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How to prevent a hangover

It's not just about drinking less alcohol.

Amy Schulman Associate Editor / Chowhound
I'm an associate editor at Chowhound. I can frequently be found with an ice cream cone in hand.
Amy Schulman
3 min read

You can imbibe and still avoid a hangover.

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We've all been there before. The sun is filtering in through the shades after a lengthy night of tossing back tequila shots, your eyes are slowly adjusting to the sharp, piercing light and your head is seething. It's the start of your dreaded hangover. 

Perhaps you have your own remedy to combat the symptoms: a mug of black coffee; a cocktail of red Advils and rainbow Tums; or a swishing of apple cider vinegar. Even if you swear by your own approach -- or have yet to find a cure that actually works -- there's a new cookbook that's here to help. 

Hangover Helper by Lauren Shockey looks at storied hangover cures from around the world. After all, just about every culture and country has its own preferred "antidote." You'll find recipes for the seemingly innocuous treatments that people swear by -- from cups of flat 7 Up consumed in Ireland to bowls of Czech warming garlic soup -- along with the stories and recipes behind the more uncommon and eccentric healers: In the UK, a restorative fish finger sandwich does the trick, while in Canada, it's all about a platter of poutine, smothered in gravy and cheese

Read more: Alcohol-free liquor and cocktails: Everything you need to know

Along with a slew of recipes, the book offers a global look at drinking around the world: the facts and figures behind who's drinking, what they're drinking and the diversity of food often eaten while drunk (Doner kebabs! Mutton rolls! Grilled lamb intestines!).

Read on for Lauren's tips on how to prevent a hangover in the first place (it's not simply about eschewing alcohol), then try her recipe for a pickle brine Bloody Mary, a hangover remedy made popular in Poland and Russia before its arrival in the US. After this, we hope you'll never have to utter the cursed "h" word ever again.

Excerpted with permission from Hangover Helper by Lauren Shockey, published by Hardie Grant Books October 2019.

How to avoid a hangover in the first place

Food the next day may be your saving grace, but here are some helpful hints for minimizing a hangover's impact in the first place:

Know and respect your limits

Sophie Melissa

When it comes to drinking. Better yet, opt for a mocktail. It's a sure-fire way to avoid a hangover!

Chug lots of water

Sophie Melissa

While drinking and before heading to bed. Keep a glass of H20 on your nightstand to quench your thirst when you wake with a dry mouth at 4 a.m.

Draw the shades

Sophie Melissa

A study found recuperating in total darkness to be effective in reducing a hangover's recovery time.

Cut out the cigs

Sophie Melissa

Smoking significantly increases the odds of getting a hangover and makes them more severe.

Be a happy, optimistic drunk!

Sophie Melissa

Negative life events, neuroticism, being angry when drunk and having feelings of guilt about drinking are also associated with experiencing more hangovers.

Enjoy a hearty meal

Sophie Melissa

Prior to drinking. Carb and fat-heavy foods will help slow alcohol's absorption in the body.

Go easy on the bubbly

Sophie Melissa

The carbon dioxide in sparkling wines and other fizzy alcoholic drinks speeds up the alcohol's absorption in your body faster than beverages without bubbles.

Choose lighter-colored drinks

Sophie Melissa

Like gin, vodka, beer and white wine. Darker drinks (e.g. bourbon, brandy, red wine, etc.) contain higher levels of congeners, which can contribute to hangovers.

Read more: The healthiest alcohol options at the bar

This article was originally published on CNET's sister site Chowhound.

The information contained in this article is for educational and informational purposes only and is not intended as health or medical advice. Always consult a physician or other qualified health provider regarding any questions you may have about a medical condition or health objectives.