The ball is poised, ready to begin its descent into a throng of boisterous celebrators and a new year. You too are prepared for the evening’s festivities, clad in a bright outfit and raring to join in on the fun. Your plans may include a bar (or two). You may be attending an elegant gala in a four-star hotel, or you may be off to a friend’s for a small, intimate party. Whatever the plans, it’s almost certain that alcohol will be involved. And since it’s a crazed celebration, it will probably be too much alcohol (if not for you, at least for someone you know), which means tomorrow morning may not be as happy as you would like. You may find yourself reeling from the mother of all hangovers – nauseous, dizzy and aching — unless you take the right precautions before, as and after you drink.
• Eat – depending on whom you ask, you’ll be told to eat anything from folds of fat to fields of carbs. But the actual contents of your plate aren’t that important. You want volume. As long as you fill your belly, it doesn’t matter if you carbo-load or meat it up.
• Hydrate – have some water. It will lessen the severity of your upcoming dehydration. Milk is also recommended, as it supposedly coats the lining of your stomach minimizing alcohol absorption.
• Eat – if you eat as you drink, you’ll further the benefits of your pre-drinking meal and you’ll slow down alcohol-wise.
• Hydrate – regardless of how much water you had beforehand, the alcohol you consume during the party is going to rob your body of moisture. Have a glass of water in between drinks.
• Pace yourself – it’s not a race. There are no rules that say you must drink an excessive amount simply because it is New Year’s Eve. Take it easy.
• Choose one – you may want to sample all of the bar’s possibilities, but you shouldn’t. Picking one type of alcohol be it beer, vodka, rum or wine will lessen the likelihood of a painful morning
• Eat – you may not feel up to it, but eating will ease the hangover’s intensity. Despite all of the folklore advising tripe soup or similarly exotic concoctions, your best bets are anything that raises your blood sugar, burns the alcohol and settles your stomach.
• Hydrate – if you can’t handle any more water, have a sports drink.
• Pop a pill – take an over-the-counter pain reliever. But remember that an excessive amount, just as liquor can, will destroy your liver.
• Replenish your nutrients – whether you eat something teeming with vitamins and minerals, or just remember to take your daily multi, the idea is to replenish the nutrients the alcohol sucked out of you.
• Go back to bed – you can start your New Year’s resolutions in the afternoon (or evening or tomorrow). Your body needs to recuperate. Shut your eyes, and hopefully, the hangover will be gone when you wake up.
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