Unless you’re still in your early 20s, gone are the days of tossing back a 12-pack and waking up with the sun to go for a run. Now when you casually down half a dozen shots like they do in the movies, you’re a lifeless sack of garbage for an entire day — minimum — cursing those extra cocktails you just had to have, strapping yourself to the puke bucket and swearing off drinking for the remainder of your days.But it doesn’t have to be like this. A simple guide to avoiding a hangover is all you need to drink light, drink right and live to tell your friends about good times you actually remember. It should be called The Old Man’s Guide to Responsible Drinking, but we don’t want to make you feel worse than you already do, especially if you were out last night, you know, drinking like an asshole.

Avoiding A Hangover, Beer
When it comes to beer, it’s all about how fast, how big and what type. A standard 12-ounce beer runs close to five percent alcohol, but there’s also the option for pints, tall boys (24 oz.), 40-ounce beers and — lord help you if you do — two 40s duct taped to your hands. But beer also contains certain B vitamins not found in most beverages, so having one or two isn’t necessarily a bad thing. If you’re surpassing that on a daily basis, though, you may be an alcoholic. Maybe you just thought you were being really “healthy.”

The standard liver can digest one standard beer per hour, and as much as we like to think we’ll stop after one or two beers, we know that’s just not a reality on most nights out. So if you’re out drinking for five hours, try to minimize the damage by handling no more than a beer per hour. You don’t have to be a douche and stop-clock it, but you can casually drink water to help slow down the alcohol in your bloodstream. If you drink 12 beers in six hours, you’re probably going to have a hangover, no matter the amount of water. Add dehydrating summer sun to dehydrating beer and you’re really asking for it.

How To Avoid A Hangover, Beer
This is a different type of wine guide. The harsh reality: Those dinky, long-stemmed Dixie Cups less than half full have an average of more than twice the alcohol — 12 percent — of a standard beer. So, if one to two beers is the cut-off for safe drinking, how much wine do you think you can handle? A bottle has about five servings of the standard five-ounce glass, so more than a bottle over five hours and you’re asking for a big hurt.

Those who say wine doesn’t count have clearly never been on the receiving end the day after a jug of sangria. Although a glass of wine each day has many added benefits — antioxidants, better memory, easier on the waistline than beer, enhanced libido — to go with its earthy deliciousness, too much more than that will have your head pounding like the gavel at a sailor’s court proceeding — too many swear words in the courtroom? Get it? Come on! — especially if you’re a fast drinker. Add the fact that red wine is one of the darker varieties of alcohol that provide harsher hangovers and, well, let’s just say you don’t need the whole box to have a good time. Also, why are you still drinking wine from a box?

How To Avoid A Hangover, Beer
When it comes to drinking, it’s the delicious cocktails you have to look out for because they do the damage more quickly — maybe too quickly. Taking a shot is the equivalent of one drink, but what are the chances you don’t have another drink in the other hand? Shots are meant for catching up — according to college sororities — but the older we get, the lower our metabolism, the more painful a simple shot becomes.

How many average cocktails — approximately 1.5 oz. shot, 80 proof — across a five hour, give or take, drinking period do you think you can handle before it hurts? For most men, anything over five drinks in five hours is going to tie a dumbbell to their brain by mid-morning. And women have it worse, as they metabolize differently; anything from three to five drinks cause a ruckus of a hangover. It’s not the size or tolerance of a woman, but the fact they metabolize alcohol differently. For example, a 140-pound man drinks two drinks in an hour and has a BAC of .038, whereas the same size woman doing the same drinking has a BAC of .048.

And since you’ll ignore everything we’ve said so far, here are some of the best ways to soften your latest bender.

No Bubbles, No Troubles
How To Avoid A Hangover, Beer
Although it’s good to toast of celebratory glass of champagne on a blue moon — no, not that Blue Moon, however delicious — bubbles have been proven to add to the common brown bottle flu. If you’re having drinks — beer, wine, whatever — and add in a glass of the bubbly, you’re upping your risk of a hefty hangover due to increased speed of alcohol absorption in the bloodstream. So the next time you slam a glass of the good stuff, we think it’s wise not to hop behind the wheel, no matter how good of an exit it might’ve been.

Hydrate Before You Inebriate
Avoiding A Hungover
Alcohol dehydrates you, so it only makes sense to find something therein that re-hydrates you, like water, which is free, except that we’re in a drought. It’s a sensible fact that the faster you drink alcohol, the quicker your blood-alcohol level will rise, so if you drink a little water in between sips and in between drinks, you’ll at least slow down your intoxication, meaning you can last a little longer, which is what most girls want, right? For those of us guys who like to keep our hands busy with drinks and cigarettes, maybe try drinking water and sucking on some gum instead.

Light Over Dark
Avoiding A Hangover, Beer
Only when it comes to alcohol should you exhibition harsh racism, as the dark drink gets you a bit more harshly than the transparent ones, apparently. Studies show that darker drinks — red wine, bourbon, tequila, rum, whiskey — provide a more severe hangover than their lighter counterparts, such as gin and vodka, not to say those don’t bring you down as well.

We all like to throw caution to the wind, along with our pants, when it comes to a good drink, but if you’re going to man up and drink your whiskey, just know that you wouldn’t had it a little easier had you gone for the martini. And just because you got a sugary Cosmo doesn’t mean you’re out the woods. The sugar will up your hangover.

Top Shelf-ie
Avoiding A Hangover
Drink with a bit of class. It’s no secret that one of the main differences between top and bottom shelf liquors are their filtration and overall quality. Brands who take the time to distill in abundance, adding to both the taste and cleanliness of the drink, have a higher price tag. If you want to drink cheap, be our guest. Just remember you get what you pay for.

And for Your Two Sides…
Avoiding A Hangover, Beer
Carbs and mood affect your intoxication levels more than you think, which in turn, affects your hangover, but they can affect in very different ways. Carbs are great before and during drinking to soak up alcohol. Having food afterwards rarely works, if the alcohol is only in your bloodstream, but a good round of pretzel balls and beer cheese will go perfectly with a heavy beer.

Mood, on the other hand, has been studied to affect your drinking days as well. If you’re determined to get drunk and wild, mentally your mind is intoxicated the same way your body is, whether or not you’re getting obliterated. Don’t believe us? Next time you’re feeling rowdy, let us know how you feel the next day. And if you’re depressed going into drinking, well, you’re totally screwed.

But seriously, a side bar on people duct taping 40s to their hands: That’s 80 ounces of beer. The average healthy, adult bladder holds 16 ounces of urine. How are you not peeing with bottles taped to your hands?

Web MD



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