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After The Party Is The…Hangover: 12 Tips To Lessen The Pain

Aside from being a Parlour co-founder and contributor, digital/marketing maven and all-around cool chick—I’m pretty serious about my drinking.

As alcoholic as that sounds, it comes with good reason as I worked-in and specialized in wine and spirits advertising for about five years. What happens when your job is to make getting drunk look sexy? You have a lot of drinks…for free. And by drinks I mean bottles. After a while, I built up a pretty mean tolerance to alcohol but that didn’t come without some serious weight-gain and soul searching concerning alcoholism after being arrested for a DUI. Yeah I said it. Needless to say, I left that life behind.

But with the pain comes a blessing in a lesson learned right? Because through it all, I pretty much came to work the next day thanks to some tried-and-true hangover remedies that have made me human in time for the daily grind. So before you get ready for the party—make sure you keep the following in mind for when it’s time to get.it.in.

First, a disclaimer. This post isn’t to encourage over-indulgence. This post is to discourage you writhing around on the bathroom floor the morning after. Because I’ve done that and a) it’s not sexy and b) you will have to clean your bathroom afterwards which is a pain in the ass when you are hungover.

Before The Night Starts….

1. Eat Something & Drink Plenty Of Water
It’s simple. Eat a good meal before you drink. Make sure it’s hearty and filling. This can slow the absorption of alcohol into your body and help you manage the night better.
Also, water is your BFF before and while you are beverating. Take a sip or a gulp between your sips of your cocktail—you will thank yourself in the morning.

During The Evening…

2. Drink Well
And by this, I don’t mean to drink “well” or cheap liquor. Redman famously said, “If you’re gonna be a monkey…be a gorilla.” Apply the same thing to your drinking palette—go top-shelf. This does not mean that you have spend money either. Finer brands are more expensive because they are made better and chances are you will drink less liquor because you won’t need to drink multiple servings. And with that, the price evens out and your chances of a hangover are much lower.

Also try to avoid anything that taste like kool-aid, is an un-natural shade of blue or basically has tons of sugar and flavor mixers. Chances are you are drinking 80% sugar with 20% strong alcohol. This does two things: it increases your chance of a vicious hangover and it is LOADED with unneeded calories.

3. Drink Straight, Simple and Slow
Generally, I drink straight alcohol (whiskey!) – or mixed with soda water and sip through the evening. This does two important things that can contribute to an awesome evening: it saves you money, and allows you to gradually slip into that comfy buzz and pace yourself. Throwing back shots of alcohol (aside from that group celebratory shot that we all are guilty of) repeatedly not only flattens your wallet but opens up the doorway for you to get drunk—fast. When you get drunk, generally your good judgement takes a back seat, which can lead to a very dangerous situation. And if you must mix your drink, keep your mixers very simple, think club soda, a splash of cola or juice. Speaking of keeping it simple, don’t mix your categories, especially wine and liquor. Think of wine and liquor like Ike and Tina Turner. Awesome in theory but the reality is a disaster. A shot and a beer is a classic combo, but in large amounts you will be wasted and bloated in no time.

Ok, so you didn’t do any of the above and now it’s the next morning and you feel like death…..

4. It’s Mental
Not to get totally zen, but hangovers are 40% mental. If you think you are dying, you will really feel like you are dying. Keep it in perspective—unless you really are suffering from alcohol poisoning, this is temporary and it will pass. Keep that in mind and you will get through the day faster.

5. Hair Of The Dog
Also known as…have another mini-drink. The Bloody Mary is most associated with this remedy, but if not done right this can just delay your hangover.
Essentially, a hangover is a minor-withdraw (think Pookie) but from alcohol. So why do drug addicts take drugs? To not get sick. Same principle applies here but this doesn’t mean to slam a few shots in the morning. Try a beer, or a cocktail high in vitamins/minerals such as a Bloody Mary. Shortly after, start to hydrate and you should be ok (albeit very tired) for the day.

6. Alka-Seltzer
Even though they don’t say it on the packaging that much anymore, it’s neutralizes stomach acid and helps with your headache making it a wonderful morning-after compainion. But it does contain aspirin, so if you are allergic to aspirin, tread lightly.

7. Coconut Water
It’s true. It’s amazing. And because Bayer can’t make money off of it, plenty of “sources” will tell you that it doesn’t do anything for you. But think about this, it’s low in calories, sugar and is a natural rehydrater for the system, containing the same five electrolytes that are found in human blood. And since alcohol is a diuretic which leads to dehydration, which is the cause for many hangovers, coconut water rocks.

8. Exercise
The very thought of a treadmill while your hungover may make you sick, but it has been known to help you recover faster. A brisk walk may be all you need.

9. Banana Coconut Milk Smoothie
Bananas are another one of nature’s super-foods and it’s high-potassium content will help with the dehydration and cramped muscles that come with it. Now blend that with coconut milk and a little bit of natural-sugar giving honey? It’s amazing and has taken me from zero to fifty in less than an hour.

10. Fresh/Organic Fruit Juice
Not only does the high amount of natural sugar give you energy, fruit juice can also speed up your recovery  and help your body expel toxins. Try to keep it organic as some juices may have added sugars which can counteract your healing process.

11. Go International While On The Go
I travel a lot and it’s not like there is a bushel of bananas or a kitchen in my hotel room. So through my travels I’ve been lucky to pick up a few international remedies which seem to work. Berocca (which is now sold again in the US but the Australian/UK versions are better) and Brasil’s Engov are my two favorites. While Berocca is like Alka-Seltzer on a vitamin B2 surge, Engov has to be taken in pairs, one before you drink and one before you hit the bed. Both contribute to better mornings.

12. While this isn’t a tip, it works. Just don’t drink! You’d be surprised what ginger ale in a champagne glass can do for a great night out, and nothing is better than being the sober person in the room and people watching. Everything designed for performance, such as your body, needs a break. Learn from your mistakes, give it a rest and then go easy.

So ladies, happy and safe drinking—see you at the bar!

Last 5 posts by Shannon Washington