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: Patiala pegs and hangovers. Remember, 1 Patiala peg is actually 3-4 servings of alcohol.

You can do a few things to level up your health meter and taper down your booze intake. Want to know what you can do to avoid a hangover? Read on to find out.

Avoid a hangover by harnessing water’s superpower

Drinking water throughout the day is a good way to ensure you’re hydrated.

“Water is Life!” No, that’s not a line from a song. McGill University said so, stating, “Our bodies are made up of about 60% water and we cannot survive more than a few days without it.” Now that we have the science out of the way, pairing water with alcohol is actually super simple, and you can have some fun with this.

We all have that one friend that goes hard and downs a lot of drinks. No one knows how they do it, but somehow they just do. Hey, to each their own! 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. You can also choose to have a small peg between glasses of water instead or sip on that one Patiala peg for the whole evening.

Don’t want to draw attention to your water intake? How about hydrating in stealth mode? Try drinking out of a metal or coloured cup, so when you go to get another round, you can refill yours with water, and none will be the wiser! Your body will thank you for keeping that hangover at bay, and you can thank me for making sure you’re enjoying the benefits of staying hydrated on the down-low with that H2O.

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Slow your rate of alcohol absorption by snacking when you drink

There are so many healthy food options that go well with a drink. You just have to find the one you like best!

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 that you’d want to take a break from that and everything else!

So, let’s say you’re at home and grabbing a beer or two to end the day. This is your personal time to unwind. Nothing wrong with that. Pairing a healthier snack like chole chaat with your drink means a slower alcohol absorption rate, 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. To really double down on the health benefits of drinking less and avoiding a hangover, aim for at least two alcohol-free days per week.

Skip the hangover and give yourself a boost in the bedroom

Is it time to cap it and spend an evening with your special someone?

You’ve had a long week, you’re back to work, and possibly back to a commute you’ve forgotten was so long. Maybe you’re juggling your work life and family life from home, which has become more complicated now that the kids are back to school. Your schedule is getting busier, and you’re doing your best to stay on top of it all. It makes sense that having a drink is one way you like to relax and reward yourself; I get it.

Did you know that 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 according to Canada’s low-risk drinking guidelines? With that in mind, consider pre-pouring your whisky into a decanter, or measuring cup, or only keeping 3 beers in the fridge. Taking the time to 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.”

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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 Patiala pegs you drink each week.

What slick tactics do you have to balance out alcohol consumption when you’re with your buds? What do you do when you’re on your own? Share your stories below and help a guy out!

If you’re wondering how to get rid of your hangovers, we’ve got your back.

Download “A Guy’s Guide to Hangover Cures” ebook right now.