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Got a little too happy at The Henry last night? Slightly rowdy at Roosters? Or corked too many before dancing away Caprice? Don’t worry, we’re not here to judge (that’s what your friends are for), we’re here to help. We want to make sure last night’s alcohol facilitated calorie binge doesn’t turn into a lazy morning-after calorie rampage.

If you are anything like me (an old fart with a sensitive stomach), waking up the next morning can leave you cursing like a sailor and wishing for death, whilst writing off your entire day to watch Netflix in bed. The girl who mere hours ago was the literal spitting image of Rihanna dancing to “Work” (it happened, okay), now looks like a washed out Nicolas Cage, with Donald Trump’s hair.

Sorry for that image, but all of this misery could have been avoided with a few pro-tips. I know it’s a lot to process when you are rushing to get to the liquor store, perfecting your pre-drink playlist, and maybe experimenting with some contouring, but preparing ahead for the hangover can save your life.

First: When you are out shopping for supplies for the night, shop also for supplies for the next morning. After all my years of drinking, somehow I often forget to do this, and Lord knows you’re not going to do it in the morning.

Now, here’s what you will need to know:

BEFORE imbibing:

1. Don’t Drink on an Empty Stomach

You’ve done it, you’ve regretted it, you’ve made better choices. Or have you? I have always heard that filling your gut with carbs is the best for “soaking up alcohol,” so I tend to opt for something like pasta or a loaded sub sandwich. While it might be true, refined carbs aren’t going to help your waistline. Turns out that dairy is great for lining your stomach. Start your night with plain or Greek yogurt and some fruit like bananas; or grab a quick bowl of some fibre-rich cereal and milk. Also, have some cheese and crackers with those first few glasses of wine.

2. The Darker the Alcohol, the Worse the Hangover

I know this one is common knowledge for most skilled drinkers, but I’m an enthusiast for red wine and whiskey, so sometimes I forget to eschew my preferences for more hangover friendly choices. White carbohydrates are a big no-no, but white alcohols are the preferred choice to wake up pain-free. If you already love white wine and clear spirits, good-for you, guzzle away! [1]

DURING drinking: Pacing between drinks and plain water are key

THE MORNING AFTER:

1. Water 2.0

This is crunch time, just regular water won’t do the job, electrolytes are key. If somehow you forgot to throw some Gatorades or coconut water in the fridge last night, make your own rehydration drink. Take a pint of water and dissolve a tablespoon of sugar, a teaspoon of salt, and sip the concoction throughout the morning. One more cure is Pedialyte, it’s a drink meant for dehydrated children and has more sodium and potassium than Gatorade, with less sugar.

2. Other Beverages

Unless you are already a caffeine addict, stay away from the coffee, or limit to one cup, since caffeine is a diuretic it will act to make you feel worse. Ginger or peppermint tea are great for nausea and they won’t dehydrate you any further (check our recipes for a detox tea that will additionally help flush out the liver). Fruit juice is a good source of energy, water, and essential nutrients, but stay away from the acidic ones since they will irritate the stomach lining (e.g. orange or tomato), drink apple or cranberry instead. Some also swear by pickle juice, two ounces before drinking, and another two in the morning (personally a cup of tea is more my cup of tea).

3. Healthy Foods

Okay I know this article has been revolving heavily around my personal preferences, but who else craves a greasy burger after going hard the night before? I have even heard from some that this is what you’re SUPPOSED to eat to feel better, because grease coats the stomach. Actually, this is total fiction, it will probably make you feel much worse, physically and also mentally, since your cheat day has now become a cheat weekend. Here are some much better and much healthier suggestions:

• Cook up a veggie omelette. Eggs have taurine, which helps liver function, and cysteine, which breaks down acetaldehyde (the breakdown product of alcohol that causes headaches). Complement with half an avocado and some beans.

• Not feeling so kitchen ambitious? Prep the night before for a smoothie containing banana, dates, leafy greens, and coconut water. Add the liquids and just blend and drink when you get up.

• Stomach not ready for solid food? Chicken noodle soup is great for restoring sodium and water levels. Miso soup is also great because it aids digestion. Pair with some crackers or toast with honey.

• Another recipe to prep the night before is overnight oats. Add dried apricots for an excellent source of potassium, and natural sugars for energy.
[2] [3]

These are just a few suggestions, but generally anything with good fatty acids, unrefined carbohydrates, and essential vitamins and minerals will help you immensely. Its common sense, but when you feel less then great, logic goes out the window and you end up reaching for anything available. This is why I advocate strongly for prepping when you are feeling optimal and self-controlled.

Happy (and safe) drinking!