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5 Tips for Surviving National Hangover Day (1/1/2018)

By Jason Lee in General
| December 30, 2017 12:00 am PDT
New Year's Eve Champagne 2018|Bottles of Water|Everything in Moderation|Prickly Pear Juice

Get excited, people! If you’re anything like me, it’s that time of the year where you’re going to drink yourself silly to watch the calendar change and then swear off alcohol the next day because you can barely move. I know, when I put it that way it doesn’t sound as awesome. But let’s be honest with ourselves…no matter how much we know we’re going to be facing a nasty hangover on January 1st, we can’t convince ourselves not to go out and party our brains out on New Year’s Eve.

Just so we’re all clear, I am not here to try to change your mind. In fact, I will probably make the same questionable decisions in regards to my liver that I make every year. What I am here to do today is try to help you get prepared to deal with that hangover. If you think you’re alone, you’re not. I mean, they created a nationwide holiday for the day. While you’re pretty special, they wouldn’t create that holiday just because you were going to be the only hungover person in the world.

Below, you’re going to find five tips to try to help you survive National Hangover Day. Here’s what you can count on: these tips are tested, and I give them my full seal of approval. If you saw the way that I “behaved” in college, you’d realize that you couldn’t have any better expert on the topic without getting someone from a treatment center.

#1 – Hydrate

Bottles of Water

This is the single biggest thing you can do outside of not drinking (which is no fun). If you can stay hydrated, you can significantly cut down on your hangover. You may have heard this tip before, but you may not have heard the entire tip (because most people give it to you incorrectly). They advise you to start drinking water in between your drinks or right before you start drinking.

While they are correct, you actually need to start hydrating days before the big day. Your body is pretty awesome, but you can’t just make it hydrated in a matter of a few minutes. It takes days for your body to be properly hydrated, so you should start taking care of that by at least the 28th.

What does that entail? It’s pretty dang simple. Start drinking a lot of water and get your body nice and lubricated. Continue doing this through the 31st until you get ready to start heading out with your homies to throw a few back. While you’re at the bar or the party, have a plan to drink some water at some point. Some people say to grab a water in between every drink, which is a great idea as long as intoxicated you agrees to follow it. This prior planning for hydration will help you out if you aren’t the best about getting water down your throat while you’re drinking.

This should be your motivation. The more water you get into your system the few days before and the night of drinking, the better you’re going to feel on January 1st, while everyone else is living in miserable city.

#2 – Have Your Morning Prepared

When you wake up on January 1st, you’re going to be hurting. You are going to be in no shape to go anywhere, find anything, or do anything that resembles being a productive member of society. Hungover you is going to love sober you if you take the initiative to have a few necessities laid out. You should have a Pedialyte (yes, the drink for kiddos), a bunch of ibuprofen, and a plan to get some greasy food ready.

The Pedialyte will help with the inevitable dehydration, the ibuprofen will help with the brain swelling (which is what a hangover really is), and the greasy food is going to help get some stuff in your stomach to soak up all of those lovely toxins you’ll have floating around your body. When I say to have these ready, I don’t mean have them in the cabinet or downstairs in the kitchen. I mean that you need to have these things laid out next to your bed BEFORE you take your first drink.

In the morning, you aren’t going to want to move an inch, and you’re going to love yourself for setting them out. Got people staying over? Be the pal of the year and set some out for them as well. They’ll love you for this, and they won’t be knocking on your door bothering you to help them find it, either. Double win.

As a quick aside here, make sure when you wake up in the morning that you actually consume all of these beautiful things. They will do you no good if you leave them sitting on your nightstand while you writhe in pain.

#3 – Prickly Pear Juice

Prickly Pear Juice

I’m about to hit you with some science. The only proven thing to help prevent a hangover (outside of things like hydration) is prickly pear juice. Yup. You may struggle to find this stuff, but if you can get your hands on some, it will significantly lower your hangover symptoms. Fox News ran a story on this, where they cited studies showing that this was an effective preventative measure.

The studies show that you should be drinking this before you start your New Year’s bender, preferably a few hours prior. I’m not completely sure if regular pear juice fits the bill, but according to my research, you need the real stuff.

#4 – Alcohol Quality

I am all for saving money, but when you try too hard to save on your alcohol, you’re going to pay for it in the morning. Cheaper alcohol has more toxins in it and is typically less distilled. This means more crap that will get stuck in your body and give you that nice pain come New Year’s Day. My advice is this: if you can afford to drink above the bottom shelf, go for it. This doesn’t mean that you have to get the super-expensive stuff, but at least nothing that comes in a plastic bottle.

If you’re going somewhere on New Year’s with an open bar, chances are that you’re going to be staring down a lot of glasses of the cheap stuff. If the bar has two options for their open bar (one being the higher quality), shell out the few bucks if you can. If you’re buying for a party at your house or a friend’s house, do a little homework on the internet and find the cleanest alcohol you can that’s within your price range.

Lastly, don’t mix a bunch of different types of alcohol. Stick to one poison for the night, minus maybe a glass of champagne at midnight. If it’s going to be a beer night, then stick to the cold ones. If you’re feeling classy and want to drink wine, stick to that. Or if you’re ready to get wild and want to go the hard liquor route, choose one type. If you’re bouncing between whiskey and vodka, you’re going to feel that the next morning.

#5 – I Promised I Wouldn’t Say This One…

Everything in Moderation

Look, I know I said in the intro that I wouldn’t say this, but I can’t help myself. The best way to prevent a hangover is to not drink your own body weight in alcohol. It’s one of those things that seems like a killer idea at the time, but when it comes down to it, you’re going to regret it in the morning. Think about what is more important to you. If getting rip-roaring drunk is more important than not feeling like death the next day, go for it. But if you want to be a functioning member of society on January 1st, you may want to consider taking it easy.

I am not saying not to drink. All I am saying is that you may want the word “moderation” to trickle into the equation. Here’s the secret, though: you have to firmly decide this BEFORE you take that first drink. Intoxicated you is not going to be as level-headed as sober you. Figure out what you want to do, and then do your best to stick to the plan.

My Final Words of Advice

Have fun and be safe. That’s seriously all it comes down to. If you want to live it up and are willing to take in the pain with the rest of the world on January 1st, go for it. Follow these tips, and you can make that pain a little less. Prior planning prevents poor performance…and it also helps to alleviate the full brunt of a nasty hangover. Happy New Year!

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