8 Ways to Avoid That Awful Hangover on New Year's Day
Those ready to use tons of booze to mask the pain and agony that was 2015 should also be ready to wake up to a scathing hangover Friday morning. Talk about a great way to kick off 2016.
First comes the age-old question, which gets more pressing as we our age gets older: What causes hangovers? For starters, alcohol is a diuretic, which increases someone's urge to use the restroom, and dehydrates the body, according to the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism. As if that weren't enough, alcohol is broken down into acetaldehyde, which irritates and inflames our stomach lining, the Washington Post reported.
Alcohol is also a depressant, which means that it doesn't let our body produce as much glutamine, which is a stimulant. Our brain goes into high gear to make up for it, but that's probably when you're turning in for the night —or trying to, because you probably won't even get a good night's sleep, according to the NIAAA.
These stresses amplify the classic hangover symptoms of dizziness, thirstiness, headaches and fatigue.
Descriptions of hangovers can be dated all the way back to the Old Testament, according to the NIAAA. And sorry, but there's no actual cure for a hangover, according to the Washington Post.
But since all of that isn't going to stop us from going bottoms up, here are some ways that'll lessen the painful effects of a hangover:
1. Drink light or clear liquors
Put down the bourbon, whiskey and dark rum or risk regretting them in the morning. Those darker alcohols have denser amounts of congeners than their lighter counterparts — cough, vodka — and create more toxic formaldehyde in the body, Live Science reported.
2. Avoid the bubbly
This one is a little bit of a buzzkill, but carbonated alcoholic beverages like champagne are actually faster absorbed by your body, a pharmacology professor at the University of Colorado found, according to ABC News. They get you drunker faster, but your brain is more inflamed and the next morning sucks.
3. Alcohol, water, alcohol, water
Stay hydrated. Switching between an alcoholic drink and a glass of water can help reduce the hangover to come by providing some time for our liver to recover, the Miami Herald reported. And try to chug a glass of water right before you drunkenly fall into bed with your shoes on to avoid nasty sandpaper mouth.
4. On the rocks
Here's a trick: Order your drinks on the rocks and the ice will melt and dilute your drink and also hydrate you, according to WebMD.
5. Eat before drinking
You've heard it a million times before, but it's true. Eating fats or carbs before guzzling booze will help line the stomach against toxic alcohol for slower absorption, according WebMD. It also refuels the body. Salmon, walnuts and tuna are good and healthy choices for your pre-drinking meal.
6. Pop some vitamins
Supplements for vitamins B and C and magnesium can help reduce the effects of alcohol on your body and thus a lesser hangover, according to Medical Daily.
7. Don't smoke
As if you needed another reason to tell you that smoking is bad for your health, the nicotine in cigarettes can actually release more chemicals called cytokines that actually add to your headache, Greatest reported.
8. Don't drink
Sorry to be a buzzkill, but abstaining from alcohol is the only surefire way to avoid a nasty hangover. If you must, set limits and drink responsibly.