1. AVOID CONGENERS. It’s not just how much you drink: a hangover is partly due to the extra ingredients in your chosen beverage. Darker drinks such as brandy, whiskey, red wine and beer, contain higher levels of congeners. These can make a hangover even worse because they are essentially a poison.
Congeners are created by the ageing process, and also enhance the flavour. Bourbon, which is aged in oak barrels, has 3 times as many congeners as vodka. The worst congener is acetaldehyde. This is more toxic than alcohol itself!
2. DRINK BETTER DRINKS. Because cheaper alcoholic drinks begin with lower-quality ingredients, more congeners are likely to develop during fermentation.
The more times a spirit is distilled, the more congeners and impurities are removed. High-quality vodkas might be distilled 6 times, whereas the lowest-quality vodkas are probably only filtered twice.
So if you want to be hangover-free the next morning, treat yourself to the ‘good stuff’, and drink it in moderation.
3. DON’T MIX DRINKS. Once you decide on your choice of drink for the evening, don’t deviate. This is because you are making your body work overtime trying to process all the different toxins, which will make you feel worse. If you do have to mix drinks, make sure you start with spirits first, then beer.
4. DRINK PLENTY OF WATER. Dehydration is at the root of most hangovers. Staying hydrated is key to good health. Alcohol is a diuretic. Your organs therefore try to borrow water from anywhere they can, including your brain. This stretches the connective tissues in your skull, causing a headache. Drinking a large glass of water between each alcoholic drink will help you avoid dehydration and losing important bodily chemicals.
5. CHOOSE PALE DRINKS. The clear stuff is the best to drink all night. Choose gin and tonic, pale rum, or vodka being the number one choice. A study by the British Medical Association found vodka the least likely drink to give you a hangover as it can be so pure as to contain no congeners at all.
Of course, the best way to avoid a hangover is not to drink at all. But that’s unlikely to happen. So drink a lot of water, drink pale drinks, take some aspirin and have a good night’s sleep. That way, if you’re determined to get to the gym in the morning, you might stand a chance.
I would agree with drink better drinks. Even with red wine, I once drank 3 glasses of a £15 bottle (okay, that's expensive for me) and I felt not too bad at all in the morning. The same with a cheapo £5 bottle would really do me in.
Great timing to read this as it's new year's eve tonight! I will definitely be trying to drink white wine and fizzy pale stuff now. Not sure of the quality of them but hopefully that will be enough to help.
My go-to method of avoiding hangovers is to drink water between alcohol and also drink a huge glass of water before going to bed. That, and beans on the toast in the morning.
I#m lucky my favourite drink is white wine. I don't know how good the quality is, probably not amazing, but I don't seem to get bad hangovers, even after drinking 3 or 4 glasses.