The most important thing is drink responsibly ( I know, you think blablablabla). But really, this is the best tip. As you get older, hangovers get worse, so you will learn to drink responsible eventually. But what to do if you accidentally drink more than you planned? As a former university student, I do have some experience. I remember times we spent drinking beer until the early morning and then we had to go to class. As a beginner student it was very painful, but as my knowledge and experience grew I could manage better and better. (I am not sure about the knowledge, because of the constant death of my brain cells – you did not know that? alcohol kills brain cells!).
Here, I have split the fight against hangover into 3 parts: before, during and after. If you fight on all fronts your chances are better. The before and during stages are the most effective. So here are my tips.
1. Before, or prevention.
Eat. Eat a lot of fatty and salty foods a few hours before you drink. Go to the party with a full stomach and eat more there. Try to avoid very spicy foods, and concentrate on fatty and salty (like you need an incentive!). If you plan to drink a lot, take 2000 mg (yes 2 thousand milligrams) of vitamin C. With this strategy the alcohol will be absorbed more slowly. You can also try the ultimate Hungarian party food, “zsiros kenyer” (“greased bread”). Use lard, goose fat or duck fat, spread it on a sliced of bread, add thinly sliced onion, finish with a sprinkle of salt and red paprika over the top.
Sometimes it happens that I am drinking a good wine with my friends and realize that I forgot my friend’s wife’s name, tell a story which is not true or have problems walking to the restroom. In most cases I manage to realize that I am getting/got drunk. At this point I switch to drinking mineral water, preferably non-sparkling or lightly sparkling. And I drink a lot of it. I mean really a lot of it, 2-3-4 pints. As much as you can fit into you. You can do this also after a party, before you fall asleep. Just keep yourself awake, watch some TV and drink and drink. This is the most effective method of avoiding hangovers if you are already drunk. If you smoke, then drink 2x as much.
So you fall asleep. If you need to pee every hour during the night, you will be saved. You took my “drink mineral water” advice. Otherwise, you are doomed. You woke up with church bells ringing in your head, while the road workers are breaking concrete in your brain. I told you! Drink water before you go to bed! What to do with you? Well, it happens to the best of us and here is how you ease your pain with more pain.
the nice way
Go have a shower. Alternate ice cold with warm. Do it for 20 minutes. It works, puts you on your feet. Go have a walk. Drink non sparkling mineral water, you can add a little bit of salt. 2000mg of vitamin C might help. Pickles? Yes! Fermented pickles? Double YES! Coffee? no. rich chicken broth or vegetable broth? double yes. Although I have heard that coffee with lemon helps. I tried it. It did help to empty my stomach which was effective in its own (unpleasant) way…
the hair of the dog that bit you
If you really have to be ok next day, drink more alcohol. It will be hard to get it into your body, but in most of the cases it helps you with your hangover. I have to warn you! You will have a hangover, you just postpone it. Also you are shocking your body – this method gets rid of the symptoms, not the drunkenness. Basically you trick your body that you are drunk again. Do it the nice way. I am mentioning this way only because in Central Europe it is a popular way to get rid of a hangover.
I hope this helped. We wish you a great party and a happy New Year ! Please do not end up as the leader of one of the governmental parties in Slovakia.