SHAPING UP: A few simple things you can do to avoid suffering from a hangover

Caused by excessive drinking, there’s no cure for a hangover but there are things you can do to avoid one.

Tuesday, 14th December 2021, 12:00 am
Your metabolism slows down when you're asleep, so your body takes longer to dispose of all that alcohol – this is how hangovers happen.

So, with many people heading out to Christmas parties with friends and work colleagues over the next couple of weeks here’s 8 simple tips to help you avoid that dreadful hangover feeling:

1. Don’t Drink On An Empty Stomach

Try to eat normally throughout the day and then have a small meal or a healthy snack before you go to the party. It will slow down the rate at which the alcohol is metabolised. But don’t eat too much – as you’ll get bloated and it could spoil the evening.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

Also, make sure to avoid bar snacks like crisps and peanuts as they’ll just make you thirstier.

2. Don’t Mix Your Drinks

Switching from spirits to wine and then to beer is a recipe for disaster – and a thudding headache the next day. Choose your drink of choice and stick with it as much as possible throughout the evening.

3. Drink Clear-Coloured Drinks

Clear-coloured drinks will minimise the effects of a hangover – try vodka and a mixer like lemonade or cranberry juice or even a gin and tonic. Red wine is one of the worst offenders when it comes to the morning after – along with dark spirits like whisky, brandy and rum. Clear coloured drinks are also more likely to be lower in calories than wine or beer, so they’ll benefit your waistline and well as keeping the hangover at bay.

4. Stick To Singles

Watch the size of the drinks you’re ordering. It’s easy to underestimate how much you’re knocking back. While it might be tempting to go for a double measure – especially if the deals on offer in the bars seem too good to miss – choosing a smaller measure will stand you in good stead the next day.

A ‘small’ glass of wine in a bar or pub these days is often 175ml – and a large is 250ml, which is actually the equivalent of a third of a bottle of wine!

5. Have A Few Soft Drinks

Order a non-alcoholic drink between each alcoholic one. This works particularly well if you are drinking spirits, as you can simply order the mixer without the spirit, and no one will ever know!

6. Check Your Medications

Before hitting the town check the label of any medication you are taking to ensure it doesn’t react adversely with alcohol. Many medications are fine to take whilst drinking – however, this doesn’t mean that they won’t contribute to a bigger hangover the next day. If you are on any medication that doesn’t mix well with drinking, consider whether the alcohol is worth the bad head the next day.

7. Don’t Sleep It Off

If you have overindulged, when you get home stay up for a while and find something to do. Your metabolism slows down when you're asleep, so your body takes longer to dispose of all that alcohol – this is how hangovers happen.

8. Snack Before Bed

Have something to eat before you go to sleep. A slice of wholemeal toast and honey is ideal. Honey contains potassium which helps to counteract the effects of the alcohol.