Hangovers are often the consequence of a good night—but they don’t have to be.
In a recent YouTube video, Dr. Jordan Wagner explains five ways to prevent and curb hangover symptoms in a jiffy. As the doc says, the best way to cure a hangover is to, well, not drink. But if that sounds unrealistic (and it likely does), there’s a few other actually legit tips to consider.
Dr. Wagners first piece of advice is to avoid drinks high in “congeners,” like whisky and tequila. While congeners can add deep flavor to dark alcoholic beverages, they can also contribute to killer hangovers. To put it simply, drinks high in congeners (also known as ethanol, methanol and the like) can cause an inflammatory reaction in your body, making you lethargic and fatigue. So instead, opt for colorless alcohol, like vodka, rum and gin.
“These might be a better option as they contain little to no congeners at all,” Dr. Wagner says. “Your body will thank you in the morning.”
For his second tip, Dr. Wagner affirms an old adage you’ve likely heard: If you have a hangover, drink more.
“Treating a hangover by having another drink seems dumb…” he says. “Although this habit hasn’t been proven effective, there’s some interesting science behind it. Simply put, drinking more alcohol is believed to effect the metabolism of methanol.”
Next, Dr. Wagner recommends chugging water throughout a night of drinking, stating a one drink to one glass of water ratio is best to avoiding hangover. He explains that alcohol is a diuretic, contributing to dehydration, which can cause symptoms of hangover. On a very basic level, drinking water helps maintain a balance in your body while your bar hopping.
“I know what you’re thinking, ‘What’s the point of drinking if I’m going to be chasing it with water?’ All the water does is slow the absorption of alcohol in your body it doesn’t counteract it,” the doc says.
Now, this next tip is for the smokers out there. If you’re a smoker, you might be tempted to light up a cigarette or hit a vape while drinking. But doing so can actually cause a worse hangover.
“The Center of Alcohol and Addiction Studies found that college students were more likely to report hangover symptoms after drinking episodes if they smoked more heavily on the day they drank,” Dr. Wagner says.
And, finally, if you’re planning on hitting the bar or gathering with buddies, take your vitamins. No, really. Dr. Wagner’s final tip is to take vitamin B and zinc to curb hangover.
“They found that people whose food and beverage consumption contained greater amount of zinc and B vitamins had less severe hangovers,” he says, citing a study from the Journal of Clinical Medicine.
For a bonus tip at no extra charge, Dr. Wagner advises eating breakfast the day after. This helps lift your likely-low blood sugar after a night of drinking, curbing the symptoms of hangover. The doc recommends toast and juice, so maybe skip that greasy diner meal you’re actually craving.
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