Before we know it, the holidays will be in full swing — aka, party season! It’s fun to sip a glass of wine (or two!) at festive get-togethers, but the next-day headache and general ‘blah’ feeling? Not so much. Luckily, there are ways to avoid this, thanks to these tricks for preventing a hangover that you can use at your next gathering.
BEFORE YOU SIP…
Nosh on Nachos
Snack on nachos or artichoke dip 10 minutes before taking your first sip, and Finnish scientists say you’ll block the number-one cause of hangovers. As the liver breaks down alcohol, it produces acetaldehyde, a compound up to 30 times more harmful than alcohol itself! A flood of acetaldehyde can trigger nausea, lethargy, and headaches. But alcohol takes up to four times longer to absorb into the bloodstream if you nibble on fat-and protein-packed appetizers before drinking. This allows the body to process the tipple without overloading your system with acetaldehyde.
Sip a ‘Nojito’
Dehydration is a top cause of morning-after woes, and recent research confirms why: A report in the Journal of Clinical Investigation found that for every serving of alcohol you take in, you lose up to four extra ounces of H2O than if you were drinking plain water. The fix: Sip a low-sugar ‘mocktail’ between each alcoholic drink. Doing so boosts hydration and replaces salts and essential electrolyte minerals the body loses when imbibing. To make a “nojito” (aka no-alcohol mojito), muddle one cup of mint leaves, one tablespoon of lime juice, 12 ounces of seltzer, and add stevia to taste. Tip: Mineral water garnished with a citrus slice and sea salt works, too!
Take an Ancient Root
One surefire way to slash your chance of a hangover: Take 200 to 500 milligrams of Panax Ginseng ($20.18, iHerb), a medicinal root used for centuries in China, before hitting the hay. This energizes the liver, speeding its ability to break down and excrete alcohol. The payoff: Research in Food & Function finds you’ll cut your risk of waking up sore and sluggish by as much as 51 percent.
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This article originally appeared in our print magazine, Woman’s World.