When you start mixing your consumption with beer, liquor, and wine, it becomes more challenging for your body to process. And if you can avoid the shots altogether, the better you’ll feel the next day. Stick to one cocktail or spirit you love, and remember to sip, not chug, whenever possible.

8. Organic wines are a hangover-friendly choice

There are some who suggest American wines are more hangover-inducing because of the preservatives used in production and the potential risks of pesticides. European wines typically possess less ABV and don’t result in nasty hangovers. So, if you’re enjoying wine with friends, look for the organic brands with 12.5% or less alcohol. Without the preservatives and lower ABV, you can ward off the hangover. Here are a few wines with low alcohol:

  • Moscato D’Asti Bricco Quaglia (5.5% ABV)
  • Riesling Kabinett (9.5% ABV)
  • Getariako Txakolina Sparkling Rosé (11% ABV)
  • Muscadet Les Parcelles (12% ABV)
  • Red Wine (10.5% ABV)
  • Birbet Brachetto (4.5% ABV)
  • Sparkling Wine (11.55% ABV)
  • Norheimer Kirschheck Riesling Spatlese 2014 (8.5% ABV)

9. Coconut water for the ride home

When you’re officially ready to call it a night, have a Gatorade or some coconut water on the car ride home. Chasing your boozy night of partying with a healthy dose of electrolytes and nutrients will help your body process. These rejuvenating ride-home beverages won’t prevent the hangover but can reduce the effects of one.

10. Skip the smoke breaks

Studies of partying college students show that when alcohol consumption increases, so do cigarette smoking activities. And those students who smoked heavily, along with their drinking, experienced more intense hangovers. So, when you head out to celebrate, avoid the cigarette smoke breaks.

11. Wash your hands often

When you consume alcohol, especially in excess, you essentially change the efficacy of your immune system. So, if you become exposed to bacteria or viruses while you’re drinking, you’re more likely to get sick. While you’re out enjoying yourself, remember to wash your hands often, so you’re not waking up the next day with the flu and a hangover.

12. Get your dance on

Wherever you choose to celebrate, look for ways to have fun that require you to put your cocktail down. Dancing, for example, is hard to do and drink at the same time. Playing pool or darts helps, too. Sure, you can still drink while you’re doing these other activities. But having something else to do can introduce those pauses throughout the evening your body needs to process what you’re drinking. And if you’re dancing, you can justify squeezing in a glass of water in between cocktails to rehydrate.

13. Clear liquors instead of dark varieties

When choosing your cocktails, try to stick with the clear varieties as opposed to the dark liquor blends. Clear liquors, like gin and vodka, have fewer congeners. Congeners are compounds that have directly been linked to hangovers. Now, this doesn’t mean drinking too much gin, or vodka won’t produce a hangover. It does, however, reduce the effects of a hangover when compared with similar consumption of rums and whiskeys.

What to Do When You Get Home

Once you arrive home after a night of celebrating and enjoying some cocktails with friends, there are a few at-home things to do to ease any hangover effects before you hit the hay. Yes, drinking some water will help. But don’t overdo it and put undue stress on your body. Here are some tips for staving off the hangover before you go to sleep.

14. Prepare your sleeping environment

Some experts suggest doing everything in your power to make sure you can enjoy a restful night’s sleep to avoid intense hangover symptoms. For example, put a sleep mask on your eyes, especially if it’s in the wee hours of the morning. Draw the curtains and make your space dark, so you can get the recovery rest you need to recover. Have a glass of water handy on your nightstand for waking moments of dry mouth. But again, avoid overdoing the water, or you’ll be up frequently with trips to the bathroom.

15. Eating hangover-friendly snacks

Be careful about what you eat after an evening of celebrating with alcohol. Eating the wrong types of food can induce heartburn and exacerbate your hangover symptoms, while others can be more helpful to your body and recovery. Avoid the spicy foods or fare that you know tend to upset your stomach. Instead, snack on hydrating and high-in-antioxidant foods, like fruits and vegetables, juices, or smoothies. 

Extra Steps to Take the Morning After Your Night Out

When you do finally wake up the morning after a fun night of cocktails and celebrating, let your body tell you what you need. These are the steps to consider to help ease any effects of a hangover you might be experiencing.

16. Chug the Pedialyte

Even if you’re not feeling all that bad, get your body rehydrated quickly. Now’s the time to chug the sports drinks or Pedialyte. These blends are formulated to maximize your body’s ability to absorb fluids. And the sooner your body can absorb the good fluids, the better you’ll feel. Sprite and seltzers are also great for settling upset tummies.

17. The big breakfast

Give in to any cravings you might have the morning after a night of partying. Have the big breakfast. Eggs are great hangover foods because they’re high in N-Acetyl Cysteine, a nutrient that aids your body in metabolizing alcohol. Spinach is good, too, with its Alpha-Lipoic Acid, which is great for eradicating alcohol from your body. Orange juice and home fries are also beneficial for a speedy hangover recovery.

18. Avoid ‘hair of the dog’ advice

There is advice out there that says the absolute best way to “cure” a hangover is to drink whatever alcohol you had the night before. It’s the “hair of the dog” argument, and experts say it’s highly inadvisable and ineffective. Drinking more alcohol when you’re knee-deep into a hangover will only prolong the effects and recovery.

The absolute best way to avoid a nasty hangover is to control your consumption. But when you’re looking to enjoy yourself or celebrate with friends, it can be tough to avoid indulging. 

Remember these tips to help you mitigate the effects of a day’s-wasting hangover, so you can get back on your feet faster and help your body recover. Additionally, it’s important to remind anyone who plans to consume any alcohol to also plan ahead for a safe ride home or a designated driver. No matter what steps you take to reduce your chances of a hangover, none of these tips make it ok to drive when you’re under the influence. 

Be safe out there and take the necessary steps you need to stay healthy while you enjoy yourself with fine spirits and cocktails.

And remember, the best way to sample incredible spirits with friends and enjoy yourself at a reasonable pace is with a distillery tour. Let Distillery Nearby be your guide to finding the best tours near you!

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