Here’s What Doctors Say About Preventing Hangovers

Don’t let nasty hangovers get in the way of achieving your New Year’s resolutions! Our friends at YourTango give us the top five ways to prevent a hangover before it even starts.

You’re welcome.

You can’t wait to kick 2015’s ass out the door, and plan to do so with a drink in each hand. Isn’t that what New Year’s Eve is all about: celebrating with a grown-up beverage?

If only partying didn’t come at a price. No one enjoys having a hangover the next day after indulging in a little too many cocktails or too much wine. Symptoms of a hangover include headaches, trembling, nausea, tiredness, sensitivity to light, body aches, and that’s just the physical symptoms. You can also feel depressed, angry, anxious, and full of regret.

But luckily, an article on Medical Daily has a few suggestions for stopping hangovers before they start. Yes, the holidays really are full of magic.

1. Drink water, water, and more water.

You may notice that when you’re drinking you need to go to the bathroom more often. That’s because alcohol consumption causes dehydration. When you wake up hungover, it’s a good idea to replenish your body with water, but did you know that it’s a good idea to drink water not only before you start imbibing but during as well?

If you drink a few glasses of water during the day and glasses of water between drinks, you’ll probably spend even more time going to the bathroom, but your body will stay hydrated longer. Plus, if you’re breaking up the drinks with a little H2O, you’ll probably drink less, too.

Don’t forget to drink a glass of water before bed and have a spare on your bedside table for when you first wake up or if you need some in the middle of the night. Bonus: by drinking all that water, your skin is going to look fantastic in the morning.

2. Abstain from sugary substances.

“I will avoid sugar and desserts as much as possible because sugar taxes the adrenal glands and the immune system,” Dr. Carolyn Dean, medical advisory board member for the Nutritional Magnesium Association told Medical Daily. “When adrenal function is impaired or weak, a person may suffer from low blood sugar, low blood pressure, low body temperature, and a fatigue/exhaustion.” Sounds like some typical hangover symptoms to me.

3. Eat the fried fatty foods you usually avoid.

The worst thing you can do is drink on an empty stomach, so have a meal before you start celebrating. By eating a burger or some other fatty food, you can help to insulate your stomach, preventing alcohol from being absorbed into the stomach lining and blood stream.

4. Don’t forget to take your vitamins.

Drinking diminishes the nutrients in your body including B12, amino acids, fatty acids, enzymes, proteins, minerals and especially magnesium.

5. Pick your poison carefully.

Remember the old saying, “Never mix, never worry”? Well, it’s partially true. Never mix or you’ll get a horrible hangover, but you still have plenty to worry about. Choose one kind of drink and stick with it. And when you’re doing the choosing, don’t pick champagne because the bubbles will only hasten the absorption of alcohol, or red wine since it has too much sugar in it.

Pick a light-colored liquor like vodka, as the darker ones have a larger amount of congeners (a substance other than alcohol produced during fermentation). Congeners will affect the flavor of the alcohol and how immense your hangover will be.

If you follow these tips, you may actually be able to have a happy New Year’s Day not just a happy New Year’s Eve.

Check out more great stories from YourTango:

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What’s the Deal With Alcohol and Ibuprofen?

If you wake up with a headache after a night of overindulging, sometimes figuring out what painkiller to take can make the headache even worse. Taking acetaminophen (aka Tylenol) can lead to liver damage, but take note: you’re also not supposed to drink while taking ibuprofen.

Ibuprofen drugs (like Advil) are part of the anti-inflammatory drug family known as NSAIDs, which can cause tears in the stomach lining if taken on an empty belly. Add alcohol to the mix, and the potential danger is heightened. If you take ibuprofen when drinking more than the recommended amount for women (about two to three drinks), you increase your risk of stomach irritation and bleeding. This is especially true for people who are prone to ulcers.

But wait! Taking Tylenol when you’re hungover isn’t such a good idea either, and aspirin has its downsides too. Acetaminophen can lead to liver damage if you take it in large doses for more than a couple of days. Heavy drinkers who take acetaminophen and don’t eat enough can overtax their livers. According to researchers at Harvard Medical School:

If you drink a lot of alcohol ¡ª say, on a Saturday night ¡ª and take a normal dose of acetaminophen to deal with the hangover in the morning, you probably are not going to have liver problems. . . . The trouble starts when regular heavy drinkers take a lot of acetaminophen over a period of time ¡ª several days, at least, and maybe longer. (In this context, heavy drinkers are defined as people who regularly have three or more drinks a day.) A drinking habit and a poor diet often go hand in hand. Multiple high doses of acetaminophen are more dangerous for drinkers partly because their glutathione levels tend to be low because they don’t eat well.

