How to Avoid a Hangover

Avoiding hangovers and hangover symptoms is a tough task at hand. Of course you can try drinking lots of water, eating a healthy breakfast or the right foods, avoid drinks with congeners (which is a toxic byproduct that develops during the fermentation process or can be mechanically added during production that assists in helping the alcohol receive its flavor), or you can simply try to have a drink the following morning, which is probably the worst idea and advice ever! However, believe it or not, there are supplements that can help reduce symptoms or help avoid hangovers all together. Airborne offers a supplement that helps support the immune system. Because alcohol intake is known to cause havoc for the immune system, consuming airborne pre-drinking may help prevent a hangover all together. “Party Smart,” also offers a supplement that sells as “one capsule, for a better morning.” Taking supplements like these, designed to be taken pre-party, can also help prevent a hangover. Pre-drinking pills, if taken as directed and by following instructions strictly, will certainly help you have a better morning, even if they don’t prevent every symptom.

Since the use of alcohol has been known to induce inflammation, some over the counter anti-inflammatories have been proven very effective against hangover aches, pains and headaches. Many caution against the use of Tylenol for morning aches and pains, as a risk for liver damage is a concern when paired with alcohol consumption. Taking an ibuprofen or something similar, however, is a safe alternative if not taken too frequently.

Of course, many plant-based foods and herbs may also be an effective component to avoiding hangovers; the most noteworthy is prickly pear. A study conducted with 55 young and healthy individuals found that taking prickly pear extract 5 hours before drinking reduced the risk of a severe hangover by 62%   (1.).

According to an article published by Cosmopolitan, “17 Expert-Tested Ways to Prevent a Hangover,” it is suggested that doubling up on multivitamins before a night of drinking is a great idea for prevention. “Antioxidants help mitigate the damage, so pop an extra multivitamin, or drink acai or pomegranate juice before you go out,” says Dr. Jason Burke, M.D., an anesthesiologist who has treated over 20,000 hangovers throughout his career. The article goes on to advise against drinking Champagne and beverages with carbonation. It turns out that the bubbles in Champagne may accelerate the absorption of alcohol which leads to an especially dreadful hangover. Dr. Burke further suggests making Gatorade your roadie, advising that you should sip some Gatorade in between drinks to help restore electrolytes. Overdoing water intake before bed is not a bad idea either, he adds. For those looking for a more natural alternative, coconut water has been shown to have similar effects as Gatorade, but without the added sugar, which can worsen hangover symptoms in some people.

Wiki-how also offers some great advice on how to avoid inconvenient hangovers. Some of their tips include sticking to one type of liquor, and choosing light and clear liquors over dark and heavy liquors. Heavy and dark liquors have a higher concentration of congeners. If you’re in the mood for something heavy, stick to clear alcohols like gin and vodka, to help lessen to the intake of those pesky toxins. Eating before drinking is also another piece of advice behind which everyone can stand. Eating a meal will help absorb some alcohol, and lesser the alcohol means lesser the hangover. Stopping consumption when you’re feeling buzzed, or not drinking at all, is also a sure fire way to avoiding a terrible hangover, but where’s the fun in that?

1. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15226168

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