A few years ago, the world was your oyster when it came to nightlife. You could have closed down the bar or club, had a few drinks to boost your mood—not that you needed them, but, you know, sometimes they’re fun—and, if needed, you could just get up the next morning and go to class or run some errands. You were never excited about it, because it was just natural.
But then it struck you once. The morning after a night of partying was a rough one, and it left you puzzled because you didn’t even drink that much! So, you promised yourself to be more careful next time, and you did keep the promise, only to go through the same struggle again. Welcome to Hangover City, where mid- and late-twenty-somethings cannot withstand a night of boozing like as they used to.
As you age, your liver produces less alcohol dehydrogenase, an enzyme responsible for breaking down the two types of booze (ethanol and methanol) present in most adult beverages. So when you down the same amount of alcohol you consumed 10 years ago, it hangs around your body longer.
Although nothing you do can make your liver younger, there are ways to prevent the awful morning after.
If you’re not drinking on an empty stomach, the food is slowing down the speed of alcohol absorption. Make sure you have a good dinner full of fiber before you go out. Also, while in the bar, if there are some snacks to be found—eat them. Just be aware of the fact that salty bar snacks like peanuts and popcorn make you thirstier and want to drink more. (A-ha, now you know why they serve it for free!) You can also grab some carbs or veggies to help prevent hangovers.
If your cells are saturated with water, they’ll consume less toxins from the booze. And while you’re sipping on your alcohol, try and drink some water in between the sips. It will likely make you drink less alcohol. When you get home, have a glass of water too. More often than not, this makes the difference between a hangover and easy morning.
Do not mix
Have a whiskey, but skip on the coke. If gin is your thing, avoid the tonic. Diluents widen your stomach, thus making it able to absorb more alcohol. And most of all, for crying out loud, do not mix different booze during one night! Wine + beer + pina colada, that’s a no-go! But you’ve probably learned that the hard way already.
Nothing will make you feel better like full night’s hours sleep. If it’s possible, try and sleep near an open window. Your body needs oxygen, especially after a night of drinking.
Have a healthy breakfast, and at all costs, avoid heavy and fried food. You could try a slice of whole-grain bread with a little honey: bread will absorb liquids in your stomach, and honey is rich in fructose so this combination can neutralize all the remaining alcohol in your body. If you’re out of honey, try some fruit instead.
Don’t forget to open your windows wide and breathe in deeply. Even better if you can go for a walk, or even a run if you’re that much of a badass. (I want to be you!) Fresh air and physical activity really help you feel like your normal self again. With these tips, you’ll banish your hangovers and hopefully realize getting older is not a bad thing after all. Cheers to that.