Aftercare after a night in Old Town

Sarah Ehrlich

Warmer weather is causing students to come out of hibernation and have fun in Old Town again. But sometimes things don’t go as planned.

Several bars in downtown Fort Collins, including Yeti Bar and Grill, say one of the most popular drinks of the weekend is Adios MoFo. The drink is a hefty combination of vodka, rum, tequila, gin, Blue Curacao liqueur, and a sweet soda finish likely to give anyone a strong buzz. (Collegian file photo)

When one friend is kissing a stranger on the Rec Room dance floor, another is ordering another drink they definitely do not need, and nobody has seen the designated driver, the last thing on your mind is the hangover that’s about to hit you in the morning.

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Continue reading for some tips to help prevent that miserable post-party feeling.

  1. Understand some science of a hangover.

Some people may think hangovers are all about dehydration, but they are a bit more complicated. Andrea Coryell, assistant director of Substance Abuse Prevention at CSU Health Education and Prevention Services, explains the by-products of alcohol can take a toll on your body.

“Long story short, there’s a lot happening physiologically,” Coryell said. “There’s also evidence that alcohol triggers an immune response, which adds to that flu feeling the next day. A heavy night of drinking will prevent you from getting into the deeper stages of restful, restorative sleep—so even though you might fall asleep faster, you won’t feel rested the next day.”

Alcohol can also irritate the lining of your stomach, causing your blood sugar to fall and can make your blood vessels expand, which equals a headache, according to an article by the Mayo Clinic. 

  1. Don’t mix liquor.

Have intentions for the night and alcohol that will be part of it. Know what you’re drinking and know your limits.

“People make the mistake of pre-gaming too hard and then drinking something different at the bars,” said natural resource tourism senior Sydni Kilnes. “Beer at home and then sugar-filled shots at the bar make hangovers worse. The best thing to do is drink water all night and then eat unhealthy food.”

  1. Eat food before and after.

Don’t ignore your drunk cravings. Senior design and merchandising student Emily Thomas says food is the best way to cope with a night of drinking. 

“Before or after the bars, I like to pound a Big Mac or chicken nuggets … that seems to help with the pain in the morning,” Thomas said. “I always have a water bottle near my bed for when I wake up at 5 a.m. dying of thirst. I’ve learned that Comet Chicken or Firehouse Subs are the best places for a hangover remedy.”

  1. Hydrate and medicate.

Whether it’s chugging water, smoking a bowl, or sitting in the shower loathing yourself, take time for self-care.

“If you do end up with a hangover the next day, drink lots of water, get some rest, take something like Pepto-Bismol for your stomach, and ibuprofen or aspirin for your headache,” Coryell said. “Do not take acetaminophen (Tylenol) – your liver is already working overtime to process the alcohol and it could be toxic.”

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Collegian file photo
  1. Accept that there is no real cure.

Unfortunately, hangovers are an inevitable part of the consequences of drinking heavily.

 “The reality is, no magic cures that exist,” said Coryell. “You can prevent a hangover, though, by pacing your drinks, drinking lots of water in between, eating before going out, and deciding what your limits will be before the night gets started.”

More information on safe drinking can be found at the Health Education and Prevention Services, a part of the CSU Health Network.

Collegian reporter Sarah Ehrlich can be reached at entertainment@collegian.com and on Twitter @sarahehrlihch96.