Having a drink in the evening may have taken a different turn during the COVID-19 pandemic. I’m sure you never envisioned yourself hitting your friends with a unified “Kiddan!” over Zoom, did you? While that’s one thing that’s changed about how you relax and unwind post-work, there’s still one thing that hasn’t: drinking too much and hangovers.

Want to know what you can do to avoid a hangover? Read on to find out.

Harness water’s superpower

“Water is Life!” No, that’s not a line from a song. According to McGill University, “Our bodies are made up of about 60% water, and we cannot survive more than a few days without it.” 

Not only is water important for a whole host of scientific reasons, but it’s also one of the sure-fire ways to reduce your chance of getting a hangover and keeping yourself hydrated while you have a couple of adult beverages is super simple.

We all have that one friend who goes hard and downs a lot of drinks. No one knows how they do it, but somehow they just do. Let them wrestle with their nasty hangover the next day while you’re going to rise and shine like a winner. Before your first drink of the night, down a glass of water, then throughout the night, pair every Johnnie Walker with a Johnnie Water. 

One glass of water for every alcoholic beverage will have you avoiding an energy-draining hangover and feeling like a champ the next morning. You can also choose to have a smaller peg between glasses of water instead of having a large Patiala peg.

Don’t want to draw attention to your water intake? You can stay hydrated in stealth mode. Use a metal or non-see-through cup, so when it’s time for another round, you can refill yours with water, and none will be the wiser! Your body will thank you for it, and you can thank me for making sure you’re enjoying the benefits of staying hydrated on the down-low with that H2O.

Near-beer is not what it used to be

You’ve had a long week, you want to unwind on Friday night, and a few drinks seem like a good idea. On the other hand, you have things to do on the weekend and over-doing it means you’ll be tired and dogging it the next day, making it that much harder to make the most of your weekend. Solution? Switch regular beer for near-beer.

Non-alcoholic beer used to be those dust-covered bottles in the pop aisle of the grocery store that no one really wanted to drink, but not anymore. There’s a whole list of low to no alcohol beer that actually tastes good. See the list here. Follow your regular beer with a near-beer, and you’ll cut calories as well as give your liver a break.

Snack when you drink

Hummus and naan

There’s nothing quite like socializing over a meal; then again, there’s nothing quite like relaxing on the couch in peaceful silence either. It’s been an hour of your kid going from recorder to dhol and to be honest, they’re no musical prodigy. It makes sense you’d want to take a break from that and maybe just a break in general.

So, let’s say you’re at home and grabbing a beer or two to end the day; if you snack or eat a meal while you drink, you’ll be less likely to have a hangover the next day. 

Eating a healthier snack like naan (whole wheat naan is even better) and hummus when you drink slows your rate of alcohol absorption, which is easier on your liver and gives your body time to process the alcohol. Plus, you might not want or have room for that third cold one. Aim for at least two alcohol-free days per week for extra health benefits.

Measure your drinks

Try pre-pouring your whisky into a decanter, flask, or measuring cup, or only keeping 2-3 beers in the fridge. It helps you keep track of how much you’ve had, and when the decanter is empty, you know it’s time to call it quits. 

Measure out your alcohol can lead to some other good times! Consultant urological surgeon Dr. Asif Muneer mentions, “The old adage that ‘alcohol increases desire, but reduces performance’ has some truth to it.”

Drinking too much alcohol can lower your sex drive over time. Pretty sure that low libido isn’t on your list of goals for the year. So forget erectile dysfunction due to hangovers. If you want to channel your inner Diljit Dosanjh (Jatt & Juliet) or a rugged Akshay Kumar (Gabbar Is Back), give yourself a little boost in the bedroom by reducing how many pegs you drink each week.

According to Canada’s low-risk drinking guidelines, men should only have up to 3 alcoholic drinks—that’s like 1 Patiala peg—a night and no more than 15 alcoholic beverages per week.  

How do you balance out your alcohol consumption when you’re with your buds?  Share your suggestions in the comments below.

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The article was originally published on October 08, 2020.