And then there is that hangover…worse than a typical hangover because you threw that extra dime store orange plastic pumpkin full of sugar down your throat. And yes, because it is Halloween, you rationalize that it is totally worth it, but that doesn’t make your head hurt any less the next morning. Well, why don’t you try gearing up for the nights of partying with the same strategy that scored you that costume that your friends can’t figure is a werewolf, the rat from Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, or even you under a pile of makeup and hair. Make a plan and stick to it to the best of your ability.
Begin about a week ahead of festivities making sure you are properly hydrated. Take a genuine interest in becoming a water bottle junkie and avoid drinking alcohol in excess if at all. Water molecules are required in the metabolism of alcohol, so it is easy to become dehydrated quickly leading to dizziness and balance issues followed by that seriously fun headache then next morning. This is especially likely to happen if you were not well-hydrated prior to those tasty drinks, which you really may want to limit to one per hour to give your body a better chance to cope. Increased urination will magnify a loss of electrolytes, so drink mineral water in between rounds.
Going out on an empty stomach can only make the impending hangover worse. Your digestive system needs something to do to slow down that alcohol metabolism. Having a solid meal (Think meat and potatoes!) in your stomach will lessen gastric irritation and allow you to last longer through the night and be less likely to gobble all sorts of candy or munchies through the night. Warm drinks, sugary drinks and champagne metabolize the fastest and should be avoided. Vodka and gin have the least concentration of congeners, by-products of termination and distillation, and should be chosen before drinks with wine, rum, tequila, or scotch. Unfortunately for the body, the higher the concentration of congeners, the more intense the hangover.
So you may or may not have prepared your body for the haunted forest that is a hangover, here’s how to deal with it. Before you go to bed, drinking an electrolyte replacement drink is a good idea to replace electrolytes and attempt to correct the body’s fluid balance. Having this next to your bed is also advisable in case you wake up thirsty. Avoid taking ibuprofen or other painkillers as they will irritate your stomach. If you can eat, have a hearty breakfast with some bouillon if possible. Anecdotally, I recommend a chicken or beef ramen cup to sooth the stomach and regain electrolytes. Avoid coffee as it will make the stomach more acidic and prolong digestive discomfort due to tannic acid. If you must have a warm breakfast beverage, opt for green tea. If your stomach is feeling normal, the big breakfast is just right. Eggs, bacon, and toast will help to absorb excess acid in the stomach and fuel you for your hangover bounce back.
And don’t forget you should finish where you started: Hydrate!