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Beating Your Hangover

This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at Queen's U chapter.

1. Prevention is key.

An important theme in traditional Chinese medicine is that prevention is always better than cures or medication. With that in mind, the best way to get through the day after a great night out is to simply not drink to the point of causing a hangover – or even at all! Know your drinking limits and learn how to say no once you’ve passed them. Don’t drink on an empty stomach. Drink lots of water throughout the night. Or better, learn how to have fun without alcohol, even while all your friends are smashed. Believe it or not, it is possible, and it can be just as much fun, too.

2. Last minute prevention also works too – ALWAYS chug a bunch of water before you sleep.

While it is possible to have a great night without alcohol, sometimes ya girl just needs a drink, or a couple drinks, or a few couple drinks. Before you know it, you’ve drank well into your hangover threshold – but there is still hope! Hangovers stem from dehydration – so to prevent them, simply hydrate. Down a whole bottle of water before you fall asleep, and it will make your next day infinitely better. In an informal survey of my friends, a surprising majority revealed this to be their hangover prevention secret.

While I could stop here, because this trick is usually enough to fully prevent a hangover, Imust recall that humans are flawed, and intoxicated humans are (usually) even stupider. There will be nights when you hit the sack right away, forgetting to drink water before bed. And lo and behold, you will wake up with a piercing headache and a bad feeling in your stomach. While traditional Chinese medicine will argue that it is too late for you, I will still attempt to propose several solutions that have saved me in the past.

3. Get up and take a cold shower.

The cold water will help wake you up while washing the smell of alcohol off your body. While this may prove to be harder than it sounds, you do not want to start your day at school or work reeking of last night’s drinks.

4. Eat carby, greasy food.

Perhaps an easier and much more enjoyable solution than the last, this one takes minimal effort. Simply proceed to your nearest fast food joint or breakfast diner and chow down on some burgers or toast. While I can’t say I fully understand the science behind this (something about carbs bringing your blood sugar levels back up), I just trust and go with it. A great meal also makes me happier, thus, at least temporarily, removing the cranky from the cranky day after.

5. Painkillers and vitamin B.

Again, don’t really know the science behind this; I just go with it and it seems to help. I’ve had the best experience with Advil when it comes to easing a bad headache. As for the vitamins, it’s got something to do with how alcohol is a diuretic that causes you to lose lots of vitamins and nutrients; in any case, a regular daily dose of vitamins won’t hurt you.

6. Rest.

The first break you are able to get from whatever responsibility you forgot you had today, use for a nap! While showers and toast and painkillers help me survive the day with a slightly less severe hangover, nothing cures one better than a good, hearty nap. The first nap I take while hungover usually results in me waking up completely better.

That being said, once I’ve spent almost my entire day recovering from a few fun hours the night before, I promise myself every time that I will not drink past my hangover threshold ever again. When it comes to hangovers, prevention and responsible drinking is truly key.

Drink responsibly, friends!

Holly is a fourth year Commerce student at Queen's University. Having been a part of the Her Campus team for the last two years, she looks forward to publishing the chapter's best work this year! In her free time, you can find her at the gym or reading a book.