It may sound like popping a few Tylenols after a night or two of heavy drinking can’t hurt, but the risks associated with taking Tylenol after recreational drinking are somewhat blurry. A Food and Drug Administration (FDA) advisory group found in a review of its database and a large liver failure study that the median dose that led to liver failure was between 5,000 and 7,000 milligrams of acetaminophen per day ¡ª scarily close to the current daily limit of 4,000 milligrams (eight extra-strength Tylenol). The FDA group recommended lowering the daily limit to 3,250 milligrams (or 10 regular-strength Tylenol pills a day) to help prevent accidental overdose.

So what’s a hungover, headache-plagued gal to do ¡ª besides not drinking so much in the first place? Since the jury is still out on the exact effects of combining Advil or Tylenol with booze, it’s probably best just to tough it out. While a recent study in rats found that coffee and aspirin are the best remedies for relieving hangover symptoms, it didn’t look at possible alcohol interactions ¡ª and it is known that taking aspirin with alcohol can increase your risk of stomach bleeding. If you’re looking to remedy a hangover, your best bet is to go natural with options like this fresh-pressed hangover juice or a yoga sequence to relieve your symptoms. Even better, help prevent a hangover the next time with these tips.

Image Source: POPSUGAR Photography / THEM TOO

What’s the Deal With Alcohol and Ibuprofen?

If you wake up with a headache after a night of overindulging| sometimes figuring out what painkiller to take can make the headache even worse. Taking acetaminophen (aka Tylenol) can lead to liver damage| but take note: you’re also not supposed to drink while taking ibuprofen.

Ibuprofen drugs (like Advil) are part of the anti-inflammatory drug family known as NSAIDs| which can cause tears in the stomach lining if taken on an empty belly. Add alcohol to the mix| and the potential danger is heightened. If you take ibuprofen when drinking more than the recommended amount for women (about two to three drinks)| you increase your risk of stomach irritation and bleeding. This is especially true for people who are prone to ulcers.

But wait! Taking Tylenol when you’re hungover isn’t such a good idea either| and aspirin has its downsides too. Acetaminophen can lead to liver damage if you take it in large doses for more than a couple of days. Heavy drinkers who take acetaminophen and don’t eat enough can overtax their livers. According to researchers at Harvard Medical School:

If you drink a lot of alcohol say| on a Saturday night and take a normal dose of acetaminophen to deal with the hangover in the morning| you probably are not going to have liver problems. . . . The trouble starts when regular heavy drinkers take a lot of acetaminophen over a period of time several days| at least| and maybe longer. (In this context| heavy drinkers are defined as people who regularly have three or more drinks a day.) A drinking habit and a poor diet often go hand in hand. Multiple high doses of acetaminophen are more dangerous for drinkers partly because their glutathione levels tend to be low because they don’t eat well.

It may sound like popping a few Tylenols after a night or two of heavy drinking can’t hurt| but the risks associated with taking Tylenol after recreational drinking are somewhat blurry. A Food and Drug Administration (FDA) advisory group found in a review of its database and a large liver failure study that the median dose that led to liver failure was between 5|000 and 7|000 milligrams of acetaminophen per day scarily close to the current daily limit of 4|000 milligrams (eight extra-strength Tylenol). The FDA group recommended lowering the daily limit to 3|250 milligrams (or 10 regular-strength Tylenol pills a day) to help prevent accidental overdose.

So what’s a hungover| headache-plagued gal to do besides not drinking so much in the first place? Since the jury is still out on the exact effects of combining Advil or Tylenol with booze| it’s probably best just to tough it out. While a recent study in rats found that coffee and aspirin are the best remedies for relieving hangover symptoms| it didn’t look at possible alcohol interactions and it is known that taking aspirin with alcohol can increase your risk of stomach bleeding. If you’re looking to remedy a hangover| your best bet is to go natural with options like this fresh-pressed hangover juice or a yoga sequence to relieve your symptoms. Even better| help prevent a hangover the next time with these tips.

