Sharecare Top 5: Prevent a New Year’s Hangover

Bring out the sparkly dress, put on your dancing shoes and get ready to celebrate New Year’s! Just remember that no celebration is worth a bad hangover – so you’ll want to party smartly. Instead of starting 2014 bed-bound, check out these tips to prevent a hangover and ring in the New Year happy and feeling great.

1. Be a nibbler.
As you go from one holiday party to another – and one champagne glass to another – make sure you take advantage of the hors d’oeuvres. Eating while you drink is one of the easiest ways to prevent a hangover this New Year’s. Not sure you’ll like the party food? Eat before you go out. Your best bets contain healthy fats, like walnuts or avocados, which can help to slow or delay the absorption of the alcohol. Honey and tomato juice can help, too, by allowing your body to metabolize alcohol more effectively. If you do happen to overdo it on the booze, this video from author and health educator Daphne Oz will help you recover from a hangover.

2. Pace yourself.
Being at a party can make it easy to lose track of how much you’ve had to drink. Between dancing and celebrating, one martini can become two or three pretty quickly. To keep from paying the price of too many drinks, limit yourself to one per hour. Drinking one cocktail or beer an hour gives your body the chance to metabolize the alcohol more slowly, which helps keep hangovers at bay.

3. Skip the fizzy mixers.
There’s something festive about fizzy holiday cocktails, but carbonated mixers can actually increase your chances of getting a hangover. The carbonation in sodas speeds up your body’s alcohol absorption, making you feel tipsy more quickly – and which can affect your judgment and lead you to drink more. Instead, choose mixed drinks made with fruit juice – or, even better, no-sugar-added juice. If you’re counting calories, try some of Hungry Girl Lisa Lillien’s recipes for healthier versions of your favorite holiday drinks. Just go easy on the club soda and tonic water.

4. Hydrate with H20.
Dehydration is the culprit for your most unpleasant hangover symptoms. That’s why when you’re drinking you should follow Dr. Oz’s advice to Jimmy Fallon and alternate every beer, cocktail or glass of wine with a glass of water. Alcohol causes your body to release all the water and electrolytes it needs to stay hydrated. Drinking water in between your drinks is an easy, surefire way to replace the water that you’re losing and stave off a New Year’s hangover.

 5. Stay in the clear.
To help avoid the headaches, dizziness and nausea of a New Year’s hangover, choose clear liquors like vodka and gin over darker ones like whiskey or bourbon. Dark-colored liquors (and even red wine) contain congeners, which can increase your changes of feeling not-so-good come New Year’s Day. Also, hangovers from light-colored alcohol are likely to be less severe than ones from darker alcohol.

For more tips and tricks on preventing a hangover, check out our quiz Hangover Helpers.