There was a time in my life when I used to put on full glam on a Tuesday at 9 p.m., hit a pre-party get-together at 10:30 p.m., and make it to the bar at the ungodly hour of midnight. After three hours of dancing the night away, replacing my sweat losses with vodka sodas, and ending the night at Taco Bell, I’d get a mere four hours of sleep and spring up for my 9 a.m. class chipper, bright-eyed, and ready to ace my Biochem exam—no hangover recovery plan (or even need for one) in sight. Now (six years post-grad), I’ll have two and a half glasses of wine while watching Love Island (U.K.) and be down for the count for at least three whole business days.
While I’m still down to celebrate a job promotion with a friend, pour a pitcher of spicy margaritas to kick off a G.N.O., or stay up past my bedtime to catch a live concert, my prep and recovery for a late night out is a lot more curated than it used to be. Bouncing back from dehydration, lack of sleep, and high-sodium food (Crunchwrap Supremes will be the death of me) is no easy feat, but fear not! If you can’t keep up quite like you used to, these recovery hacks have your back:
Before a night out, get ahead of the game and make hydrating a priority. Sure, water is a good start, but if we’re not in the mood to be laying in bed all day tomorrow, we need all of the help we can get. When we know we’ll be dancing the night away, walking in heels across town to get to the next rooftop bar, or basking in the sunset while enjoying a margarita on a downtown patio, we reach for GoHydrate, an all-natural hydration drink that tastes incredible (if you haven’t tried their cherry limeade packet yet, you are missing out) and delivers five electrolytes immediately to the body. Unlike other hydration packets, these have zero sugar, the added benefit of vitamin D, and only 80 mg of sodium per packet, which is a win in our book.
Even when you’re not drinking alcohol, staying hydrated is crucial for feeling your best and keeping your body healthy. Staying hydrated can help with everything from skin glow, to feeling more toned to helping the body detox properly, and, you know, just helping every organ in the body run properly. GoHydrate contains super ingredients like electrolytes (such as calcium, potassium, and magnesium) to immediately hydrate on a deeper level than water alone. Trust me: your body feels the difference when you’re properly hydrated.
2. Assemble a bedside recovery kit
The last thing that you’ll want to be doing when waking up exhausted after a night out is to go on a treasure hunt around your house to find items to bring you back to life. Before you go out for an evening, assemble a bedside recovery kit so that you can start nursing yourself back to reality from the comfort of your own bed. Here are our go-to items to have in our arsenal:
- GoHydrate packet + bottle of water to start rehydrating
- Ibuprofen (Motrin, Advil) for pain relief
- Ginger chews for nausea
- Alka-Seltzer to neutralize stomach acid
- Saltine crackers for an easily digestible source of energy
- Makeup wipes if you were too lazy to remove last night’s glam
3. Practice a 1:1 water to drink ratio
Being a hydrated baddie is always on our to-do list, and it’s even more important when we’re drinking sugary drinks and drinks that contain alcohol. Getting in the habit of alternating glasses of water with your non-water drink of choice, ordering drinks that are blended with ice, opting for light over dark liquors, and diluting liquor with water are great ways to keep up with water loss while tackling an evening of activities.
4. Take ibuprofen before bed and again in the morning
If you can remember to take ibuprofen before bed in an effort to stay ahead of the aches and pains that come from drinking, dancing into the late hours of the night, running across town to hit up your favorite pizza joint before it closes, and/or consuming mass amounts of sugar and dairy, you will thank yourself later. Ibuprofen (AKA Advil or Motrin) is an over-the-counter, nonsteroidal, anti-inflammatory drug that can help tackle the aches and pains that come with a night out. On the other hand, acetaminophen (Tylenol) should be avoided, as it’s metabolized in the liver, which already may be working overtime if you indulged in a few alcoholic beverages. Before taking any type of supplement or medication, consult with your doctor about which over-the-counter options are right for you.
5. Catch up on hydration in the morning
No matter how much you may have hydrated before, during, or after a night out, there’s still plenty of opportunity to rehydrate when you wake up. When you open your eyes to a dry mouth, a bit of a headache, and missed calls from your DoorDash delivery driver, reach for a bottle of water mixed with your favorite GoHydrate flavor. With all-natural ingredients, Instant Hydration Technology that delivers electrolytes immediately to the body, and only 80mg of sodium, GoHydrate is an obvious choice for a morning where your tank is on E.
6. Take ginger for nausea and eat easily digestible foods
If you’re someone who gets wildly nauseated after a late night out, you’re not alone. Being nauseated can be a huge barrier to rehydrating and keeping up with your nutrition, which can be detrimental to getting through a massive recovery day. Ginger is a safe and effective way to treat nausea and is such a game-changer to have on hand if you’re looking to settle your stomach after a few alcoholic beverages, a lot of sugar, or too much dairy. We love reaching for ginger chews, ginger gum, ginger tea, or grating fresh ginger to add to a smoothie or hot water. If you’re not feeling up to eating a big meal, opt for simple, easily digestible carbs like toast, bagels, crackers, soup, scrambled eggs, or potatoes that will help raise blood sugar while being gentle on the stomach.
7. Take a nap
It’s no secret that a night out and sleep don’t mix well. In addition to being out and about and abandoning your normal bedtime, the not-so-healthy choices that come with it (drinking alcohol and eating a lot of sugar) delay sleep onset, cause sleep disturbances, and decrease sleep quality. So, in addition to being dehydrated and possibly hypoglycemic, day-after-drinking symptoms are further exacerbated by lack of sleep. If you can find time in your day after you hydrate and eat a bit, take a nap to give your body the gift of some much-needed rest.
8. Gua sha or ice roll for puffiness
After a night of succumbing to sodium in the form of eating some of our favorite foods (pizza, tacos, or ramen, just to name a few), our faces are always at peak puffiness the morning after a night out. We love reaching for our favorite gua sha stones, jade rollers, and ice rollers to help us de-puff when our faces are holding on to water after a night of fun-filled activities.
Remember: Drinking can be fun, but it can also be incredibly dangerous and addicting. If you or a loved one is experiencing alcoholism or alcohol abuse, you can call the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Service Administration’s 24-hour hotline at 1-800-662-HELP (4357) for treatment options and resources.
This post contains a sponsored inclusion of GoHydrate, but all of the opinions within are those of The Everygirl editorial board.