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Avoiding a Wine Hangover

We've all been there. Those times in our lives when we swear that alcohol will never again touch our lips. These instances usually happen in the early mornings, with the cracks from the bathroom linoleum digging into our knees and our contact lenses glued to our eyeballs as if holding on for dear life, afraid that the heaves of our stomach will cause them to fall out.

With alcohol freely flowing – booze oozing out of bottles, people professing their love for each other, glasses of wine practically filling themselves up – it's easy to forget the hangover that awaits in the coming hours. Lurking in the bathroom, hiding beneath the sink or behind a closed shower curtain, this hangover is sure to pop into our lives anytime we play the role of the unsuspecting partier, leaving us to swear off drinking for life or longer.

Though everything has a price, and a hangover may very well be the price we pay for a wild night out, drinking wine does not always have to cost you in the form of a hangover. Taking some precautions can mean the difference between feeling fine and shooting a beady-eyed glare in the direction of every bottle in your wine cellar.

Drink Water

Alcohol dehydrates you, which is why the next day is met with a headache and the ability to drink three bottles of soda, five liters of water, and a pot of coffee without ever having to pee. The best way to thwart this is to drink a glass of water for every glass of wine you drink. While wine does contain water, the alcohol in the wine trumps the water's effect, disallowing you to utilize duality and count a glass of wine as both water and alcohol. Drinking a glass of water for every glass of wine will keep you hydrated, decreasing the chances of a rough morning.

Eat Before

Drinking on an empty stomach may seem like a good idea. As the sensation of wine glides down your esophagus, setting up residence by itself in your stomach and making you feel giddier than it would setting up residence next to a five course meal, drinking on empty can cause you to run out of gas in hangover hell. Eating about an hour before going out drinking, however, helps to absorb the alcohol, keeping you from getting too drunk too quickly. While you don't need to eat everything in sight, eating a meal containing bread or pasta is a good way to arm yourself with a hangover deterrent.

Don't Mix with Prescription Drugs

Several prescription drugs contain a label that says, "This medicine will increase the effects of alcohol." While some people may look at this and see it as a way to save money at the bars, taking a few pills and generating a virtual two for one deal is probably not the best way to save a buck. Prescription pills and alcohol can be a dangerous combination and when your body is met with a dangerous combination, it fights back, doing all it can to kick any dangerous substances out of your system. This can only lead to a wilder than intended night, and a morning full of mourning.

Know When to Say When

Though a saying usually associated with drinking and driving, knowing when to say when is also applicable to drinking in general. Even if you drink plenty of water, drink on a full stomach, and lay off prescription drugs, drinking huge amounts of wine can still cause you to get sick. When wine is flowing smoothly, it's easy to keep drinking without realizing the amount of alcohol you are actually consuming. Because the human brain has a late reaction to alcohol, you may be getting extremely drunk without immediately feeling inebriated. It's best to drink slowly, pacing yourself to avoid that one moment where you rise from your chair and realize, three drinks too late, that you've consumed far too much. Drink in moderation and remind those around you that friends don't let friends get hangovers.

Obviously, the foolproof way of avoiding a hangover is to not drink at all. But, there's no fun in that; the fact that the Great Depression was preceded by a decade without alcohol is no coincidence. We all want the ability to eat, drink, and be merry. And we all want a glass of wine to savor. By simply being proactive in your drinking, you should be able to avoid regret the morning after. And you should be able to avoid the realization of why, when it comes down to it, a hangover is really just two four letter words.

About Jenn Jordan

  • Kaonashi

    I can attest to the “drinking on an empty stomach” warning. I missed a football game in college because I stupidly drank like a fish while hungry. I was too hungover to even stand up straight in the shower the next day and had to sell my ticket to a friend.

    Let’s not forget what happened to Donna Martin at the prom, people! ;)

  • STM

    Don’t drink more than a couple of glasses of red … it’s full of tannins that can give you a shocking headache. While it might be indistiguishable from the real hangover at the time of suffering, it’s actually a contributing factor to the ongoing pain level.

    If you must drink large amounts of wine, drink white (perhaps become a chardonnay socialist/liberal and expand your social circle at the same time). However, I’d suggest drinking hooligan soup – good-quality, high alcohol beer – instead. Vast quantities of the stuff … followed by a litre of water before retiring, if you can actually remember to do it.

    While the oft-forgotten water will reduce the dehydration/diuretic effect of the alcohol, it won’t actually stop the hangover fully.

    There is only one cure for that: a good day’s sleep and a couple of headache pills.

  • Christopher Rose

    I’ve drunk more than a couple of glasses of red on more than one occasion, ok, lots more, and rarely had a hangover.

    Not surprised you prefer “Hooligan Soup”, STM, you old convict you!

    Oh, there’s a great cure for a hangover, hair of the dog! Works every time.

  • kontaktlinser online

    I think you should give up smoking much wine and alcohol. These kinds of drink are very harmful to your stomach.

  • Dr Dreadful

    Ah, you see, kontaktlinser, that’s where you’re going wrong. Never attempt to smoke wine. One drag and it gets all down your chest. That, and it’s the devil of a job to get it to light.

  • Jet Gardner

    Voice of experience Doc?

  • Piilolinssit

    I friend once told me that orange juice would help to hangover, but i never tried it because i dont drink too much.

  • Nic

    A good advice is to not mix too much different drinks but on the other hand the best way is to not drink at all but that would be not so enjoyable when spending a nightout with friends.

  • lins

    I think your last point are the most crucial one for many people.

    People think that they can take more than they really can, and that results in the baddest hangovers ever!

    Some people think that products with a large percentage of sugar helps when you have a hangover, I personally think it is very hard to believe. Do you know anything about this?

  • Rizwan

    Drinking in moderate quantity helps