1. Slow and steady wins the race
Allow 45 minutes to 1 hour per drink, if possible, to give your body time to properly metabolize alcohol and all its metabolites. A backlog of alcohol metabolites (mainly acetaldehyde) caused by fast consumption of alcohol will have you feeling worse than a broke dick dog in a yard full of bitches.
2. Hydrate, hydrate, hydrate
Consuming a cup of water per hour with your alcoholic drink can help offset the diuretic effect that alcohol has. Even better if you can slam some electrolyte containing beverage (Gatorade, etc.) before going to sleep. The diuretic effect of alcohol can also cause a depletion of electrolytes that are not replenished by water alone. Dehydration and electrolyte deficiency or imbalances can have a negative effect on performance and contribute to the hangover mechanism. This is the only time it is acceptable to drink pickle juice you weird, redneck bastard.
3. Go hard or go home
This is not a sex euphemism nor does it mean to drink fast and furious. By hard, I mean hard alcohol, or whiskey, vodka, and gin. Beers, wine, mixed drinks, etc. generally have lots of extra calories and sugar. This can be problematic with regards to body composition for obvious reasons. Hard alcohol, on the other hand, if drank on the rocks, or mixed with water, has a much smaller calorie load than the others. Alcohol is listed as having 7 kcal per gram, but not all of that is actual “usable” energy, so it can be closer to half that amount, in some scenarios. You can take this rule one step further by choosing clear alcohols like the vodka and gin because they contain less congeners and can spare your liver some during the metabolization process, potentially lessening hangover symptoms. Do you Tanqueray?
4. Don’t leave home on an empty stomach
Alcohol can diffuse right through the gut into the bloodstream. Consuming a meal before starting your drinking escapades can help slow the absorption of alcohol by reducing the diffusion rate of alcohol through the gut. This piggybacks with the “slow and steady” rule by preventing the backlog of alcohol metabolites. Lots of fats and protein here would be ideal because they will take a longer time to pass through the gastrointestinal tract.
5. You can sleep when you’re dead, but you’re going to want a nap the next day
It is easy to fall asleep after drinking, but difficult to get a good night’s rest. This is multifaceted in nature. After consuming alcohol and going to sleep, your body has a tendency to spend less time in the REM (rapideye movement) sleep cycle. This is problematic because that cycle is when most body restoration occurs. A non-sober person also has a tendency to go through less complete sleep cycles which is one of the reasons people tend to wake up earlier after drinking. Combine that with alcohol consumption exacerbating sleep problems, like snoring, by further paralyzation of neck, esophageal, and mouth muscles, and you have a recipe for a bad night of sleep. There is not much way around a bad night of sleep, so do yourself a favor and allot some time the next day for a siesta, where you can catch a normal sleep cycle or two. Unless you have kids, then spend that nap time consoling crying kids because their socks feel funny and they don’t like that milk is the color white.
6. Pills are good, pills are gooooood
The metabolization of alcohol can result in the depletion of various B vitamins, namely B1, B5 and B6. B vitamins play a host of different roles in the body, so depletion of these likely plays into the hangover mechanism and may affect your performance. Popping a B vitamin complex at some point while drinking alcohol can help to replenish B vitamin levels and mitigate any effects that would be caused by their depletion. If you really wanted to get fancy you could add in some N acetyl cysteine (NAC) and milk thistle with your B vitamins. NAC can help with the processing of the acetaldehyde metabolites discussed earlier, while milk thistle is a great substance to help support the liver when it is being bombarded with alcohol. This rule is also a fantastic icebreaker. Walk up to a member of the opposite sex and ask if they want to take some of your pills because if they do, they will feel “really good in the morning” and then wink at them. Success rates vary on your gender, attractiveness, and whether or not you have a mustache and drive a van with no windows.