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How to Avoid Hangovers

Updated on August 1, 2011

Drink, Drank, Drunk...

Ah, the mighty hangover. Is there anything worse, short of a long, drawn-out death itself? When many get hangovers, death is almost desired. When the slightest sound or light rifles through your skull, piercing your brain with pure pain, death doesn't seem like such a horrible thought. "Never again," we tell ourselves each time -until the next time that it happens again. This article will tender some advice on avoiding hangovers. As well, it will give some further advice if it happens anyway.

To make any sort of change in our lives, it is important to focus on our habits. In this case, the way that we drink and what we do before, during, and after imbibing are supremely imperative to such change.

Before You Drink, While You Drink, and After You Drink

The 1970's sitcom Happy Days once showed the character Richie Cunningham and his friends drinking olive oil before going out to consume heavy amounts of alcohol. Their reasoning was that if you coated your stomach with olive oil, you wouldn't get too drunk. While this sounds good on paper (and television), its veracity is uncertain. However, by drinking a goodly amount of water before you go drinking, the effects will definitely prove good for your body and towards overcoming the dreaded hangover.

Further, while you are drinking whatever is your poison, drink a glass of water every now and then. Even better, drink a glass of water between each glass of beer, wine, whiskey, tequila, or watever. This is a definite way to reduce the possibility of a hangover the next day.

After your final drink of the night, stay awake for at least 1 hour. This gives your body time to absorb the contents of your stomach and seems to help the situation. Taken another way, don't take a final drink just before you go to bed. This is a terrible idea -almost equivalent to going to bed right after eating a meal (which often results in indigestion). Moreover, while you are waiting out your final hour, try to be active. Burn off the sugar and alcohol in your system by doing something cardiovascular. Dancing is an excellent idea, as it burns many calories quickly, though a simple walk around the block or around your home also works.

Now comes the best action you can take, short of not drinking at all. Just before going to bed, drink between half a gallon and a full gallon of water. This is a great away to hydrate your body (as that's the name of the game when it comes to eliminating hangovers before they happen). Of course, if you've drunk a vast amount of alcohol, drinking water quickly could make you vomit; for some, this is ideal; for others, it's anathema, so consider how fast you're going to pour that water down your gullet.

Other Drinking Habits

The following are a few more ideas that will help you along the way. Some are extremely obvious, but sometimes such a kick in the pants is what we need to succeed.

Don't drink to excess. This is the big no brainer, but is difficult to accomplish for some, especially young drinkers. This is as, with each drink, our resistance to social and personal rules goes down. However, with practice, drinking socially, rather than like a rock star, can become a habit.

Don't mix drinks. This is a long-standing rule. Beer, whiskey, wine, and tequila do not mix so well together. Even worse is when sweet drinks are added into the fray.

To wine or not to wine. Some stay absolutely clear of wine, as wine is notorious for providing hangovers. As a rule, the sweeter the wine, the worse the hangover, so stick to dry wines or no wine at all.

Avoid cigarette smoke. If you don't smoke, avoid those who do when you are inebriated -there is a definite correlation between non-smokers who are around smokers and the ensuing hangover the next morning. Plus, then your clothes won't smell like an ashtray or the bottom of someone's foot.

If you get one anyway...

The following suggestions may prove beneficial if you do incur the wrath of Bacchus.

Hair of the Dog that Bit You

This is an old idea, usually called simply Hair of the Dog. This means that in the morning, when you realize that your hangover is full-blown and painful, that you can't stand the sun and feel you might be turning into a vampire -that you've got to take a "bite out of the dog that bit you." By drinking some of what now ails you, you can stomach the whole matter. As well, by drinking again (albeit in the morning), you will bring yourself out of your hangover. It's almost counter-intuitive, but it definitely works. After a few hours, you can even handle direct sunlight again.


Nearly every culture in the world has a foolproof hangover remedy -which usually entices the eating of tripe. That is, the stomach and intestines of a cow. Evidently, the absorbative powers of that part of the cow also absorb the toxins that leave you feeling woozy, crabby, and subject to pain during loud noises.

Other soup is also good. A personal favorite, even when stone cold sober, is the Japanese Miso Soup. This is also great with some chives and maybe a bit of tofu, too. Of course, the basis of any soup is really...

Hydration, hydration, hydration

Hangovers are a result of dehydration. Getting water, soup, almost any form of liquid (except for milk, which is generally a bad idea) usually helps. Often, you must take the liquid slowly for fear of vomiting. Of course, to puke is to feel better after, normally.

If you can't stomach liquids, simply eating also helps. Absorbent foods like bread and tortillas can definitely help. Also, try to get highly hydrated foods, like fruit into you. Fruit also helps when it has plenty of anti-oxidents. Blueberries and acai berries are said to satisfy this notion.

If All Else Fails

Sometimes even the best plans fail, as the failed American president George W. Bush will tell you. If you're not able to find relief, remember -at least for the next time, that sober people never get hangovers. Either reduce your alcohol intake, or abstain completely. It's the smart choice, though may be not as fun.

Good luck and may your head and stomach feel better!


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    • Laura Ginn profile image

      Laura Ginn 6 years ago from UK

      Lol good hub! I always find the morning after that I am super thirsty, although I will drink and drink non-alcoholic drinks and it still doesn't stop the feeling. I hardly ever drink alcohol though so that might be why :-)