We've all been there.
You wake up with a parched mouth, a searing pain in your head, and when you open your eyes, you're blinded by the cruel daylight. Your body hurts. Your stomach is sour. You're filled with a toxic shame and you can smell metabolized tequila vaporizing from your pores.
You, friend, are hungover.
Here's how to deal with it.
How not to get hungover in the first place.
Before you say "I'm never drinking again," consider the fact you're hungover because you drank too much. Don't want a hangover? Either don't drink or drink less.
But if that's not an option, here are some things you can do to decrease the agony of the next day.
1. Choose wisely.
Generally speaking, clear spirits like vodka and gin have fewer congeners than dark spirits like whisky and and tequila. Here are the various types of alcohol listed from best to worst in terms of congener content, according to The Bulletproof Exec:
"Vodka, gin, tequila, whiskey, other distilled spirits, dry cider, dry champagne, dry white wine,white wines, red wines, dessert wines, (and ) beer."
Mixing any of these increases the number and types of congeners, so think twice before you order a beer to chase that Long Island Iced Tea.
Choose your booze wisely.
2. Preventative medicine.
What will help is N-acetyl-cysteine (NAC), a supplement that is converted into Glutathione in the liver. This helps to neutralize acetaldehyde, one of the toxic byproducts of alcohol metabolism.
NAC is well-known as a liver protectant: it's used as the primary treatment in Acetaminophen (Tylenol) overdoses.
I usually take 1200 mgs of NAC before my first drink and an addition 600-1200 mgs with each additional drink. It can be purchased online or at nutrition stores.
3. Eat first, then hydrate, hydrate, hydrate.
Eating a meal before you go out and hit the bottle will slow the absorption of alcohol into the bloodstream. Once you've accomplished that, you need to manage your drinking by staying hydrated.
Drink a glass of a water with every drink you have. That's easy if you're sitting at a bar, but can be more difficult at a party. Regardless, endeavor to follow that rule.
Too late? Here's what to do now that you've ignored our advice.
1. Replenish your fluids.
Uncaffeinated sports drinks will help restore your electrolyte balances to the levels they were before you thought karaoke was a good idea.
A large part of a hangover is dehydration, so you need to drink plenty of water, but your dry mouth and sandpaper tongue probably clued you into that.
2. Eat something.
It's unlikely that you're going to want to gorge yourself on sausage and sauerkraut after a heavy night of lifting pints, but a light breakfast will help restore your body's equilibrium. Eggs, toast, and bananas are a good choice. Coffee and tea will only further dehydrate you, so stick with water.
3. Get dressed, get moving.
From the "fake it til you make it" school of thought, getting dressed and dealing with the things you need to do will help alleviate some of the toxic psychological sludge that can lead to sudden existential crises in the hungover brain.
You do not need to re-evaluate your life and relationships when you are hungover. You do need to feed the cat and go to work.
Sunglasses are recommended.
4. Sleep it off.
Probably not possible if you're sitting in a board meeting stinking of last night's excess, but the sooner you get back to bed and get some actual sleep rather than drunken unconsciousness, the better.
Get home and go to bed.
Like a broken heart, only time and rest are going to make you ready for more punishment once the pain subsides.
Like this? Then please share it with your friends.