BOTTLE SHOTS: Five steps you can take to keep hangovers at bay

The holiday season, with its almost non-stop parade of reasons and occasions to drink wine (or any other alcohol), can leave some of us feeling routinely rough the next morning. Unfortunately, hangovers are just a part of the package when it comes to alcohol, but that doesn't mean there aren't steps you can take to mitigate the morning fuzz.

1. Drink Water

Being dehydrated and being hungover are two different things, but focusing on hydration can go a long way to making sure your next morning is much less miserable. Here's what works for me: I have a glass of water between every glass of wine. If I don't have a separate water glass, I'll just pour it directly into my wine glass, forcing myself to drink it before moving on to my next bottle. Does this mean I run to the restroom frequently throughout the evening? Yes. Does this mean I wake up feeling fit as a fiddle the next day? Yes.

2. Avoid the Hangover Myths

We've all heard stories about ways not to get too drunk. Not consuming beer before liquor, that clear spirits lead to fewer hangovers than dark ones, etc. None of these are backed up by science.

3. The One Myth That's Actually True

Champagne, Prosecco, sparkling wines and anything carbonated will get you drunker faster than their still counterparts. Scientists have proved that those consuming carbonated beverages absorb alcohol more quickly, but they're still unsure why. One theory is that carbonation increases the air pressure in the stomach, which forces the alcohol into your bloodstream faster than wine or other mixed drinks. (If you're a scientist who would like to do more research on this matter, I'll gladly volunteer to be a test subject.)

4. Food Is Your Friend

Are you planning on drinking tonight? Eat lunch. It's really that simple. Sure, eating dinner will help, but if you're drinking with dinner, you'll want something already in your stomach to cushion the effects of alcohol before your dinner begins to digest.

5. What Works For Me

So, what do I do when I get a little carried away and wake up feeling rough? I'm no doctor, but here's what's worked for me over the years. A single dose of BC Powder, a Dr Pepper, and McDonald's biscuits and gravy. Is this a high-end cure? Absolutely not, but it got me through my 20s, so I promise it's been put through rigorous testing.

As always, you can see what I'm drinking on Instagram at @sethebarlow and send your wine questions and quibbles to [email protected]

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