How Not To: get a hangover! (The Olive Fox archive)

There's nothing quite like a morning after to really bring you down from the night before. It doesn't matter if you spent the night happily dancing, laughing with friends and maybe even flirting with a certain super-cute someone at the bar...waking up with a splitting headache, sore throat and swirling tummy will always dampen the memories and the whole mood of the morning. Ughh. 

Maybe this particular morning after will be it; the hangover is so bad that it makes you want to swear off alcohol, refuse any future nights out and have a hardcore detox. I mean, is there much point going out and getting crazy if it just means you'll feel like this every morning after?! 

(Photo: Erin Veness)

WELL, hold up. What if I told you that the feeling could go away? That if you follow a few of these simple steps (yes, I'm aware I sound like a fake health company internet scam right now, bear with me) you could bid farewell to those grim hangover feels?

I have always been semi-famous in my friendship group for managing to avoid or stave off hangovers. No, really. When I first started going out at 16/17, I would down alcopops, drain bars of Malibu and knock back £1 shots like there was no tomorrow – because, for me, tomorrow wasn't a problem. Then all through uni I'd be the envy of everyone in the 9am lectures in last night's clothes with makeup melting off and emergency sick bags stashed under their desks. And these days I can sink 5 double gins in the pub with my colleagues with an important 9am work call scheduled the next day, no sweat. My gosh, I love gin...

Wanna know my secrets? Read on!

Food prep. By this I mean, eat a massive meal about an hour before you start properly drinking. It doesn't just line your stomach, it also softens the effects of the first few pints – and you'll have more energy to dance later on!

More food prep. At uni, if I had a heavy night planned, I used to leave bread out on the kitchen top beside the toaster, plus a bread board and knife, ready for emergency toast before bed at 2am. That was the minimum, tbh. I once had a friend staying with me, and we got extra supplies in before our big night out – we left ourselves 2 packets of scotch pancakes, some crumpets and 2 empty cups with mint teabags ready in them. (We genuinely came home that night and squealed with joy – 'thanks, sober us!!')

* The trick is to leave food that's super easy to 'make' (more like toast) when you get home drunk.
** What's also good about this trick is it stops you spending your last few coins in the chippy en route home after midnight. Well, I say 'stops'...

Water. For goodness' sake, drink water. At pre-drinks, have a plastic water bottle to hand so you can gulp it as you play drinking games. Alternate alcohol with water once you get to the party/bar/club – my rule is, for every alcoholic beverage you buy and consume, have at least a half pint of water too. Booze can dehydrate and depress you – water counteracts that and evens everything out. The only downside is it means you're queueing for the loo twice as much, but regular peeing is also a good habit when drunk, tbf.

*And never be afraid to ask bar staff for a tap water when ordering a round! I mean, it's the easiest drink they'll have to make that night – they won't mind!!

Cut yourself off. Again, this is just my rule, but most nights I stop drinking by 11pm latest. Usually by then I am sufficiently buzzed and can ride the wave until it's home time. Then by the time I go to bed, I'm already cooling off and the room isn't spinning when I close my eyes. Win!

Walk. If you can get somewhere on foot, do that. Not only does it save money, it keeps your head clear and often saves you from being sick in the back of a taxi (we've all been there). I'd always walk home from a night out at uni – or occasionally I'd hop on the SU safety bus home, because it was free and always hilarious – and never worried about the cold, as I'd have that mythical Booze Jacket on.

So, those are my tips and tricks to have a good night out, but not suffer the painful – and totally avoidable – consequences the next day. Do let me know if you have any others that help you stave off a hangover!

Have a very happy (and responsible) time drinking, y'all. 

This post was originally written for The Olive Fox.


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