Most hangover prevention tips are usually based on myth rather than fact. With so many different suggestions and conflicting scientific studies, it can be tricky to know what really works. There also seems to be more emphasis on the latest hangover cures than how to prevent them in the first place. And those articles that suggest ‘simply not drinking in the first place’ aren’t really that helpful. So, we decided to look into the research for ourselves and put together our own practical guide. Read on for 10 hangover prevention tips that actually work.
#1 – Adopt a Pre-Emptive Approach
Hanover prevention is better than cure. The more preventative steps you can take in advance, the better you’ll feel the next day. By preparing your body in ahead of time, it’ll be better equipped to deal with the influx of toxins and remove them more efficiently.
If you know that there’s a night of drinking in store for you, then take some basic steps in advance. Drink plenty of water during the day so that your well-hydrated to start with. Take any preventative supplements (such as the Hangover Prevention Topical Patch) before drinking so that their ingredients have time to be absorbed and take effect. And place a glass of water by your bedside so you’re visually reminded to rehydrate before going to sleep.
#2 – Alternate Drinks with Non-Alcoholic Beverages
Drinking non-alcoholic drinks in between your alcoholic ones is key to hangover prevention. This strategy addresses two of the biggest influences on the severity of your hangover – the total amount of alcohol you consume and dehydration.
The overall amount of alcohol that you drink in one sitting has the biggest bearing on how hungover you’ll feel the next day. Many of us know from bitter experience that the more alcohol we drink, the worse we’ll feel afterward. But alternating non-alcoholic drinks like water or fruit juices can reduce the total amount of alcohol you consume. It also slows the rate at which you ingest it which buys your body more time to metabolize it.
#3 – Consume Ginger
Ginger has long been known as a treatment for nausea, with car-sick children often encouraged to nibble on gingerbread men as a quick fix. However, ginger has also been shown to be effective in hangover prevention. One study gave a ginger supplement to half their participants and a placebo to the other. They found that hangover symptoms such as nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea, were all reduced in the group who had consumed ginger. This study also found that ginger was most effective when consumed prior to drinking alcohol rather than as a treatment afterward.
Ginger tea, gingerbread, or smoothies blended with root ginger may all help you to combat the effects of a hangover.
#4 – Avoid Dark Drinks
It’s not just the alcohol that makes us feel terrible. Congeners (also known as aldehydes) are another cause of hangovers that are contained in drinks like red wine, beer, and dark rum. These are a by-product of the fermentation process which our body treats as a toxin. If they build up in our system, then they can cause stress hormones (like epinephrine) to be released.
The good news is, you can use this knowledge to your advantage. Avoiding dark drinks and opting for clear, distilled ones will decrease the amount of aldehyde that you consume. Gin, vodka, or white rum are all good choices in this regard. Although it’s important to note that they still contain alcohol, so drinking these won’t enable you to avoid a hangover completely.
#5 – Dose up on Vitamins
Heavy drinking can affect how vitamins are absorbed and used by the body. B-vitamins such as niacin, folate, and cobalamin (also known as vitamin B3, B9, and B12) play a crucial role in many areas of health. From everyday food metabolism to the longer-term prevention of heart disease and cancer, there are many health reasons that it’s important to maintain vitamin sufficiency.
Dosing up on vitamins before alcohol consumption can help to minimize nutrient depletion. If you start out with a vitamin deficit, then you’re more likely to feel the negative effects of drinking, such as tiredness or brain fog.
#6 – Try Prickly Pear
Prickly pear is a cactus fruit that was originally discovered in Mexico. Research shows that it’s a rich source of vitamins, polyphenols, amino acids, and polyunsaturated fatty acids (also known as ‘good’ fats). These nutrients help to deliver some impressive health benefits, including antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, hypoglycemic, neuroprotective, and antimicrobial properties. For the purposes of hangover prevention, it’s the anti-inflammatory properties that we’re particularly interested in.
