I don’t drink much anymore. I haven’t really had the inclination to drink much since the kids were born (which is a good thing), and truth be told, I’m not really into drinking when we go out without the kids either.

Not that I’m against drinking, by any means, nor do I want to sound like I’m passing judgment a là “drinking is bad.” No. It’s more like the desire to drink has melted away, along with any sense that I actually have time to drink anymore, and as a result, my alcohol tolerance is way, way down. The other big factor deterring me from intoxication— more so than ever before— is the hangover.

That having been said, I’d like to pass on some general advice and thoughts about imbibing and hangovers, and how to avoid them.

First and most importantly, drink lots of water. I cannot stress this enough. Your body uses up a tremendous amount of water when dealing with alcohol, and this is the most important factor in hangovers: dehydration. As a rule of thumb, I try to drink a glass of water for every serving of alcohol. This saved my ass a week and a half ago: when my best friend was in town for my daughter’s birthday, we stayed up late Saturday night catching up, and ended up drinking a pint of beer (some of my homebrew), 2 shots of tequila and a shot of Canadian whiskey— all in about an hour’s worth of time. By all rights, I should have been sick as a dog the next day, but I drank 4 or 5 large pint glasses of water before going to bed, and woke up with only the vaguest hint of a headache. No other ill effects at all.

If you can, take extra vitamin B, preferably before drinking, but after will do in a pinch. You get depleted of vitamin B when alcohol is processed, and this also contributes to hangovers. Vitamin B is needed by the body to process sugars, and the lack of water and sugars getting to the brain is a large part of what causes the hangover.

I’ve noticed that back in the day, when I would wake up at 5 am with a throbbing, pounding headache from drinking, that if I took aspirin, it would help the headache go away… but if I took ibuprofen, then it wouldn’t necessarily help my headache, and I would start getting queasy. So if ibuprofen seems to kick off the nausea part of the hangover, like it did for me, stick with aspirin.

If you’re drinking beer, stick to microbrews or homebrews; the yeast content and the non-filtered nature of these beers help to replenish the nutrients you lose and lessen the ill-effects. Plus, they taste better!

If you’re drinking booze, I don’t have any good advice for you about what to drink.

Here’s an interesting link: R U Pissed? On their home page, they have a blood alcohol calculator.

Enough of this. I’m going to go home and have a beer in a bit.