Why does a fun Saturday of whiskey and margaritas mean a painful Sunday in bed? Hangovers have been one of humankind’s most despised afflictions for thousands of years – and we’re still not very good at preventing them. An old Puerto Rican hangover remedy demands that you rub a slice of lemon or lime under your armpit before you drink – but we think you’ll have better luck with these 10 products that can help prevent hangovers:
For less than $30, you can purchase a keychain breathalyzer to take with you to the bar. Simply blow through the mouthpiece for 5 seconds to find out your blood-alcohol content. All 50 states require a driver’s BAC to be under .08%, meaning that no more than eight one-hundredths of one percent of your blood can be alcohol. This small device is a good way to decide if you should hand off your keys – and also if you’re going to be in pain the next day. Everyone responds to alcohol differently, depending on gender, genes, weight and more – so using a breathalyzer can help you figure out what your BAC becomes after a certain number of drinks.
Mercy is a caffeine-free, citrus-flavored, hangover prevention drink designed to replenish glutathione, your body’s most powerful antioxidant. After a night of drinking, drink one 65-calorie, 8.4-oz can of Mercy for every three to five drinks you’ve had. With a unique blend of amino acids, antioxidants and vitamins (such as Thiamin and Vitamin B6), Mercy helps boost your body’s natural defenses and rids your body of acetaldehyde, a toxin found in alcohol.
Similar to Mercy, Drinkwel are nutrient-packed “multivitamins for healthy people who drink alcohol.” Packed with botanicals (like Milk Thistle) that support liver health, amino acides to help process toxins, superfruits that help neutralize free radicals, and vitamins to aid metabolism and support immune system function, Drinkwel multivitamins are designed to be taken daily, with an additional 3 capsules recommended before bed after a night of drinking.
4. A Sleep Mask
An underrated hangover cure is more sleep. Although it is a depressant that makes you sleepy, alcohol often undermines the quality of your shut-eye and makes you more sensitive to things like light and sound. Especially if you’ve been out late, bright sunlight streaming through your windows will make it hard to sleep late. Invest in a comfortable, dark sleep mask (it should stay in place, but not be tight) to mimic the appearance of night. Trust me, an extra hour or two of sleep can completely wipe my hangover away. Of course, this method won’t work if your partying on a work or school night!
If you’d prefer a fizzy hangover remedy, check out Blowfish – two effervescent tablets you simply drop into a glass of water the morning after your night of drinking. Effective after 15-20 minutes, this medicine – not a vitamin – is a powerful combo of aspirin and caffeine that relieves your headache and wakes you up. In addition, the buffered formula is gentle on the stomach. If you’re not convinced, you can get two hangovers’ worth of free samples.
6. BrainWave Hangover Relief App
Finally, smartphone app developers have taken on the hangover! BrainWave promises “Binaural Brainwave Entrainment and Soothing Ambience” to synchronize your brainwaves to deeply relaxing low-frequency alpha and theta waves. Apparently, this adjustment – available for daytime and nighttime settings – helps provide relief from the headache, nausea and discomfort of a hangover. Optimized for iPhone 5, BrainWave is compatible with iPhone, iPod touch and iPad – as long as you’re running iOS 4.3 or later.
7. A Brita Filter/Homemade Filtration Kit
If the toxins and impurities of alcohol are what causes hangovers, one hangover prevention method is drinking only the purest alcohol. However, that can mean big bucks, so we’ve got a cheaper alternative: you can filter inexpensive vodka with a Brita Filter and some PVC pipe. Read the controversial discussion about the cost benefits and effectiveness over at Chowhound, including advice from one user who created a homemade vodka filtration device. If this all seems too complicated, you can always drink at home and shop the sales!
8. Pure Oxygen
O-Pur Oxygen is Oxygen without additives. After only inhaling 10 times, the oxygen level in your blood rises up to 30%, making you feel more energized. With this compact portable canister and inhaler cup, pure Oxygen is released one breath at a time.
9. Alcohol Tracking Apps
The hardest part about drinking is having the sense to say no once you’ve already started. Are you pushing your limits? Track how many drinks you’ve had with a customizable alcohol tracking app, like the AlcoDroid Alcohol Tracker for Android. AlcoDroid also provides an estimate of your blood alcohol content (BAC) based on the drinks you’ve logged, plots your BAC development in a chart, and indicates when you get below the legal limit or back to zero. If you use it over the course of several months, you’ll get a good sense of how much you’re really drinking – and how much is too much.
10. Sports Drinks
If professional athletes replenish their body’s nutrients with Gatorade, why not do the same? When you drink alcohol, you dehydrate your body – and sports drinks like Gatorade are packed with electrolytes to rehydrate you quickly. In addition, the carbohydrates in sports drinks give you a quick burst of energy, while also allowing the drink’s other nutrients to be absorbed quickly.