But just like anything else, a night out with friends is not all happiness and fun. Usually the big blow comes the next day when you wake up listening to those 5 shots of Stoli Elit pound a nice steady rhythm into your ears, your eyes and your stomach. If you're like me who's living with someone, trust me, the sight of you all effed up is not nice. And seeing the other person looking at you that way will only make you feel shittier.
So let's go back to my five-drink rule. Quite literally, it means that you should limit yourself to five drinks. But it also means that you should also do five things before, while and after drinking.
Rule 1. Eat. Now I don't want to hear about dieting and that stuff because you have to eat. The reason why the next day or even just later that night you feel like throwing up is because the alcohol is irritating your empty stomach. So eat heartily, and if possible, eat something fatty or milky. The fat lines your stomach and delays the effects of alcohol. Now that is NOT reason to drink more. But it will make sure that you get to spend more time with your friends before you feel sick. It will save you a lot on over marked up bar food, if for nothing else.
Rule 2. This is totally just my observation, but staying with clear, distilled and "purer" alcohol leads to less or NO hangover. I've read that what causes hangovers, other than drinking like you haven't had any liquid for the last 4 years, is the impurities in the alcohol. So sticking with Vodka, gin, white rum or sake will help you the next morning. Oh and by the way, to even narrow that down, stick to a certain "family" of drinks. So if you prefer Vodka tonight, go for Vodka-something. Don't mix Vodka cocktails with other non-vodka based cocktails and MOST definitely NOT red wine. Non-vodka based cocktails can have more alcohol content and therefore make you even more drunk. Mixing spirits with wine, though will probably not affect how drunk you are (wine often has less alcohol than any spirit) will most probably bloat you up.
Rule 3. Keep eating in the bar. Little stuff like pretzels or nuts or a veggie plate with dip will help keep the tummy rumbles at bay. It will also keep you busy so you won't finish off your drink too fast. For my five-drink rule, I usually order a new drink every hour or so. In between, water will be fine. Water is great, even, because it keeps you hydrated and that will lessen the effect of the alcohol.
Rule 4. So...you're still alive! The cab driver did not turn out to be a serial rapist, after all. If you can, pass by a convenience store and get a gatorade. It, again, hydrates you and gives back the minerals and electrolytes you've lost after drinking and dancing. It also helps maintain your blood sugar and that's important if you wanna avoid a hangover. Hypoglycemia is one of the symptoms of a hangover and it causes dizziness and nausea (think sugar lows).
When you're home, kicking off those heels, taking make up off and getting ready for some beauty rest, pop a 500mg pill of vitamin B complex (StressTabs will do, too). Hangovers are also characterized by a B complex deficiency, so taking a supplement will greatly help you kill a hangover.
Rule 5. The next day, most likely your hangovers aren't as nightmarish (if you have it at all) but you still need to remember to maintain hydration and to eat. Some people I know use a laxative tea to make sure everything gets flushed out, but I'm yet to try that. Formally, rule number 5 is the "don'ts" rule.
DO NOT: drink aspirin. True, it will help relieve the headache (if any) but it will also cause liver damage and after the drinking, you don't need that. Besides, the nausea and the dizziness is a symptom of a bigger problem, usually, as said above, hypoglycemia.
DO NOT: drink more! Of course it will work at first. Alcohol has a sedating effect. But it will only delay THEN worsen the scenario.
So before you go out and drink, make sure you know what to do when you do get drunk. Hangovers are no fun.