The decision to go out last night with buddies might have been meant to be low-key, but, once the vibe in the bar got a little more extreme than you all expected, one beer turned into four and those cute girls next to you demanded everyone takes shots.
So, what's next? A massive hangover, right? Not necessarily.
Just because you let the booze hit you harder than you thought they would, doesn't mean you need to fall victim to the headaches and general grogginess that a hangover brings.
We spoke with Dr. Robert Korn, Medical Director of Northwell Health-GoHealth Urgent Care, to tell you how to save yourself from a hangover—and it's something we should all appreciate.
While The Party’s Still Going
Stick To Clear Alcohols
- Some forms of alcohol have congeners, which are chemicals left over from fermentation, such as acetone and methanol, which are poisonous in large doses. In smaller doses, they may worsen hangovers. Clear alcohols like gin and vodka may have less of these substances. (But too much of anything will give you a hangover.)
Say No To A Liquid Diet
- Don’t drink on an empty stomach. Avoid high sugar content foods, since they may cause your blood glucose to rise and then fall as insulin is released. Since alcohol can lower blood glucose also, the effect may be additive.
But Don’t Forget The H20
- Alcohol is a diuretic, causing you to produce more urine and take more trips to the bathroom when drinking. These frequent bathroom trips put you at greater risk for dehydration. Have a glass of water, or two – you’ll thank yourself later!
If The Fun Got The Best Of You
- Alcohol impairs delta sleep, the part of sleep that makes you feel rested. So, even if you were get to bed and get 8 hours of “sleep time”, if you drank too much the night before, you will get too little delta sleep, and you will be tired. If you can, try to get in a few more hours of rest the day after a night out
Rehydrate, Rehydrate, Rehydrate
- After all those trips to the bathroom, you’re likely feeling the loss of key nutrients. Drinks like Pedialyte contain sodium and potassium, a great combo for fostering rehydration. Sodium intake triggers your kidneys to retain more water, while potassium is a key nutrient lost during frequent urination, making it important to replenish.
- If you drank a lot, your stomach may be irritated. This is “alcoholic gastritis” and a common side effect. Therefore, eat light, avoid acidic foods like tomato juice, and certainly an early morning Mimosa or Bloody Mary will only add insult to injury.