Most of you probably made a New Year’s resolution not to drink ever again. But you know it’s going to happen at some point: drinking so much that you forget about that resolution. There are umpteen old wives’ tale cures for a hangover, most of which are bunk. But here are three tips that might help you get by after having a celebratory martini (or three) without the usual mega-headache and dodgy stomach.
Get Your Salt On
One of the primary reasons that drinking makes you feel lousy is the dehydration. It’s believed that the kidneys are less effective at reabsorbing water when we imbibe because the alcohol messes with our pituitary secretion of anti-diuretic hormone. According to the National Institutes of Health, it also messes with our electrolyte balance, exacerbating the dehydration. To counter this, simply drink 12 ounces of water with a pinch of sea salt for every alcoholic beverage you consume. And, it goes without saying, that if you can stick to the “one drink is good, two is OK and three is too many” rule as well, you’ll be better able to enjoy that Saturday or Sunday morning a whole lot more.
Eat More Fat and Protein
Another reason we feel like death after a heavy drinking session is that our body struggles to process all the sugars in booze, particular when taking into account its’ dehydrating effect. We often make this worse by gorging on sugary snacks which mess with our blood glucose levels even further, sending us into a continual spike-crash cycle. To counteract this, try to eat more protein and fat before you imbibe. As these take longer to digest, they can help stabilize our glucose levels and prevent the metabolic roller coaster ride that sugar causes. Nuts, cheese, and meat are all good drinking companions.
Don’t Fear the Light
The morning after the long night before, we’re tempted to keep the curtains closed and avoid light like we’re filming a new Twilight movie. But just because the light seems to hurt our eyes at first and we feel like we need more shuteye because the alcohol disrupted our sleep doesn’t mean that it’s the best strategy. In fact, getting up close to your normal time and getting 20 minutes or more of morning sunlight will re-stabilize your circadian rhythms and help you beat your hangover, if you even have one after following the other two steps above. After you’ve forced yourself outside for a while, eat a high-protein and high-fat breakfast to jumpstart your morning.