Aside from not drinking, the best way to avoid a hangover is to prepare, says Joel Kahn, MD, a functional–integrative physician in suburban Detroit. Before you imbibe, make sure you’re well-hydrated, eat a proper dinner with protein, and maybe include some chia seeds in your dessert. (They retain liquid when they gel and help the body stay hydrated.)
But let’s say you arrived at a party straight from work without eating dinner, and those two drinks are taking a vicious toll the next morning — headache, nausea, achiness. Kahn has some suggestions:
Hydrate. Like coffee, alcohol is a diuretic, and dehydration is a primary reason you feel so crummy during a hangover. Your first move is to drink plenty of water. Coconut water is also a good choice; it provides potassium to help restore electrolytes.
Add some ginger to hot water to make tea, and sip this to help with nausea; ginger’s capacity to soothe upset stomachs is well documented. Alcohol can be inflammatory to the stomach lining, and “ginger is one of the best anti-inflammatories on the planet,” says Kahn. Add cleansing lemon and turmeric to your tea to make it even more soothing.
Eat breakfast. A high-protein meal, like a breakfast scramble, will help stabilize your blood sugar; add some garlic for its potent anti-inflammatory effect. If a savory meal doesn’t sound appetizing, try a banana. It will soothe your stomach and restore potassium levels.