How to head off a holiday hangover

Chinie Diaz
If you're planning to welcome the New Year with more than just a couple of drinks, here are a few tips to nip that hangover in the bud

“Excuse me… But I might drink a little more than I should tonight…” – Pitbull (Give Me Everything)

It’s the last day of 2012! A whole New Year is about to begin, and I’m pretty sure everyone has big plans for resolutions to start on January 1st. The only problem is, most people are a complete wreck on January 1st due to the late night revelry of New Year’s Eve.

I’m convinced that this is the REAL reason the first day of the year is always declared a holiday. They should really just call it National Hangover Day.

I actually quit drinking a while back in my thirties, when I realized the “morning after” hangover was starting to extend into a whole day of feeling like death warmed over. I do however still indulge on occasion, usually at weddings and on New Year’s Eve.

Since I’m older and (slightly) wiser though, I plan to take a few precautions to ensure I don’t end up in hangover hell. If you’re planning to welcome the New Year with more than just a couple of drinks, here are a few tips to nip that hangover in the bud.

1. EAT! Fill your stomach with food before drinking — and the fattier the food, the better. 

Everyone should know by now that it’s never a good idea to drink on an empty stomach, but for some reason that confounds me, a lot of people still do it anyway.

Don’t be an idiot. EAT. Food slows down the absorption of alcohol into your system, and while any sort of food will do, fatty food performs this task best. Don’t take this advice as license to devour an entire lechon, of course. Good fat works just as well as the evil kind.

Note: You may want to load up on veggies too. Asparagus helps the body speed up the metabolism of alcohol, and artichokes were long believed to be a good hangover cure as well.

Researchers have since disproved the “artichoke cures hangovers” theory, but it’s still a good vegetable for drinkers anyway because it aids liver function and has quite a few antioxidant properties.

Tip: If you want to combine fat and artichokes in one dish, here’s a quick and easy recipe for a fabulous artichoke dip courtesy of my friend Angie.


2. Pick your liquor so you don’t feel sicker.

You may already have a drink of choice, but if you’re undecided and would prefer a gentler option, stick to beer and clear liquor. Red wine contains tannins that cause headaches, and darker liquors in general tend to bring on more severe hangovers.


3. Hydrate.

Alcohol is a diuretic, so much of the discomfort experienced during a hangover is due to dehydration.

To counteract this, be sure to drink lots of water throughout the night. If you have it on hand (and if you like the taste), coconut water is even better for rehydration.  According to Dr. Noah Rosen of the Cushing Neuroscience Institute, a good rule of thumb is to alternate each alcoholic drink with a nonalcoholic one.

And there you have it! Sounds easy enough, right? Of course, it must be said that the best way to avoid a hangover is to avoid alcohol altogether, but I’m realistic enough to realize that most people will completely ignore this.

If you’re going to indulge, just be smart and safe about it. Don’t do anything you’ll regret tomorrow — or even worse, the rest of your life.  A little buzz is fun, but the whole slurring, staggering (and possibly slobbering) thing? SO unattractive. And kind of a drag, to be honest.  Your best defense against a debilitating hangover – and a tarnished reputation – is knowing when to quit.  🙂

Have a fun-filled New Year’s Eve, and here’s to a peaceful, productive and prosperous 2013. Happy New Year to all! –


How are you planning to celebrate the New Year? What are your resolutions for 2013? Celebrate the New Year with us by joining the conversation here: #Start2013Right and saying #NoToFirecrakers! Happy Holidays!


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