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10 tips for avoiding a hangover

If you’ve had a few too many glasses of wine, you’re probably not going to be feeling great in the morning. Boost your chances of avoiding a hangover with our tips. 

Sadly, the only real way of dodging a hangover is to avoid alcohol completely. But sometimes it’s nice to have a few drinks with friends, so what can you do to stop feeling hungover the next morning? 

Why do we get hangovers? 

Drinking too much alcohol make it much more likely you’ll experience a hangover. Alcohol affects us in many ways: it’s dehydrating, which causes headaches, dizziness, and excessive thirst. It also irritates the digestive system, which causes nausea, vomiting and diarrhoea.  

That’s not an exhaustive list of how alcohol affects us, but they tend to be the less desirable side effects that linger the next morning.  

How to avoid a hangover 

While you’re out: 

  • Don’t drink too much 

Your chances of a hangover significantly decrease the less alcohol you drink. Sip on soft drinks in between alcoholic drinks or try mocktails.  

  • Don’t drink on an empty stomach 

The theory that food helps to ‘soak up’ alcohol sounds like an old wives’ tale, but it does have a grain of truth. Eating before you drink alcohol will help lessen your hangover symptoms as food helps slow down the absorption of alcohol into the bloodstream, meaning it takes longer to affect the body. 

  • Stay hydrated 

Water is important for avoiding unpleasant hangover symptoms. Have a few glasses of water throughout the night. 

  • Be wary of darker drinks 

This sounds odd, but drinks that are darker in colour like red wine, whiskey and tequila are thought to make hangovers worse. This is down to compounds called congeners, which can irritate tissues in the brain and inflame blood vessels, both of which mean bad news for your hangover. 

Drinks that are lighter in colour like white wine, vodka and gin are lower in congeners, meaning less of a hangover. 

When you get home 

  • Water, water, water 

Drink water before you go to bed to help with dehydration and keep a glass of water next to the bed to sip from if you wake up with a dry mouth. 

  • Have a snack 

Even if you don’t feel like eating, having a bland and carb-heavy snack like toast or crackers can help settle your stomach. 

In the morning 

  • Drink water 

Remember that glass of water you hopefully put next to your bed last night? It’s time to drink it. Start the day by drinking a big glass of water to start replacing lost fluids.  

  • Eat breakfast 

If you’re feeling sick and shaky in the morning, you might not want to eat anything, but having breakfast can help with both feelings. Your blood sugar will likely be on the low side thanks to the alcohol, so it’s important to refuel. A good balance of carbs, fat and protein is what you should aim for, so something like toast with eggs and avocado is perfect. 

  • Don’t drink more alcohol 

‘Hair of the dog’, AKA treating your hangover by drinking more alcohol the next morning, doesn’t work. All this does is delay your hangover symptoms, making your eventual hangover even worse. 

  • Have a nap 

If you’re able to go back to bed after breakfast, do it! Sleeping won’t cure your hangover, but it will help lessen your symptoms. 


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