Image Source: POPSUGAR Photography / THEM TOO

Hangover Helpline: What to Do When You’ve Had Too Much

No one ever wants to drink too much, but sometimes festivities happen. Keep this guide handy for preventing and dealing with the horrible hangover.

Preventing a Hangover

Know this: if you’re going to go out and toss back more than a few drinks, you’re going to pay the price; the body isn’t designed to binge on bad stuff and feel great the next day. But before you even get to the worst-case scenario, there are a few things that can help you prevent a hangover altogether ¡ª or at least make it a bit more manageable.

Don’t drink, or at least drink less: Instead of giving yourself unlimited access to the champagne bar, limit yourself to one or two cocktails. Drink slowly, and as a rule, don’t consume more than one drink per hour, which helps give the body time to metabolize the alcohol. Also, one drink does not mean a Long Island Tea. We’re talking a beer, a glass of wine, or roughly one ounce of hard liquor. Drink water, and lots of it: Since alcohol dehydrates the body, begin and end your night of drinking with plenty of water, and for every alcoholic beverage you consume, match it with another glass of water. An easy trick is to alternate between a cocktail and a glass ¡ª or two! ¡ª of water while you are out for the night.Don’t drink on an empty stomach: Having food in your stomach helps dilute the concentration of alcohol in your belly. Fill up on good-for-you foods with an emphasis on complex carbs.Be choosy with what you drink: Whenever possible, stay away from sugary and carbonated drinks, since they speed up the absorption of alcohol into the bloodstream, and opt for choices that have a low alcohol content, like sake, soju, or low-cal vodka. Drink clear liquors over colored ones: darker alcohol like bourbon or red wine contain more congeners, a substance that help contribute to hangovers.Too Late! What to Eat Once a Hangover Hits

If the old adage everything in moderation was tossed out the window, next-day food choices can be your saving grace. Even if a greasy breakfast sandwich is the only thing you’re craving, make sure to eat; food helps break down the alcohol in your system. Once you’ve eaten, ward off a headache with some OTC ibuprofen (avoid pain relievers containing acetaminophen, like Tylenol, because they may cause liver damage), and don’t skip that cup of coffee; aside from being a little pick-me-up, it’s been shown to help ward off a hangover-induced headache. If you had a few drinks too many and are suffering from specific symptoms, here’s which foods to reach for.

Dehydration: You need to hydrate. Your throat and mouth are dry due to dehydration, which is caused by the diuretic properties of alcohol. Dehydration also affects your muscles, making them feel weak. Drink plenty of water, and replace lost electrolytes with a low-sugar electrolyte-replacement drink or coconut water.Upset stomach: Excessive alcohol irritates the lining of the stomach, causing nausea, digestive issues, or, in really bad cases, vomiting. Start with some Alka Seltzer, and eat bland and easily digested foods like bananas, saltine crackers, or broth. Irritability and fatigue: Because the liver gets backed up trying to metabolize the alcohol, you might be experiencing low blood sugar, which can result in you feeling irritable and moody. While most any food can help spike up sugar levels in the body, in small studies, fructose has been shown to speed up the body’s ability to metabolize alcohol. Give yourself a tall glass of orange juice after a night of drinking, or press your hangover away with this fresh juice recipe.

The Best Exercise Remedies

Before you hit up that hour-long indoor cycling class, you may want to think twice. On its own, exercise is not an effective cure against a hangover, said Ruth C. Engs, RN, Ed.D., a professor at Indiana University who has done extensive research on the effects of drinking. While the endorphin rush can counteract the pain (albeit momentarily), the dehydration that comes along with an intense exercise session can worsen symptoms. Take into account how bad you’re feeling, and if you can’t bear to miss a workout, then opt for a light cardio session or restorative yoga class. But what your body probably needs right now is rest.

Alcohol does a number on sleep patterns; the pituitary gland becomes confused and releases the wrong amount of hormones that regulate sleep; the central nervous system also becomes overexcited, causing sensitivity to light, sound, and touch. All of the above means you do not get a good night of quality sleep. If your hangover is really bad, don’t feel guilty for taking the day off to relax and get some shut-eye.

