It’s hard not to look forward to New Year’s Eve—the party, the ball drop, the midnight hookup (if you’re lucky). However, the morning after an epic night of drinking is another story altogether. To save you the headache and a day of swearing you’ll never touch booze again, we present to you our guide for avoiding hangovers, no matter your poison of choice.
Photo: Gemma Amor/Flickr/Creative Commons
The party animal
Style: Pounds beers, faster the better.
The cure: Chugging beer after beer earns you a buzz quickly and keeps you hydrated longer than liquor. Your main enemy is a fast-rising blood alcohol content. Slow your body’s metabolism of alcohol by loading up on protein-heavy foods like chicken and fish. Fatty foods work similarly, but they can create a different type of hangover altogether (read: over your beltline). A large amount of beer will also send you to the washroom often, so keep your electrolytes at optimal levels with a few salty snacks, such as roasted peanuts.
The straight shooter
Style: Shots! Shots, shots, shots, shots, shots.
The cure: Shots of unadulterated liquor will send your blood alcohol level soaring at the expense of your hydration levels. Alcohol is a diuretic, and liquor alone (or cocktails, if that’s your bag) won’t replace water more quickly than you can, well, drain it. Escape a hangover by chasing each shot with about 20 ounces of water and an electrolyte-laden snack. Vodka is traditionally chased with a salty pickle, and tequila goes great with a bowl of tortilla chips.
Style: Poppin’ bottles in the VIP room.
The cure: Whether wine or champagne is more your speed, they boast a notably higher sugar content than other types of booze (unless you count certain sweet cocktails). Sugar increases the rate at which your body takes in alcohol, exhausting your kidneys, liver and small intestines in their attempts to keep up. To help mitigate the resulting sugar “hangover,” your best bet is limiting your intake to three or so glasses of the sweet stuff.
Style: Often seen nursing a glass of Scotch or savouring a pint of craft beer.
The cure: Taking things slow doesn’t necessarily earn you a get out of jail free card, but it does help. Savouring your booze at a rate of about one serving every hour gives your body the time it needs to rid your system of the toxins it produces when it processes alcohol. The pace also keeps your buzz at a nominal level, ensuring you can fully enjoy the night without embarrassing yourself.
The designated driver
Style: The much-loved teetotaller (for the night, at least).
The cure: You are at the lowest risk of a hangover—mostly because you’re not drinking. In addition to helping your buddies get home in one piece via car or taxi, be a mensch and help them escape their hangovers as well. They’ll return the favour down the line, future-proofing your next night out.
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