How to Handle a Hangover

There is no particular reason for me to be writing this post. None whatsoever.

Yes, I happened to attend a party over the weekend. And whenever we go out, Mr. Balancing Act is kind enough to serve as my designated driver. I tell you, I made a good choice when I married this man. And at this party, there was a pitcher of sangria. I'm afraid this is all I remember.

Just kidding!

I did have a couple of glasses of this amazing sangria, chock full of peaches and raspberries. Who could resist? And when the pitcher was empty of liquid, I went back and filled up my wine glass with all the leftover fruit. Yum.

My strategy for surviving parties usually includes several steps:

1) Eat before you leave your house. You don't want to arrive at a party already starving. I have noticed in our culture that it is polite to start drinking the minute you arrive, but no one wants to touch the food until the party is in full swing. So this amounts to a long bout of drinking with no food consumption. My wimpy system cannot handle much alcohol at all, let alone on an empty stomach.

2) Eat PROTEIN! Consuming a healthy dose of protein before and during your drinking will make a BIG difference in how quickly your body absorbs that alcohol. Protein slows digestion. Scout out the appetizers that are high in protein, like crabcakes, shrimp, venison sausages, caviar, sushi, deviled eggs, and the cheese plate. (At the party I just attended, the host encouraged me to taste one of the cheeses which he deemed "better than sex".  It was quite yummy, but I assured my husband that it could never compare.)

3) Drink PLENTY of water. Arrive at the party already fully hydrated. Yes, you are going to have to make more bathroom trips if you follow this tip. But I cannot overemphasize the importance of this point! I always leave a full liter of water in the car and make sure to drink the whole thing on the way home. Dehydration is the root cause of a hangover.

4) Remember that alcohol is toxic. I have two teenaged daughters and I hope I have driven this point home to them. A student in my daughter's dorm at UMCP died from alcohol poisoning this past year. It is shockingly easy to overconsume. If this happens once in a while, your liver will have plenty of time to detoxify your system. If this happens frequently, your liver (and all your organs) will be damaged. Permanently.

I was able to avoid a hangover this past weekend, despite drinking more than I had planned, by following tips #1-3. I did forget all about tip #4, but I am giving my liver a break by drinking lots of green tea and no alcohol this week. If you do end up with a hangover, avoid caffeine which will only increase your dehydration. Instead, stick with water and juicy fruits and veggies. Avoid taking painkillers if at all possible as your liver is already working overtime to remove all the alcohol from your system. Take a nap, if you have that luxury!


  1. Yes to protein and YES to water! Amazing results! Thanks for the tips!

    1. Happy to help! Hope you are having a great summer!


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