With New Year's Eve party time fast approaching, people all over the world are set to enjoy themselves on what is one of the only global holiday events, observed in pretty much every nation. Fireworks will erupt around the planet, from Auckland to Los Angeles as the clocks click over into 2012.
Unfortunately, many of us enjoy ourselves a little too much and start the New Year feeling less than our best. There's nothing worse than that washed out feeling of the morning after one drink too many - New Year's Eve is certainly the night of the year that we are most likely to let our favorite tipple get the better of us.
Here are some ideas to keep that nasty hangover head at bay :
- Don't get too carried away with the moment. Keep an eye on how much you are drinking, pace yourself, so that you can enjoy the drinks but not let them get the best of you. Four to five drinks over a three hour period is a rule of thumb, basically make one drink last around half an hour.
- Alcohol is a diuretic, so it tends to make you more thirsty, which leads to more drinking than you might otherwise have planned. Drink water, sodas, fruit juice or sports drinks in between alcoholic ones, so you still have a drink in your hand for the toasts, but aren't swilling liquor like it's your last day on earth.
- Have a decent meal before the partying starts. It's so easy to arrive at someone's party and start tucking into the booze, skipping dinner in favor of some party snacks, which don't give your body the chance to slow the alcohol intake enough.
- Take a vitamin B supplement, also common in many sports and soft drinks these days. Vitamin B helps the body to repair itself, and can lessen a hangover.
- If you take an anti inflammatory medication such as ibuprofen or Aleve, you should first check with your doctor. Some painkillers, especially paracetamol (acetaminophen) can harm the liver, which is already under attack from all the alcohol. Other painkillers, such as aspirin, may irritate the stomach.
- When you get home, try to get as much sleep as possible and a big glass of water before going to sleep can work wonders.
- We're all aware of the problems of drinking and driving, and certainly the police are going to be vigilant on this party evening, so take a taxi or hitch a ride home. The 1st of the year is a holiday everywhere, so there's plenty of time to collect the car the next day if you drank more than you planned. It's just not worth the risk of drink driving which will be public enemy number one on New Year's Eve. Starting the New Year in the tank with criminal charges and a driving ban pending, is not the best way to usher in the New Year, although countless hundreds are bound to end up in this predicament.
- The next morning take another vitamin B. Some of those effervescent forms such as Berocca can be a good morning after remedy.
- Drink plenty of water the following day and never mind the "hair of the dog". Drinking on a hangover doesn't really help cure it at all.
- Most smokers agree that smoking on a hangover seems to make it kick in more aggressively. So if you are hung over, perhaps it will be a good time to begin that New Year's resolution and leave the tobacco weed behind you, in 2011.
- Coffee can make you more alert and function better, but it's no kind of cure or prevention for a hangover.
- Exercise helps the blood circulate and kicks the liver and kidneys into a faster detox mode, although if the hangover is particularly bad, this solution is probably going to be more pain than gain.
Written by Rupert Shepherd