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Drinking Habits

How To Stop Hangovers

Published:
June 22, 2023
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8 min read
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Written by
Reframe Content Team
A team of researchers and psychologists who specialize in behavioral health and neuroscience. This group collaborates to produce insightful and evidence-based content.
June 22, 2023
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8 min read
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Certified recovery coach specialized in helping everyone redefine their relationship with alcohol. His approach in coaching focuses on habit formation and addressing the stress in our lives.
June 22, 2023
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8 min read
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Recognized by Fortune and Fast Company as a top innovator shaping the future of health and known for his pivotal role in helping individuals change their relationship with alcohol.
June 22, 2023
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8 min read
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Reframe Content Team
June 22, 2023
·
8 min read

We've all woken up with a throbbing head, the taste of stale liquor on our tongues, and a stomach that feels like it's hosting a gymnastics competition. These are the all-too-familiar feelings of a hangover after a night of overindulgence. But what if we could rewrite this narrative? What if we could enjoy our night and wake up feeling refreshed the next day? Let's take a deep dive into understanding how we can do just that.

Understanding The Effects of Alcohol

To beat the enemy, we need to know the enemy: understanding why we get hangovers is the first step in preventing them. When we consume alcohol, our bodies metabolize it into a substance called acetaldehyde. This compound is more toxic than alcohol itself, and it’s responsible for many hangover symptoms, including nausea, headache, and vomiting.

Additionally, alcohol is a diuretic; it causes us to urinate more, leading to dehydration. Dehydration further aggravates hangover symptoms by causing dry mouth, thirst, and fatigue. Therefore, the effects of alcohol that contribute to hangovers are two-fold: acetaldehyde (the toxic by-product of alcohol metabolism) and dehydration. Understanding these physiological responses to alcohol can help us make better choices during our night out.

Stay Hydrated

Now that we understand how alcohol affects our bodies, let's talk about a simple but effective hangover prevention method: staying hydrated. Because alcohol dehydrates our bodies, replenishing our water supply throughout the night is crucial. A handy tip is to alternate alcoholic drinks and non-alcoholic ones.

How would this work? It’s simple: after every beer, glass of wine, or cocktail, we should drink a glass of water or other non-alcoholic beverage. Doing so helps maintain hydration levels, dilutes the alcohol consumed, and slows our rate of intoxication. Furthermore, the extra fluids also help flush out the toxins faster. Staying hydrated is both a great way to prevent hangovers, and it also promotes overall health.

Eat Before You Drink

Ever noticed how quickly we get intoxicated when we drink on an empty stomach? That's because food slows down our body’s rate of alcohol absorption. Without food in our system, alcohol quickly enters our bloodstream, leading to faster intoxication and severe hangover symptoms. One simple trick to avoid hangovers? We just need to eat before we drink.

Foods high in fats and complex carbohydrates are especially effective as they take longer to digest. They stay in our stomach for an extended period, slowing down the absorption of alcohol. A good pre-drinking meal could include foods like avocados, nuts, whole grains, and lean proteins. Not only will eating before drinking keep hangovers at bay, but it will also ensure we don't reach the level of intoxication where dancing on the table seems like a good idea!

Mind Your Drink

We often underestimate the impact of our choice of drink on the severity of our hangover. Beverages high in congeners, substances produced during fermentation, are known to intensify hangover symptoms. Darker spirits like red wine, brandy, and whiskey have higher congener content than lighter ones like white wine or vodka. Beer also has a high congener content, especially darker brews. Being aware of the congener content in our drinks can lead to better choices and help us avoid a hangover.

Savor the Experience

The saying "quality over quantity" rings true when it comes to preventing hangovers. Opting for one or two drinks — and truly savoring them — can make a significant difference in how we feel the next day. Premium alcohols are often distilled multiple times, reducing impurities and the presence of congeners. While we might have to shell out a few extra bucks for high-quality alcohol, waking up hangover-free is priceless. And remember, this is not about encouraging excessive alcohol consumption; it's about making smarter choices when we do decide to indulge.

Incorporate “Booze-Free” Days

Making “booze-free” days a regular part of our week is another great strategy to prevent hangovers. Taking a break from alcohol gives our bodies time to recover and detox. It also helps break the cycle of daily drinking, which can gradually lead to dependency. Choosing specific days of the week to go alcohol-free can be an effective approach to achieve this. And who knows? We might even discover that we enjoy these “sober” days and extend them further.

Final Thoughts

Navigating the stormy seas of hangovers can be challenging, but as we've learned, it’s not impossible. By taking the right steps and being mindful of our alcohol intake, we can significantly reduce the risk of hangovers.

These tips are not about encouraging drinking but about enjoying responsibly when we do decide to indulge. With these strategies, we can enjoy our social events and still wake up the next day feeling like our vibrant selves. So here's to no more groggy mornings and regrets, only happy times and beautiful memories.

Unlock a Healthier YOU With Reframe!

Although it isn’t a treatment for alcohol use disorder (AUD), the Reframe app can help you cut back on drinking gradually, with the science-backed knowledge to empower you 100% of the way. Our proven program has helped millions of people around the world drink less and live more. And we want to help you get there, too!

The Reframe app equips you with the knowledge and skills you need to not only survive drinking less, but to thrive while you navigate the journey. Our daily research-backed readings teach you the neuroscience of alcohol, and our in-app Toolkit provides the resources and activities you need to navigate each challenge.