Prickly pear extract has been shown to reduce the inflammatory response to stimuli like alcohol. One randomized crossover trial studied the hangover prevention effects in 55 subjects with impressive results. The participants were split into two groups and either given a dose of prickly pear extract or a placebo prior to consuming alcohol. Two weeks later the groups were reversed, and the exercise was repeated. In both cases, they found that when people consumed prickly pear prior to drinking, the risk of a severe hangover decreased by more than half! Blood test results suggested that this was down to the inflammation response being subdued.
Depending on where you are in the world, you might find prickly pear tricky to come by in the supermarket. However, it is available in supplement form and a crucial ingredient in our Hangover Prevention Topical Patch.
#7 – Don’t Drink on an Empty Stomach
Consuming alcohol on an empty stomach is never a good idea. Without food to slow down the absorption of alcohol, you’ll feel the effects faster and more strongly. This can lead to you feeling drunk faster, or more intoxicated than you expected (which can cause its own set of embarrassing problems). Not to mention the fact that your hangover is likely to be even worse than usual the next day.
One tried and tested hangover prevention strategy is to eat before you drink, as well as during. This stabilizes blood sugar and slows down the rate of absorption so that your body has more time to process it. The rate of alcohol metabolism can’t be increased but combining drinks with food helps to make it more manageable.
#8 – Take Milk Thistle Supplements
Milk Thistle has a long history of being used to treat liver diseases. Its healing properties were first described by the ancient Greeks and since then it’s maintained a strong reputation for aiding liver health.
The active ingredient in Milk Thistle is silibin, which is known to contain antioxidants that may aid hangover prevention. Consuming milk thistle in supplement form can improve your liver health so that it’s able to metabolize alcohol more efficiently. This means you can expel the alcohol more quickly and reduce its negative side effects.
#9 – Get Plenty of Sleep
During sleep, your body rests and repairs itself, so getting enough of it is crucial on any night of the week. But staying up late drinking and then waking up thirsty can play havoc with your shut-eye. Consuming alcohol also disrupts our sleep patterns which means that we get less of the deep ‘rapid eye movement’ sleep which our bodies desperately need.
If you’ve overdone it on the alcohol, then taking steps to get good quality sleep can aid hangover prevention. Keep a drink by your bed so you can sip it if you do wake up, then quickly roll over and go straight back to sleep. Make sure you’ve drawn the curtains and actually sleep in your bed, no matter how tempting the sofa may seem at 2am.
#10 – Skip the Bubbles
Champagne is renowned for causing dizziness faster than most drinks and there’s a good reason behind it. The bubbles in champagne increase the pressure in your stomach which forces alcohol out through your stomach lining. Because it enters your bloodstream quickly, you’ll notice the effects much faster.
Skipping the bubbles helps to avoid this issue and reduces the rate of alcohol absorption. Like some of the other tips we’ve shared, this gives your body more time to metabolize it properly, so you feel good as new the next day.
Hangover Prevention Supplements
Our hangover prevention patch combines several of these strategies into one simple solution. It can help to prevent some of the unwanted side effects of drinking so that you look and feel your best the next day. The patches contain a proprietary blend of vitamins, Milk Thistle, Ginger Root, and Prickly Pear. By wearing one before you start drinking, you can minimize the tiredness, nausea, and headaches that many people suffer with.
The Hangover Prevention Topical Patch helps to minimize the effects of alcohol, thanks to its unique combination of vitamins, minerals, and PMD complex. Alcohol is a toxin, so when we consume large amounts our bodies try to remove it as quickly as possible. Unfortunately, expelling the by-products of alcohol also means that we lose other useful nutrients like vitamins and minerals. It’s this sudden deficiency that can cause many of the symptoms of a hangover.
Our hangover patch contains a high dose of vitamins C, B1, B2, B6, and B12, to rebalance your nutrient levels and leave you feeling revitalized. The unique PMD complex provides additional nutrients that can be beneficial for hangover symptoms, including milk thistle extract, ginger root extract, taurine, pantethine, choline, and prickly pear extract. So, if you know that you have a big night coming up or regularly take work clients out for drinks, then a hangover patch may help you recover more quickly the next day.