The fact that it’s fucking 2015 and no one has invented a true cure for hangovers is absolutely ridiculous. What have scientists been doing when they could have been solving this age-old dilemma? I’m starting to think they aren’t even trying. Well, due to my liberal arts education and the fact that I am in no way qualified to dabble in medicine, I cannot offer you any life-changing substance to make the nausea, headache and feeling of imminent death go away. What I can offer you is something almost as valuable: how to prepare. This invaluable information will not completely rid your life of the unfortunate consequences of drinking (drunk texts, overeating, etc), but it will help you plan accordingly to ensure that your morning after is a little less painful.
It’s all about hydration. You can’t always see a night a heavy drinking coming your way, but most of the time, you get a few hours’ notice. This is when you start pounding the coconut water. Drinking an entire 33 oz. Zico carton is my personal recommendation; you really have to commit to this. Don’t like the taste of coconut water? Get over yourself, princess. A few minutes of chugging this will spare you hours of hangover hell. Water is good, too, but the intense hydration of coconut water is what will really give you the freedom to go wild at the bar.
Take a pill. Save the Advil for when you get home; now is the time to invest in PartySmart: these weird capsules are filled with an unknown, “natural” substance and are sold at…you guessed it, Whole Foods. It may be unwise to subject my body to an unknown pill, but I will trust and ingest anything Whole Foods is giving me. After years of experience, I’ve been around the hangover block a time or time (or 500), and I’m familiar with many hangover preventative pills, but PartySmart is for sure the best option. Maybe it’s a mental thing, but after risking suffocation and forcing the floating pill down my throat, this miracle drug always does the trick. Vitamins (especially Vitamin B) are also something you want to consider.
Eat. I’m very hesitant to recommend eating due to the fact that many can run wild with this advice. However, this is an important part of the process due to the fact that having food in your stomach will slow down the alcohol absorption. This is both good and bad because you don’t want to have to drink more (aka consume more calories) just to get a good buzz going. Some people use this as an excuse to go crazy with the carbs and down the entire bread basket before ordering. This is never acceptable behavior unless obesity and diabetes are on your immediate to-do list. I suggest going with fish because it contains fatty acids but won’t weigh you down with excess calories.
Be smart with your first drinks. Before you reach complete blackout, it’s crucial that you are thinking through your drinking decisions. Double first with a water for the first few rounds so that you can maintain your hydration. You may need to make a few extra trips to the bathroom to pee, but hey, healthy kidneys! You also want to do everything in your power to find a drink that has prickly pear in it. Prickly pear extract has been scientifically proven to lessen the after-effects of drinking; it even reduced severe hangovers by 50%. So, why not kill two birds with one stone and drink to your health?
Hangover prevention is in your hands. It is up to you whether you prepare adequately or throw caution to the wind and suffer through the following day. If you are someone who is fortunate enough to not have yet experienced the debilitating side effects of a hangover, may you enjoy these last few years of bliss. But, when you wake up the morning after your 23rd birthday with a pounding headache and pizza remnant strewn across your naked body, this advice will be right here waiting for you.