We all know that abstaining from alcohol is the best way to avoid a hangover. It's just that abstinence is not always our method of choice during the holiday season. Fortunately, there are other ways of preventing a hangover which are not quite so ruthless.

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We only live once, so why not make the most of it? The ‘Better Me‘ series hopes to give some ideas on how to add fun and meaning to our lives.

Prevention is better than the cure. That’s something teachers, parents, doctors and other patrons of our wellbeing never tire of saying. So yes, we all know that abstaining from alcohol is the best way to avoid a hangover. It’s just that abstinence is not always our method of choice. Especially when it comes to the holiday season. Fortunately, there are other ways of preventing a hangover which are not quite so ruthless.

Hangover Prevention

1. Water

Have you ever woken up after a night of heavy drinking feeling like a Thirsty Bear?

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Avoid that feeling by keeping yourself hydrated before, during and after a boozy night. If you come back home and realise that you haven’t been drinking enough water along with your alcohol, have a few glasses of water before bed. You may not feel like it at the time, but you’ll be glad in the morning.

2. Almonds

According to an old Native American belief, almonds help to prevent intoxication. Try eating a handful of unsalted almonds before you start drinking.

3. Bananas

Replace the potassium you lost during a heavy night of drinking by having a banana before you go to bed and another one when you get up in the morning.

4. Juice

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Vitamin C helps to break down alcohol in the body, while sucrose helps to increase blood sugar levels. So why not mix your drinks with unsweetened orange or grapefruit juice? Alternatively, you could try having some freshly squeezed juice before or after a night out. Do remember though that juice is quite calorie-rich, so if you are on a calorie-restricted diet you may wish to consume orange juice in moderation. Or why not opt for tomato juice instead?

If you have an upset stomach, try apple juice rather than orange or tomato juice. If you are watching your weight, top up half a glass of apple juice with some carbonated water. Or if you prefer, just have an apple instead.

5. Wheatgrass

Whilst hardly a staple in most people’s refrigerators, wheatgrass is a great detoxifier, full of minerals and enzymes that help to break down alcohol. After a heavy night of drinking, keep the big bad hangover away with a shot of wheatgrass before bed.

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Hangover Cure

Hangover prevention is seldom a top priority on a fun night out. Fortunately, there are plenty of natural hangover remedies we can resort to the morning after in order to keep those nasty hangover symptoms at bay. Water, juice, bananas and wheatgrass are effective both before and after a night of drinking.

6. Ginger

If you are feeling nauseous, try some ginger tea. Depending on your level of incapacitation, you can choose between fresh and ready-made ginger tea. To make ginger tea yourself, add a few slices of ginger root to three or four cups of water and boil for ten minutes. Add lemon and honey to taste.

7. Probiotics

The enzymes in probiotics will help your body to process alcohol. Probiotics can also help with digestion and stomach upsets. Kefir and yogurt are just a couple of the options available.

8. Fruit and vegetables

Opt for natural rather than processed sugar by eating plenty of fruit. As far as vegetables go, asparagus, artichoke and spinach are said to help alleviate hangover symptoms.

9. Honey

If you are craving something sweeter than just fruit, try adding honey and fresh lemon juice to some warm water. If you can stomach it, add a touch of cayenne pepper.

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10. A hot bath

Help your skin to detoxify by having a hot shower or, better yet, a bath. For best results, dissolve some wasabi bath salts or mustard powder in the water.

Any more tips? Let me know!

Related articles: The Best Natural Hangover Remedies, Health 911, Nine Herbs to Cure a Hangver