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Let’s start by making one thing clear: Alcohol is processed in your body as a poison, and the only way to fully prevent the harmful effects is to avoid alcohol all together. But, if you were up for that, you’d likely have skipped this post, so let’s talk about lessening the evils and making sure you feel better in a hurry, from Radiant Bride (January 2016: Running Press; $22), by Alexis Wolfer.
1.STOCK UP. Whether you’ll be heading home or sleeping out, stock the fridge where you’ll be sleeping with everything you need to prevent a hangover: water, coconut water, and healthy snacks (especially those packed with healthy carbs and protein like almond butter and bananas!) in addition to whatever else you need in order to do all of the below.
2. REFRIGERATE YOUR EYE CREAM. Before you leave to go out for the night, put your eye cream in the refrigerator! When you apply it in the morning, the cooled cream will help to alleviate puffiness.
3. TAKE A MULTIVITAMIN. Too much alcohol can deplete your body’s nutrients, so take a multivitamin before heading out to minimize the loss!
4. EAT. Prior to drinking (not just at 3:00 a.m. when you’re already feeling crummy), eat a meal or snack with healthy fats and complex carbohydrates. Brown rice with avocado, for example, will help to line your stomach a bit and help to slow the absorption of alcohol while simultaneously providing your body with the sugars you’ll soon be depleting.
5. DRINK MORE . . . WATER. Alcohol is a diuretic (aka: it makes you pee!). Unfortunately, you’re not just eliminating the alcohol every time you’re going to the bathroom. Rather, for every ounce of alcohol you drink, your body can expel up to four times as much water. This doesn’t just mean you’re going to have to go to the bathroom four times more often in that gross bar bathroom, it also means your body is dehydrated, which, alcohol aside, can leave you feeling pretty crummy all on its own. The solution, drink at least one glass of water for each cocktail you drink to help fend off the dehydrating effects of too much booze.
6. CUT CARBONATION. Boozy bubbles not only make you bloated (a bride-to-be no-no!), but the gases may also increase the rate of alcohol absorption. Skip the carbonated mixers and, yes, even the champagne, for a more beautiful post-bachelorette morning.
7. STAY IN THE CLEAR. While this isn’t a perfect rule of thumb, in general, darker liquors have more congeners (the other stuff produced by fermentation besides alcohol) that are responsible for a liquor’s color and taste. The more congeners, the worse your hangover. Stick with clear alcohols (like vodka) and you’ll feel better the morning after than if you were sipping on whisky all night.
8. LISTEN TO YOUR BODY. Always get a hangover when you drink sangria? Feel especially crappy the morning after margarita night? You know you best.
9. CHUG COCONUT WATER. Alcohol is not only dehydrating because of its diuretic effect, but also because it inhibits a hormone that keeps your body hydrated. Before hitting the sack, rehydrate with all-natural coconut water. It’s rich in electrolytes and packs more potassium than a banana—making it nature’s healthy alternative to the sport’s drink and the ideal way to replenish your body before bed.
10. TAKE OFF YOUR MAKEUP. Okay, true, this may not help you feel better in the morning, but it will surely help you to look better! I know that a big bash means your nightly beauty routine will suffer, but if you do just one thing when you get home (or to the hotel), pretty please, take off your makeup. When you sleep, your energy reserves don’t just replenish, your skin does, too. And if those pretty pores are covered up with makeup, your skin can’t do its beautifying job. Know it will be a late night? Toss makeup-removing wipes by your bedside so you can use them without missing a bit of shut-eye.
11. TAKE TWO ASPIRIN. The anti-inflammatory will not only help you stay headache-free, but also will help to counteract the internal inflammation caused by alcohol, helping you heal while you sleep.
12. DOUBLE UP YOUR PILLOW. Grab an extra pillow so you sleep with your head more elevated than usual. It will help any retained water stay away from your face so you won’t wake up with eyes puffier than ever.
13. SKIP THE “HAIR OF THE DOG.” Myth has it that this drink in the morning will make you feel better but it’s just that: a myth. The only way it helps is by numbing your senses a bit (which an Advil would do just as well) and, counterintuitively, extending the life of your hangover.
14. PASS ON COFFEE. It may help you feel more alert, but caffeine, like alcohol, is a diuretic and your top priority right now needs to be on rehydrating your parched body.
15. REHYDRATE. Sip more coconut water or puree fruit for an all-natural smoothie. The fructose will help to boost your energy levels while the fiber works like a vacuum to pull the toxins out.
16. DIY DE-PUFF. Dip two bags of caffeinated green or black tea in hot water to saturate them. Squeeze out the extra fluid and put the tea bags in the refrigerator or freezer to chill. When the tea bags are cool, place them over your eyes for 10 to 15 minutes to help reduce puffiness, circles, and redness; follow with your refrigerated eye cream.
17. SLEEP. Alcohol severely disrupts your sleep patterns. Sure, it may look like you’re out like a light, but the sleep you get when drunk isn’t the restorative sleep your body really needs. You may not be able to sleep well the night of your bachelorette party, but be sure to plan an easy night the next evening to help play a bit of catch up on those Zs.
18. EAT BREAKFAST. When you wake up, load up on protein and healthy carbohydrates. It’s why an egg sandwich sounds oh, so yummy the morning after.
ALEXIS WOLFER is the founder and editor-in- chief of the popular online women’s magazine TheBeautyBean.com as well as a beauty, fashion, and lifestyle expert. Alexis’s unique and effective beauty secrets led Access Hollywood to dub her the “Female Beauty MacGyver” and People Stylewatch to call her “The DIY Beauty Queen.” She is also a certified holistic health coach and the author of The Recipe For Radiance: Discover Beauty’s Best-Kept Secrets In Your Kitchen. She currently lives in Los Angeles.
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