Don’t Blame it on the Alcohol the Next Morning

In a battle against the telltale headache, food is a key component. Beforehand, eating a full meal (the more oil the better) is key. Not only will this prevent you from getting drunk before the best acts are on stage or before the guests arrive to your own birthday bash, but greasy foods like pizza or french fries will line the walls of your stomach and keep the alcohol from being absorbed by your body too quickly, leaving your head spinning and your gag reflex taunting you. More absorption, more visual distortion.

Beware of taking ibuprofen (Advil) or acetaminophen (Tylenol) before going to sleep while drunk. You may think that it’s the best way to fight your already pounding headache, but just go to sleep. Not only will the effects of the painkiller wear off before you even wake up (forcing you to take more when you wake up), but it could hurt your internal organs as well. Your poor, abused liver can’t handle alcohol and acetaminophen simultaneously — trying to do so can lead to liver inflammation and even liver failure.

Make sure to get enough rest. The five margaritas you had might be putting you to sleep easily, but in a few hours, your body will go through alcohol withdrawals and jolt awake. Not getting enough sleep might not be a direct cause of any hangover symptoms, but with “feeling exhausted” at the top of your laundry list of post-drinking ailments, everything seems so much worse.

The best way to stave off a hangover is constant hydration. Drink at least a couple cups of water before crashing, so you don’t wake up feeling light-headed and dizzy. Sleep it off and then start off your morning with more water, or better yet, a sports drink that will replenish those essential electrolytes.

But contrary to the “experience” of a thousand suffering coeds, eating syrup-drenched French toast and that egg-and-sausage breakfast burrito has absolutely no effect on any hangover symptom, except maybe hunger. The main goal is to get nutrients back into your system as quickly as possible, and dealing with heartburn on account of your triple bacon cheeseburger and fries is not a good look on anyone. Instead, try eating something easily digestible, like a fruit salad.

Another popular hangover beverage of choice is fruit juice. Liquids like orange juice will give you energy from the fruit’s natural sugar, as well as vitamins that have been shown to speed up your body’s detox process.

Even if you are bent on indulging in your night of drunken excess, keep these tips in mind for a pain-free morning