Image Source: POPSUGAR Photography / THEM TOO

Hangover Helpline: What to Do When You’ve Had Too Much

No one ever wants to drink too much| but sometimes festivities happen. Keep this guide handy for preventing and dealing with the horrible hangover.

Preventing a Hangover

Know this: if you’re going to go out and toss back more than a few drinks| you’re going to pay the price; the body isn’t designed to binge on bad stuff and feel great the next day. But before you even get to the worst-case scenario| there are a few things that can help you prevent a hangover altogether or at least make it a bit more manageable.

Don’t drink| or at least drink less: Instead of giving yourself unlimited access to the champagne bar| limit yourself to one or two cocktails. Drink slowly| and as a rule| don’t consume more than one drink per hour| which helps give the body time to metabolize the alcohol. Also| one drink does not mean a Long Island Tea. We’re talking a beer| a glass of wine| or roughly one ounce of hard liquor. Drink water| and lots of it: Since alcohol dehydrates the body| begin and end your night of drinking with plenty of water| and for every alcoholic beverage you consume| match it with another glass of water. An easy trick is to alternate between a cocktail and a glass or two! of water while you are out for the night.Don’t drink on an empty stomach: Having food in your stomach helps dilute the concentration of alcohol in your belly. Fill up on good-for-you foods with an emphasis on complex carbs.Be choosy with what you drink: Whenever possible| stay away from sugary and carbonated drinks| since they speed up the absorption of alcohol into the bloodstream| and opt for choices that have a low alcohol content| like sake| soju| or low-cal vodka. Drink clear liquors over colored ones: darker alcohol like bourbon or red wine contain more congeners| a substance that help contribute to hangovers.Too Late! What to Eat Once a Hangover Hits

If the old adage everything in moderation was tossed out the window| next-day food choices can be your saving grace. Even if a greasy breakfast sandwich is the only thing you’re craving| make sure to eat; food helps break down the alcohol in your system. Once you’ve eaten| ward off a headache with some OTC ibuprofen (avoid pain relievers containing acetaminophen| like Tylenol| because they may cause liver damage)| and don’t skip that cup of coffee; aside from being a little pick-me-up| it’s been shown to help ward off a hangover-induced headache. If you had a few drinks too many and are suffering from specific symptoms| here’s which foods to reach for.

Dehydration: You need to hydrate. Your throat and mouth are dry due to dehydration| which is caused by the diuretic properties of alcohol. Dehydration also affects your muscles| making them feel weak. Drink plenty of water| and replace lost electrolytes with a low-sugar electrolyte-replacement drink or coconut water.Upset stomach: Excessive alcohol irritates the lining of the stomach| causing nausea| digestive issues| or| in really bad cases| vomiting. Start with some Alka Seltzer| and eat bland and easily digested foods like bananas| saltine crackers| or broth. Irritability and fatigue: Because the liver gets backed up trying to metabolize the alcohol| you might be experiencing low blood sugar| which can result in you feeling irritable and moody. While most any food can help spike up sugar levels in the body| in small studies| fructose has been shown to speed up the body’s ability to metabolize alcohol. Give yourself a tall glass of orange juice after a night of drinking| or press your hangover away with this fresh juice recipe.

The Best Exercise Remedies

Before you hit up that hour-long indoor cycling class| you may want to think twice. On its own| exercise is not an effective cure against a hangover| said Ruth C. Engs| RN| Ed.D.| a professor at Indiana University who has done extensive research on the effects of drinking. While the endorphin rush can counteract the pain (albeit momentarily)| the dehydration that comes along with an intense exercise session can worsen symptoms. Take into account how bad you’re feeling| and if you can’t bear to miss a workout| then opt for a light cardio session or restorative yoga class. But what your body probably needs right now is rest.

Alcohol does a number on sleep patterns; the pituitary gland becomes confused and releases the wrong amount of hormones that regulate sleep; the central nervous system also becomes overexcited| causing sensitivity to light| sound| and touch. All of the above means you do not get a good night of quality sleep. If your hangover is really bad| don’t feel guilty for taking the day off to relax and get some shut-eye.

