How to prevent a New Year's hangover before it happens

WANT to avoid a New Year's morning-after disaster?

Despite health warnings against binge drinking, drinking to excess is a New Year's Eve tradition for many. 

Cue the groans of thousands nursing New Year's Day hangovers on couches across the country. 

At best, hangover cures are hit-and-miss way of easing symptoms that can include headaches, fatigue, loss of appetite, thirst, dizziness and nausea. 

There is no scientifically proven cure for a hangover, but there's plenty you can do to prevent one.

Here are a few ways to dodge a sore start to 2016:

Drink in moderation and know your limits

At the risk of sounding like your mother, do you really need to get plastered? It might be obvious, but this is the simplest way to avoid any kind of morning regret. 

Avoid alcohol with congeners

Congeners are by-products of alcohol production hanging around in trace elements. Studies have shown they intensify hangovers. Drinks like whisky (especially bourbon), cognac and tequila contain the highest amounts of congeners. Vodka, gin and rum are all low in congeners. 

Pay attention to standard drinks

Count the standard drinks, not how many glasses you've had. It's right there, on the back of every bottle. If you find yourself unable to do the basic maths, maybe it's time to skip the next round. 

Stay hydrated

Dehydration causes most symptoms of a hangover. Alcohol is a diuretic, which means you lose more water through urine, so keep chugging the aqua. Drink a glass of water or a non-sparkling soft drink between each alcoholic one. Then have another big glass of water before going to sleep, and keep water at your beside for the night. 

Don't drink on an empty stomach

Have a decent-sized dinner with plenty of carbohydrates or fats. This will slow alcohol absorption. 

Have a good late-night meal or breakfast

This is especially important if you have low blood sugar. A hearty meal after drinking or in the morning will perk up your sugar levels, mitigating some hangover symptoms. 

Sleep in

Alcohol can disturb sleep, so it's important to let your body have a nice, long rest to mitigate fatigue.

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