Staying hydrated is the number one method for avoiding a hangover. In fact, hydration is so essential that you can feel hungover without even drinking alcohol!
Dehydration is a bear. It causes headaches, your skin to feel dry and itchy, your body to feel numb, your hands or feet getting all tingly, you get dry mouth and a sore throat. You might even get dry eyes or be unable to poop. If your pee seems really yellow, chances are you need to hydrate. Of course this is less common when drinking alcohol in excess.
Maintaining fluids in your body is so important!
First, let’s complicate a common myth. This myth tells us that you can dilute alcohol impairment by drinking water. In some sense, yes you can reduce the impact of alcohol on your body by staying hydrated. In other senses, if you are still drinking you are adding alcohol to your system and will get drunk. In other words, one glass of water does not prevent you from getting drunk. This is not a 1:1 ratio (as in 1 glass of water does not nullify 1 glass of alcohol).
If you know you’ll be headed for a night (or day) of drinking, start hydrating in the hours before imbibing.
When you wake up in the middle of the night or first thing in the morning, be sure that you drink some water.
If you know you had too much to drink the night before, it is a good idea to leave water by your bedside. This way, if you wake up but cannot or do not want to go to the kitchen for a glass of water, it is already there waiting for you. In fact, any good friend or lover should extend this courtesy to you in the event you were too far gone to realize you needed to hydrate before bed.
Hangovers make us cranky and irritable. Nobody wants to deal with someone who is on edge. So get yourself a glass and fill it up with your favorite (non-alcoholic) drink.
Coffee is great the morning after a night of drinking. Sometimes our mornings are afternoons depending on how late we stayed up the night before.
I like coffee because the caffeine settles that tiredness you feel after getting a crummy night of sleep. Alcohol tends to make us sleep less soundly and we do not get that quality REM sleep. Sure you might fall asleep more easily and maybe you feel like you had a deep sleep, but once your day gets rolling you tire quickly.
Caffeine is your friend. And I have it on good authority that coffee makes you poor. Another good authority–my sister-in-law–tells me after a night of drinking the best remedy for your hangover is to poop!
Other than coffee, food helps you poop. Healthier foods are higher quality means of getting rid of that hangover.
Depending on your previous nights level of intoxication, you will want to engage in different…
First: If you drank so much you puked or feel like you will soon, what you want to do is make yourself soup.
What kind of soup? A classic chicken noodle or tomato soup are excellent choices. Tomato if you are less inclined toward vomiting, chicken noodle if you feel on the queazy side. It is all a question of degrees.
Buy it in a can or a box. You can make your own chicken noodle soup, but let’s be real, Campbells is your best option. It has that salt your body is craving and enough substance to get your through until you are sure you can keep foods down.
I enjoy Imagine creamy tomato soup with a grilled cheese to put a little substance in with that hydration from the soup.
Second: If your alcohol intake was excessive but reasonable (aka you did not puke but have that a little dizzy and my brain feels heavy feeling), what you need is a good greasy meal.
For me, I enjoy Five Guys Burgers and Fries after a night of excessive drinking. Their food is greasy but not too greasy and you can keep that hydration game going with a milkshake. It is also enough food to get that hangover expressed in your soon-to-occur bowel movement. Bonus points for when they are available for delivery.
Of course if you are special enough to live somewhere with local pizza or bagel shops, these are excellent options. These both offer bread with moisture. A bagel with butter and a coffee. A buffalo chicken ranch sub with a soda.
Stay hydrated! Drink water before, during, and/or after drinking in excess.
If you or a friend vomits, get them water. If you notice someone out of it because they are too drunk, get them a water even if you don’t know them. It takes a community to keep everyone safe.
When it comes to hangovers, it all depends on your personal level of hangover. Only you can judge what is best for you in post-drinking hydration. Just remember: what you are trying to achieve here is a balance of hydration and substance in your belly.