How to Deal with Hangovers in Your 30s
posted on September 17, 2018 | by Tessa Bowman
I’ve been talking to my girlfriends and we’ve all noticed that the older we get, the worse our hangovers seem to be. I’ve never reacted well to alcohol, so when I do have the occasional drink, I have a routine dialed in to help prevent a hangover.
This routine has become especially important as a mother. All it takes is one bad hangover with a toddler to make sure it never happens again. Talk about torture upon torture, amirite fellow moms?!
While there are all sorts of hangover pills and “fixes” that promise magical results, most are filled with not-so-desirable ingredients. Instead, I opt for these practical steps to enjoy a few beverages and successfully avoid a hangover!
Choose your alcohol wisely
Most of us unknowingly enrolled in “Alcohol 101: The Unofficial Course of Trial and Error” probably sometime around college and found out the hard way which drinks made us feel extra awful. Chances are, you discovered that you’re better off staying away from sugar heavy drinks like daiquiris and pre-made margaritas, and mixing alcohols is a no-no (Long Island Iced Tea = death).
Those rules still hold true and I’ve also learned there is truth behind buying higher quality alcohol. Spending a few extra dollars for top shelf hard alcohol is generally a better idea. Think: less Jose Cuervo and more Don Julio. Higher quality alcohol is purer, distilled more times and filtered to remove chemicals and impurities (alcohol that isn’t distilled as much contains more of the impurities that lead to headaches).
And wine drinkers, here’s some excellent news. The “clean wine” trend is not just a marketing ploy! These cleaner wines contain less sugar and sulfites, and are produced with no added chemicals. All of this means better sleep the night of and less headaches and stomach aches the next day. I try to only drink these cleaner wines now, and when I don’t, I feel it. While I’m not a calorie counter, I can’t complain about the fewer calories either. Clean wine brands to shop: Secco Wine Club, Dry Farm Wines, Fit Vine Wines, Scout and Cellar.
As I mentioned above, I’m not really a fan of the cure-all hangover pills you get at drugstores. Many of them are filled with caffeine and other yucky additives. Instead, I focus on certain supplements that can help support your liver process alcohol better, which can lower hangover symptoms. Milk thistle and activated charcoal are two of my favorites. Activated charcoal is excellent at absorbing toxins, and milk thistle aids the liver detoxify and can decrease hangover symptoms. Both of these are available in capsule form on Amazon and at most health stores. It’s also a good idea to take a multivitamin before drinking because alcohol also depletes nutrients.
Dehydration from alcohol is one of the main culprits of hangover symptoms. Make sure you are drinking one glass of water in between every alcohol beverage you drink, and drink at least 8 oz of water before you go to bed. Keep more water by your bedside for nighttime wakings and to drink first thing in the morning.
A gentle workout can help alleviate hangover symptoms. I know working out is the last thing most people want to do, but getting up and moving can help your body detox. Remember, a large part of a hangover stems from dehydration. A hardcore workout can further dehydrate, you so opt for a brisk walk or easy workout. I’m also a fan of going to a steam room to sweat out those toxins for 5-10 minutes but again, make sure you have water with you and are drinking it frequently!
I think most of us know to eat when you’re drinking, but did you know there are certain foods that help prevent you getting tipsy too quickly? Focus on protein and fat, which help slow down the absorption of alcohol. Reach for fruits and veggies which contain good nutrients and water – it’s a sneaky easy way to help stay hydrated. Foods to avoid? Alcohol makes your stomach feel acidic, so avoid too much sugar, dairy and acidic foods like tomatoes.
What about the day after drinking? Same rules apply, focus on protein and fat. Omelets, a salad with protein and chicken noodle soup are great options. Also, avoid juices which are really acidic because they might upset the stomach more.
This one might not go over well, but avoid caffeine the morning after drinking. I know, I know.. coffee is usually the first thing people reach for when fighting a hangover since alcohol often disrupts our sleep. But hear me out on why caffeine should be avoided.
First, it dehydrates you even more, worsens headaches, further upsets blood sugar levels and can cause nausea. Second, coffee is acidic and can bother your stomach. If that’s not reason enough to put down the java, caffeine is a known stimulant – it speeds up your heart rate and could make you feel anxious.
Listen, we all like to indulge a little bit. Being mindful and having a cocktail or two don’t have to be mutually exclusive! I hope these tips help you enjoy your next night out without the crummy side effects.
What are your proactive and reactive hangover remedies?