You’ll meet millions of fellow Reframers in our 24/7 Forum chat and daily Zoom check-in meetings. Receive encouragement from people from around the world who understand what you’re going through! You’ll also have the opportunity to connect with our licensed Reframe coaches for more personalized guidance.

The Reframe app is free for 7 days, so you don’t have anything to lose. Are you ready to feel empowered and discover life beyond alcohol? Then download our app today!

We've all woken up with a throbbing head, the taste of stale liquor on our tongues, and a stomach that feels like it's hosting a gymnastics competition. These are the all-too-familiar feelings of a hangover after a night of overindulgence. But what if we could rewrite this narrative? What if we could enjoy our night and wake up feeling refreshed the next day? Let's take a deep dive into understanding how we can do just that.

Understanding The Effects of Alcohol

To beat the enemy, we need to know the enemy: understanding why we get hangovers is the first step in preventing them. When we consume alcohol, our bodies metabolize it into a substance called acetaldehyde. This compound is more toxic than alcohol itself, and it’s responsible for many hangover symptoms, including nausea, headache, and vomiting.

Additionally, alcohol is a diuretic; it causes us to urinate more, leading to dehydration. Dehydration further aggravates hangover symptoms by causing dry mouth, thirst, and fatigue. Therefore, the effects of alcohol that contribute to hangovers are two-fold: acetaldehyde (the toxic by-product of alcohol metabolism) and dehydration. Understanding these physiological responses to alcohol can help us make better choices during our night out.

Stay Hydrated

Now that we understand how alcohol affects our bodies, let's talk about a simple but effective hangover prevention method: staying hydrated. Because alcohol dehydrates our bodies, replenishing our water supply throughout the night is crucial. A handy tip is to alternate alcoholic drinks and non-alcoholic ones.

How would this work? It’s simple: after every beer, glass of wine, or cocktail, we should drink a glass of water or other non-alcoholic beverage. Doing so helps maintain hydration levels, dilutes the alcohol consumed, and slows our rate of intoxication. Furthermore, the extra fluids also help flush out the toxins faster. Staying hydrated is both a great way to prevent hangovers, and it also promotes overall health.

Eat Before You Drink

Ever noticed how quickly we get intoxicated when we drink on an empty stomach? That's because food slows down our body’s rate of alcohol absorption. Without food in our system, alcohol quickly enters our bloodstream, leading to faster intoxication and severe hangover symptoms. One simple trick to avoid hangovers? We just need to eat before we drink.

Foods high in fats and complex carbohydrates are especially effective as they take longer to digest. They stay in our stomach for an extended period, slowing down the absorption of alcohol. A good pre-drinking meal could include foods like avocados, nuts, whole grains, and lean proteins. Not only will eating before drinking keep hangovers at bay, but it will also ensure we don't reach the level of intoxication where dancing on the table seems like a good idea!

Mind Your Drink

We often underestimate the impact of our choice of drink on the severity of our hangover. Beverages high in congeners, substances produced during fermentation, are known to intensify hangover symptoms. Darker spirits like red wine, brandy, and whiskey have higher congener content than lighter ones like white wine or vodka. Beer also has a high congener content, especially darker brews. Being aware of the congener content in our drinks can lead to better choices and help us avoid a hangover.

Savor the Experience

The saying "quality over quantity" rings true when it comes to preventing hangovers. Opting for one or two drinks — and truly savoring them — can make a significant difference in how we feel the next day. Premium alcohols are often distilled multiple times, reducing impurities and the presence of congeners. While we might have to shell out a few extra bucks for high-quality alcohol, waking up hangover-free is priceless. And remember, this is not about encouraging excessive alcohol consumption; it's about making smarter choices when we do decide to indulge.

Incorporate “Booze-Free” Days

Making “booze-free” days a regular part of our week is another great strategy to prevent hangovers. Taking a break from alcohol gives our bodies time to recover and detox. It also helps break the cycle of daily drinking, which can gradually lead to dependency. Choosing specific days of the week to go alcohol-free can be an effective approach to achieve this. And who knows? We might even discover that we enjoy these “sober” days and extend them further.

Final Thoughts

Navigating the stormy seas of hangovers can be challenging, but as we've learned, it’s not impossible. By taking the right steps and being mindful of our alcohol intake, we can significantly reduce the risk of hangovers.

These tips are not about encouraging drinking but about enjoying responsibly when we do decide to indulge. With these strategies, we can enjoy our social events and still wake up the next day feeling like our vibrant selves. So here's to no more groggy mornings and regrets, only happy times and beautiful memories.

Unlock a Healthier YOU With Reframe!

Although it isn’t a treatment for alcohol use disorder (AUD), the Reframe app can help you cut back on drinking gradually, with the science-backed knowledge to empower you 100% of the way. Our proven program has helped millions of people around the world drink less and live more. And we want to help you get there, too!

The Reframe app equips you with the knowledge and skills you need to not only survive drinking less, but to thrive while you navigate the journey. Our daily research-backed readings teach you the neuroscience of alcohol, and our in-app Toolkit provides the resources and activities you need to navigate each challenge.

You’ll meet millions of fellow Reframers in our 24/7 Forum chat and daily Zoom check-in meetings. Receive encouragement from people from around the world who understand what you’re going through! You’ll also have the opportunity to connect with our licensed Reframe coaches for more personalized guidance.

The Reframe app is free for 7 days, so you don’t have anything to lose. Are you ready to feel empowered and discover life beyond alcohol? Then download our app today!

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