When we are suffering from a hangover, it seems that nothing could be worse than that. You’ve got all sorts of problems assaulting you from all sides simultaneously: your head feels as if it were made of stone, your mouth is one large desert, things around you keep spinning and toppling, the light hurts your eyes and you want to throw up even if you can no longer do it.
You put it all down to the amount you have drunk, and that’s true, what else can you expect after partaking of so many bourbon glasses well into Saturday night? You didn’t really think you would be as lively as a lark early Sunday morning and get busy doing what you should instead of lying, suffering, and cursing, did you?
Notwithstanding, there were things last night you might have controlled or avoided altogether, thereby making your suffering less acute and degrees milder – and they are not all related to your favorite drink. Sometimes it is the color of the beverage that can aggravate your morning-after, or maybe it was the food you had – anyway, here are seven hints that you could get wise to if you want a lighter head when you wake up the following day.
Dark wines go harder on you
When alcoholic beverages ferment the process produces congeners that impart the beverage its flavor and color. Congeners can be lighter or darker (in red wines, brandies, and rums), and the darker ones are likely to result in worse hangovers. So if you go for Pinot Grigio instead of Pinot Noir, you can end up with a lighter head the following morning.
What about some water?
Probably you know this one already, but are you dead sure you follow this piece of advice? You feel dry-mouthed and dehydrated due to the ethanol in whatever it was you drank. Now if you took some water (or another hydrating beverage) alongside your alcohol, you could mitigate the effect of dehydration significantly. What’s more, if you drink not too much alcohol and take care to alternate it with soft drinks, you could have no hangover at all. One of the reasons for it is that in this case, you won’t be drinking too fast (which actually guarantees you a bad hangover).
Your food was very salty
You know too well to drink without eating, filling your empty stomach with alcohol, but the kind of meal or snacks you eat can also affect your condition on the following morning.
Of course the more food the better you will be feeling afterward, but if you take a lot of crisps or salted nuts, you will want to drink more and will wash them down with alcohol more often (unless you remember to take water!) making the dehydration even worse.
Your food was low on fat
Crunching chips after each glass is certainly not a remedy for a hangover, but scientists say that if you have some fatty food previous to getting down to serious drinking, your stomach will be absorbing alcohol at a much slower pace. Grease and fat provide a lining to the stomach walls that prevents quick absorption. So, a good helping of pizza or chorizo can go a long way towards minimizing the effect.
Mediterranean people advise taking a spoonful of olive oil to achieve the same effect which is certainly a quicker and probably a healthier way – or try another nutritious food of the same kind to see how it works for you.
When we go out on a binge, it’s almost always called a “big night” instead of a “big day.” We are ready to sit up long into the night, going to bed late and generally getting not enough sleep. Whereas poor sleep or lack of it can aggravate the symptoms of a hangover.
Although drinking is apt to make some people sleepy, studies reveal that too much booze deteriorates the quality of the sleep, and no matter how early you go to bed and how soon you doze off, you can find yourself dry-mouthed in the morning.
Did you also smoke a lot?
Now, smoking cannot be fully regarded as a factor influencing hangovers strongly; actually, it is not related to them directly – except for worsening the terrible taste you will wake up with – yet if injudiciously indulged in, it can add to the bad morning condition.
Several years ago there was a study stating that smokers complained of heavier hangovers compared to people who didn’t smoke. And when they had their first smoke after the wake-up, they said it made the symptoms even more unbearable. While the exact nature of this effect is not yet scientifically assured, you could do yourself a favor and avoid mixing alcohol and cigarettes.
Being sure you will wake up with the hair of the dog
If you are a firm believer that the best remedy for a hangover is downing a Bloody Mary before you sit down at the breakfast table, well, it may certainly seem so, but it’s really a treacherous measure. While it provides little or no help at all, it can grow into a habit that pushes you into alcohol dependency.
It is only logical that when you are suffering from an overdose of alcohol, you don’t really need more of it in your system. To quench your thirst, your best helper will be a large mug of water and not what is left from the night before on the bottom of a bottle.