Before the wedding
17th April 2019
10 drinking tips to avoid a nasty post-wedding hangover
Beat the post-boozing blues without blinking an eye.
As you pass your late twenties and enter your thirties and forties, you simply can’t drink the same way you did when you were 22, so hitting the booze heavily at a wedding – whether you’re the bride or a guest – is likely to result in a pounding headache, nausea, and a general feeling of unwellness.
Luckily, science has proven that there are a few ways to avoid spending the next day with a spinning head and a churning stomach – here’s how.
1. Double up on multivitamins
Antioxidants help mitigate the damage caused by drinking too much, so before the reception, take an extra multivitamin or drink acai or pomegranate juice.
2. Eat something meaty
It’s actually a good idea to order a burger or a hotdog before your wedding, since it’s a meal containing carbs, protein, and fat. Red meat has an especially high concentration of amino acids and B vitamins that help alcohol’s nastier side-effects along more quickly.
3. Sleep well
The night before a wedding may be a bit restless, but do try to get some shut-eye – a good eight-hour rest will improve your immunity and get your body ready to handle a night of heavy drinking.
4. Avoid sparkling wine
Yes, you’ll need it for the champers toast, but the bubbles in sparkling wine cause alcohol to be absorbed faster, so you get drunker faster, which then produces particularly vicious hangovers. Stick to non-sparkling stuff for the rest of the party.
5. Drink clear alcohols
Congeners are toxic chemicals such as methanol, isopentanol and acetone, which increase the viciousness of a hangover. Drinks high in congeners include whiskey, cognac and tequila. On the other hand, colourless drinks like vodka, gin and rum have low levels of congeners. You can significantly reduce the severity of hangovers by drinking low-congener beverages, especially if they’re higher-end spirits which have been filtered multiple times.
6. Gatorade is your friend
A sports drink like Gatorade, or even coconut water, helps you replace your fluids and electrolytes, the nutrients you lose when you drink. Alternate between an alcoholic drink and a sports drink to pace yourself and give your body time to catch up.
7. Drink water before bed (in moderation)
Drinking water by the gallon can put undue stress on your body, and if you constantly have to get up to pee, it will disturb your sleep. After a night of heavy drinking, drink a glass or two of water and get some rest.
8. Pop a mild painkiller
It’s fine to take an anti-inflammatory drug (anything that contains ibuprofen or Naprosyn) to directly attack the inflammation that alcohol causes. However, you should avoid painkillers that contain paracetamol, which can damage your liver and kidneys when combined with alcohol.
9. Have a nutritious late-night meal or a hearty breakfast the day after
After drinking, having a nutritious breakfast or a late-night meal might help maintain your blood sugar levels, which mitigates some of the most common symptoms of a hangover. Eggs specifically are loaded with cysteine, which helps break down a headache-causing toxin that's produced when your body digests alcohol.
10. Drink in moderation
It goes without saying that the severity of hangovers increases with the amount of alcohol you consume. For this reason, the best way to prevent hangovers is to drink in moderation – this varies depending on your tolerance — or abstain completely. Your call!