With aggressive drinking and partying comes a heavy price tag in the shape of a hangover. Every college student figures out their hangover prevention system by their third or fourth year of college, but I’m about to give all the youngsters out there the secret to bouncing back after an all day bender. So take out your notepads and pay attention, this will save you a lot of Sundays which would otherwise be lost to recovery.
Key Principle 1: Don’t Crash Before Hydrating
While it may be extremely hard to not simply face-plant into your bed as soon as you get home after a long night of partying, you’re going to have to resist that urge. The number one cause of hangovers is dehydration (it’s science), so you’ll have to do your best to drink lots of water (or even better, drink something with electrolytes like Gatorade). If you’re planning to really get after it one night, you might have to just setup the water rehydration plan before you go out. One of my favorite moves is to already have a glass of water or gatorade sitting next to my bed before I go out so I don’t forget to drink it before hitting the bed.
Key Principle 2: Learn to Recognize Your Shrinking Sobriety
The ability to tell when you’ve had too much to drink and then cut yourself off is a skill that can only be obtained through years of training in the most raucous party environments. You’ll just have to get your reps in during your first couple years of college. Once you learn to recognize when you’ve had too much, you’ll be able to prevent a lot of bad hangovers and more importantly, prevent bad decisions you may or may not regret (see TextsFromLastNight).
Hangover Prevention Myths:
1) Eating a big late night dinner will prevent the pain. FALSE. This can actually backfire on you if the food contains a lot of salt which will cause even more dehydration. Just stick to Key Principle 1 and you’ll wake up on Sunday and feel like running 6 miles.
2) “Sticking to beer will keep you in the clear”. FALSE. Once again, it’s all about hydration, and even though beer has a lot of water in it, it can still dry you out, especially if you’re planning to do some heavy day-drinking. However, drinking beer can help you work with Key Principle 2, because it’s slower than ripping shots of tequila and trying to figure out if you’ve had too much.
Keeping these principles and myths in mind the next time you go out will save you some serious pain on Sunday morning so you can spend more time doing homework, studying or drinking more on Sunday. I’m open to more suggestions from readers as well. Cheers.
As always, if you have any questions, comments or funny stories you'd like me to share about college or the blog, email me at firstname.lastname@example.org