Like death and taxes, it’s inevitable that sooner or later, most of us are going to overindulge. However, if you enjoy consuming spirits, there are ways to drink without feeling sick the next day.
“Most of us know what our limits are,” says Mark Spivak, author of Iconic Spirits: An Intoxicating History. “The key to drinking safely and successfully is knowing and respecting your own body.” Here are some of his favorite tips for avoiding a hangover:
- Get enough sleep. A good night’s rest immediately prior to a night of partying will help buffer the impact of alcohol consumed, in addition to improving your well-being in almost every possible way.
- Monitor your diet. Eat a balanced meal before you go out on the town. In particular, going heavy on the protein and carbohydrates will help stabilize your system for the night ahead.
- Employ quality control. Don’t drink bar booze—call your brands. A dollar or two per cocktail is a small price to pay for not abusing your system with impurities. Don’t drink at any establishment that uses premixed cocktail components, particularly slower places where the mixers may have been sitting around for days or weeks.
- Don't try to compete with others. An evening out should be an enjoyable social occasion, not a contest. Let everyone drink at their own pace, and make sure you do the same.
- Know your set point. Just as weight gain or loss relates to your metabolic set point, Spivak believes there is a set point for alcohol as well. You know how much will make you tipsy and how much will make you feel lousy the next day—so behave accordingly.
When all else fails, take some aspirin or ibuprofen immediately before retiring.
Mark Spivak is the food and wine editor of Palm Beach Illustrated, educating our readers on the finer points of wine and spirits and reviewing the top culinary spots of South Florida since 2001. Visiting wine regions, distilleries and culinary meccas around the globe, Mark’s voice, an authoritative pen of the epicurean scene, can also be read on his blog Global Gourmet, where he writes about his experiences and insights exclusively on palmbeachillustrated.com.
Mark is also the author of The Affordable Wine Guide to California and the Pacific Northwest (also available as an e-book). His newest tome, Iconic Spirits: An Intoxicating History [Lyons Press], hit bookstands in November 2012.
Iconic Spirits is a must read for any and all interested in the world of the high-proofed. The book chronicles 12 unique spirits and categories that helped forge the cocktail culture of today, sharing the untold stories and the hidden tales of each. Included are cocktail recipes, many of which are classics and genre originators.