Image Source: POPSUGAR Photography / THEM TOO

Don’t Waste Calories at a Bar: 5 Low-Calorie Cocktails to Order at Happy Hour

Don’t Waste Calories at a Bar: 5 Low-Calorie Cocktails to Order at Happy Hour

When you’re worried about calories| drinking the wrong cocktail can make all the difference. Two drinks out with the girls suddenly turns into a 1|000-calorie night. Vodka sodas are always a safe bet but can get boring quickly. The next time you’re out at a bar or restaurant| order one of these cocktails instead u2014 all good and all well under 200 calories!

Source: Corbis Images

| Old Fashioned

Before mudslides and appletinis were all the rage| there were old fashioneds. One of the earliest recorded cocktails| this 200-year-old bourbon drink is now a classic| and for good reason u2014 there aren’t a lot of ingredients getting in the way. Balanced and complex| try POPSUGAR Food’s recipe for an old fashioned and then make sure to order one the next time you are out!

| Margarita

When made right| a margarita is a refreshing and low-cal cocktail. The classic margarita recipe simply calls for tequila| lime juice| and a tiny bit of agave syrup or Cointreau. The most important thing is to skip premade mixes. If you’re worried that the bartender may use a sugary mix| don’t be afraid to ask them to use fresh lime juice and a splash of simple syrup instead.

| Cosmopolitan

Carrie and the rest of the Sex and the City gang obviously knew what they were doing| ordering cosmopolitans. Made from vodka| lime juice| and a splash of cranberry juice| a cosmopolitan barely breaks the 150-calorie mark.

| Mojitos

Just like the margarita| the classic mojito recipe has been tainted with a reliance on too much sugar or premade mixes. The original recipe is rum| mint| soda water| lime| and just a touch of sugar. Any trusted bartender will do you up right| resulting in a mojito that falls under 150 calories. To be on the safe side| ask the bartender to go easy on the sugar.

| Gimlet

Whether you choose vodka| gin| or tequila| a gimlet is a tart| straightforward choice for those wishing to save calories. The basic recipe is alcohol (traditionally gin) mixed with lightly sweetened lime juice| served up in a martini glass. Make things more interesting by ordering a cucumber or basil gimlet.

If You Want to Lose Weight and Still Drink, Read This

Before working in health and fitness| I spent a good part of my adult years working around food and alcohol. I was a server all through college. I would later spend a good chunk of my writing career as a food editor. While I (usually) have no qualms about exercising regularly| my love of cocktails is a persistent obstacle in losing those last stubborn pounds ¡ª an obstacle I’m unwilling to overcome. Thankfully| there’s a new trend popping up at cocktail bars that also happens to be waist-friendly. More and more bartenders are mixing up cocktails made entirely of low-proof liquor like Sherry| Lillet| or vermouth. Not only do these cocktails help prevent next-day hangovers| but they are also by design lower in calories. If you can lower the alcohol content of a drink| you also lower the amount of calories it contains. Andrea Tateosian| a bartender with the Kimpton hotel group| says that these types of drinks are perfect for her more health-conscious customers| especially those who still want to enjoy a couple of drinks without getting completely wasted. These drinks tend to be lighter than an “in your face” whiskey or tequila drink| she says. “Maybe you don’t need all the crazy things| all of the time.”

An easy way to hop on this trend at home is by making a spritz| a simple recipe that pairs a low-proof alcohol with a little soda water (or sparkling wine) and citrus| my favorite being the refreshing and lightly bitter Aperol spritz. But if you’re feeling more adventurous| start with Andrea’s recipe| which uses a homemade thyme-lemon syrup and Cocchi Americano Rosa| a wine-based spirit. The result is a cocktail that has just a hint of sweetness to round out the more tart flavors of the Cocchi Americano Rosa.

Related: 5 Low-Calorie Drinks to Order at Happy Hour

Bacio di Rosa

From Andrea Tateosian| Urbana Dining & Drinks at the Hotel Palomar

Bacio di Rosa

Notes

To make the thyme-lemon syrup:

Bring 3 cups water to a boil| and add the zest of 1 lemon. Add a handful of thyme| and take the water off the heat| letting it steep for 10 minutes. Add 3 cups sugar| and stir until the sugar has dissolved. Strain into a glass jar. Store in the refrigerator for up to 6 months.

