Do you ever get those hangovers that keep you in bed all day - sometimes even two days? Where even the idea of getting up and being productive is too much to consider? Splitting headaches and nausea so bad that even the thought of breakfast makes you want to puke? Where all you can do is reach for the tylenol, chug some water, and hope for the best?
We’ve all been there before. And we don’t want to be there again. That’s why we’re here to breakdown the best, step-by-step method for preventing those nasty hangovers. With all the spammy hangover “cures” all over the web, it can be difficult to wade through what is and isn’t true in an industry that is oversaturated with bogus advice.
This bulletproof hangover prevention process is backed by science every step of the way. But this isn’t some one-step, easy-peasy, cure-all. The key to hangover success is prevention. And if you really want to prevent your hangover, you’ve got to start your preparation well in advance.
“Prevention... is the only way to truly treat a hangover,” says Dr. Ed Boyer, a medical toxicologist at Boston’s Brigham and Women’s Hospital. You are 90% more likely to wake up hangover-free if you begin your hangover prevention strategy the day before. And if you wait until the next morning to start fighting that hangover, you are 100% too late.
Get started early. This step-by-step, hour-by-hour guide is full of evidence-based methods that will help you avoid the bad hangover symptoms and enjoy both your night out and the next morning.
The Day Before You Go Out
Step 1. Hydrate your body Drink a ton of water
If you know that you are going to be drinking that evening, make sure to drink a ton of water throughout the day beforehand. Alcohol is a diuretic which means that it causes the kidneys to send water straight to the bladder instead of retaining it in the body - AKA it makes you pee a lot. This causes dehydration which may contribute to symptoms like thirst, headache, fatigue and dry mouth. Head this off as much as possible by drinking a ton of water throughout the day before you go out to make sure you’re as hydrated as possible before you start drinking.
Two Hours Before You Go Out
Step 2. Eat a fatty meal - Nourish yourself with healthy fats
You’ve probably heard that you should never drink on an empty stomach. There’s some truth to that - but not all foods are created equally when it comes to hangover prevention. Alcohol is not fat-soluble, so if you eat a fat-heavy meal before drinking, the fat in the meal will create a lining in your stomach that will significantly slow down the absorption of alcohol and help prevent a hangover the next morning. But keep in mind that a fatty meal doesn’t necessarily mean it has to be full of unhealthy saturated fats like a greasy burger (saturated fat should only make up 5-6% of your caloric intake, any more than that is bad for your heart and cardiovascular health). There are plenty of healthy fats that will do the same thing. We recommend something healthy and plant-based like avocados, olive oil, or nuts like almonds or walnuts that will have the same hangover preventing effect without the cholesterol of a burger.
As You Begin Drinking
Step 3. Take an Over EZ - Use a hangover prevention vitamin or supplement
Take one Over EZ capsule with your first drink of the night to effectively prevent many of the worst hangover symptoms. This all-natural supplement helps your body neutralize acetaldehyde, the main hangover-causing toxin, and flush it from your body quickly, effectively reducing your hangover symptoms. First, Over EZ’s unique combination of Zinc, Magnesium, and the Amino Acid L-Cysteine safeguard your liver from damage sustained while drinking and work together to prevent and reduce hangover symptoms. Next, Over EZ’s combination of B-complex vitamins, minerals, and others ingredients including Chicory Root, Milk Thistle, Amla Extract, Chinese Date Extract, Grape Extract and Beet Juice restore the body’s natural balance and replenish necessary vitamins and nutrients in order to get you back to feeling your best.
As You Are Drinking
Step 4. Keep it light and don’t mix your drinks - Stay away from mixing spirits, distilled drinks and beer. - Pick your Poison wisely
Some alcohols have a higher concentration of congeners, chemicals that contain impurities and can contribute to worsened hangover symptoms. In general, lighter colored alcohols like vodka, gin, and white wine have lower concentrations of congeners than darker colored alcohols like whiskey, dark rum, and red wine. If you want to head off a hangover, stick to lighter colored drinks throughout your night. If you want to play it safe, the best practice is to choose one beverage and stick to it. Make sure not to mix drinks as it increases the likelihood that you’ll lose track of what you’ve had, drink more, and drink faster without realizing it - AKA you’ll be a lot more hungover in the morning.
Step 5. Pace yourself & drink water - This isn't a horse race.
Remember, it takes your body about one hour to process one alcoholic beverage. If you drink faster than that you can almost guarantee that you’ll feel the effects the next morning. Keep an eye on the clock and sip your drinks slowly in order to prevent some of the worst hangover symptoms. And of course, always drink a glass of water between each alcoholic beverage.
Step 6. Snack throughout the evening
Eating while you drink is key to continuing to slow the absorption of alcohol. Be sure to continue to eat throughout the night but avoid salty foods, they’ll only dehydrate you more. Something healthy but carb-heavy is always good - think whole wheat crackers & cheese or finger sandwiches. If you want something to take with you, a couple granola bars or a bag of veggie chips should do the trick. Just don’t go too heavy on the fatty foods (burgers, chips, fried foods), they won’t help your stomach and you may wake up feeling queasy or sick.
At the End of the Night
Step 7. Stop while you’re ahead
There’s no need for that last shot. In order to avoid the worst of a hangover, skip that last drink. Instead, have a big glass of water before bed and get a good night’s sleep - both will help you wake up the next morning feeling refreshed.
As Soon As You Wake Up the Next Morning
Step 8: Don't skip your routine
There’s a reason we are creatures of habit. Your body actually rewards you when you wake up close to the same time everyday even if you got less sleep. In fact, keeping a regular routine can improve your health in a ton of different ways including lowering your stress levels, improving your eating habits, and allowing time for regular exercise. You might want to sleep in after a night out but don’t hit that snooze button - your body will thank you for it later.
Step 9. Don’t pound coffee. In fact, stay away from caffeine.
One cup of coffee is ok, but don’t down the whole pot the next morning. Large doses of caffeine will dehydrate you even more than you already are. Instead, grab a glass of water or orange juice. Orange juice is packed full of Vitamin C which, according to some studies, can help accelerate alcohol metabolism.
Step 10. Drink lemon, sugar, salt water
This is one of the easiest and healthiest ways to naturally fight a hangover. If you’re still feeling a little rough the next morning, mix up a concoction of water, lemon juice, and a couple pinches each of sugar and pink Himalayan salt. This is essentially a homemade Oral Rehydration Solution (ORS). Alcohol drains your body of electrolytes but the salt and sugar help replenish these while the water hydrates you. Combine that with the high concentration of Vitamin C and citric acid in lemon juice and you’ll be feeling better and re-hydrated in no time.
An Hour or Two After Getting Up
Step 10. Make an omelette
Eating anything will help fight that hangover, but eggs are a particularly good choice if you are feeling the effects of the previous evening. Eggs contain high levels of cysteine, an amino acid that helps break down acetaldehyde, the root cause of hangovers. Over EZ also contains an especially strong dose of the same hangover-fighting amino acid, so if you take an Over EZ the night before and eat some eggs the next morning, you’ll be feeling great in no time.
As the Day Goes On
Step 11: Exercise!
Go for a run, lift some weights, hit the yoga studio - whatever your preferred workout is, do it. Several studies have shown that exercising after a night out is one of the best ways to kick the remnants of a hangover. Be sure you’re well hydrated before you begin because a hard workout will dehydrate you more, but your efforts will be rewarded with less brain fog, better memory/cognition, and increased endorphins.
You can have the best of both worlds. Have that drink with your buddies and make it to your morning workout the next day. Just follow these step-by-step, science-backed ways to prevent the worst hangovers and live your life compromise-free.