If You Want to Lose Weight and Still Drink, Read This

Before working in health and fitness, I spent a good part of my adult years working around food and alcohol. I was a server all through college. I would later spend a good chunk of my writing career as a food editor. While I (usually) have no qualms about exercising regularly, my love of cocktails is a persistent obstacle in losing those last stubborn pounds ¡ª an obstacle I’m unwilling to overcome. Thankfully, there’s a new trend popping up at cocktail bars that also happens to be waist-friendly. More and more bartenders are mixing up cocktails made entirely of low-proof liquor like Sherry, Lillet, or vermouth. Not only do these cocktails help prevent next-day hangovers, but they are also by design lower in calories. If you can lower the alcohol content of a drink, you also lower the amount of calories it contains. Andrea Tateosian, a bartender with the Kimpton hotel group, says that these types of drinks are perfect for her more health-conscious customers, especially those who still want to enjoy a couple of drinks without getting completely wasted. These drinks tend to be lighter than an “in your face” whiskey or tequila drink, she says. “Maybe you don’t need all the crazy things, all of the time.”

An easy way to hop on this trend at home is by making a spritz, a simple recipe that pairs a low-proof alcohol with a little soda water (or sparkling wine) and citrus, my favorite being the refreshing and lightly bitter Aperol spritz. But if you’re feeling more adventurous, start with Andrea’s recipe, which uses a homemade thyme-lemon syrup and Cocchi Americano Rosa, a wine-based spirit. The result is a cocktail that has just a hint of sweetness to round out the more tart flavors of the Cocchi Americano Rosa.

Related: 5 Low-Calorie Drinks to Order at Happy Hour

Bacio di Rosa

From Andrea Tateosian, Urbana Dining & Drinks at the Hotel Palomar

Bacio di Rosa

Notes

To make the thyme-lemon syrup:

Bring 3 cups water to a boil, and add the zest of 1 lemon. Add a handful of thyme, and take the water off the heat, letting it steep for 10 minutes. Add 3 cups sugar, and stir until the sugar has dissolved. Strain into a glass jar. Store in the refrigerator for up to 6 months.

Low in Sugar and Light in Calories, This May Be the Perfect Cocktail

The weekend is the perfect time to celebrate with a drink ¡ª especially after a long run or outdoor workout. But it’s all too easy to cancel out all your hard work with a cocktail that’s full of hidden calories from tons of sugar and ingredients that are hard to pronounce. After doing a little research and experimenting with recipes at home| I found the perfect calorie-friendly cocktail that still seems fancy and indulgent: the mojito.

Related: If You Want to Lose Weight and Still Drink| Read This

Since a mojito is made with fresh ingredients and zero-calorie soda water| it ends up being a much better choice than cocktails like a gin and tonic or using a premade cocktail mix from the store. You can also make the drink more seasonal (and antioxidant-rich) by muddling in fresh fruit from your local farmers market; cucumber| pineapple| and raspberries are all great choices. The added bonus is that fresh fruit helps cut down on the amount of added sugar in the drink.

Mojito

From Michele Foley| POPSUGAR Fitness

Mojito

Mojito Recipe 2009-07-01 15:58:35

Ingredients

1 teaspoon sugar1/2 lime5 sprigs mint1.5 ounces light rumIceSoda water

Low in Sugar and Light in Calories, This May Be the Perfect Cocktail

The weekend is the perfect time to celebrate with a drink ¡ª especially after a long run or outdoor workout. But it’s all too easy to cancel out all your hard work with a cocktail that’s full of hidden calories from tons of sugar and ingredients that are hard to pronounce. After doing a little research and experimenting with recipes at home, I found the perfect calorie-friendly cocktail that still seems fancy and indulgent: the mojito.

Related: If You Want to Lose Weight and Still Drink, Read This

Since a mojito is made with fresh ingredients and zero-calorie soda water, it ends up being a much better choice than cocktails like a gin and tonic or using a premade cocktail mix from the store. You can also make the drink more seasonal (and antioxidant-rich) by muddling in fresh fruit from your local farmers market; cucumber, pineapple, and raspberries are all great choices. The added bonus is that fresh fruit helps cut down on the amount of added sugar in the drink.

Mojito

From Michele Foley, POPSUGAR Fitness

Mojito

Mojito Recipe 2009-07-01 15:58:35

Ingredients

1 teaspoon sugar1/2 lime5 sprigs mint1.5 ounces light rumIceSoda water