| Key Take-Aways
Whether you’re celebrating a wedding, throwing a milestone birthday bash, or hosting a bachelor/bachelorette party, you want to ensure you and your guests feel good after a night of over-indulgence. Nothing makes the memory of good times fade quicker than a throbbing headache, cotton mouth, and queasy stomach the next morning.
To the rescue? A well-planned hangover kit, filled with the essentials to get you and your loved ones through the day until hangover symptoms start to ease up. But what should you include?
Get the lowdown on the essentials to include in a hangover kit—and why they matter.
What is a hangover kit?
Think of a hangover kit as a party favor for your guests to take home and enjoy the next morning if or when they need it. Filled with feel-better goodies, this mini-rescue bag helps your guests transition from celebrating hard the night before to a recovering the morning after.
While you can approach a hangover kit with a playful spirit (after all, you’re all celebrating, right?), you don’t want to encourage your friends and family to drink too much alcohol. However, in case they do over-indulge, your hangover kit can ease their pain the next day.
Why do you need a hangover kit?
To put it bluntly, you want to alleviate the morning after misery (a.k.a. that historic hangover) that shows up like an unwanted guest at your party.
As a quick refresh of Hangover 101, your entire body works hard to process alcohol and eliminate it. This can lead to a variety of hangover symptoms, such as dehydration, electrolyte imbalance, digestive issues, disruption of sleep, and decreased blood sugar.
Fortunately, you can provide a few amenities in a DIY hangover kit to help ease hangover symptoms as you and your guests recover from a night of celebrating. Need some hangover kit ideas? Read on to discover the symptom-easing essentials to include and why they matter.
12 hangover kit ideas
The good news: you can usually kiss your hangover good-bye after a 24-hour recovery period.
The bad news: it might feel like the longest 24 hours of your life.
To the rescue: a stockpile of hangover remedies to ease common symptoms such as dry mouth, headache, fatigue, and nausea.
Preventive tips. Nothing says “I care about you” better than protecting your loved ones from pain. The only foolproof way to prevent a hangover is to avoid getting one in the first place, so provide a “Because I Love You…” card with a few preventive tips for keeping a clear head (and calm stomach) the next morning. Try these ideas:
Abstain from drinking alcohol altogether. After all, someone’s got to be the designated driver. Why not you?
Drink in moderation. For women, that means one drink and for guys, that means two drinks. You can toast to celebrate the occasion, then draw the line at refills.
Eat so you don’t have an empty stomach. Why? Because food helps slow down the release of alcohol into the bloodstream, lessening alcohol’s effects on the body and lowering your chance of getting a hangover.
Ditch the cigarettes. If you smoke while drinking alcohol, this not only raises your risk of a hangover, but it can actually intensify hangover symptoms. Why? Because cigarette smoke contains acetaldehyde—the same chemical released by your body as it processes alcohol and the same chemical associated with hangover symptoms.
Drink one glass of water in between every alcoholic drink. This helps you moderate your alcohol intake and keeps you hydrated, as alcohol dehydrates your body.
Bottled water. Stave off the dehydration caused by alcohol consumption by drinking plenty of water throughout the day. Since dehydration can contribute to thirst, dry mouth, nausea, and headache, H20 will be your hangover recovery best friend. FYI: coconut water works, too, as it helps restore some of the electrolytes you lost drinking alcohol.
Ibuprofen. Since alcohol and acetaminophen don’t mix, you can treat your headache with some ibuprofen. Wash it down with that bottle of water.
Hangover snacks. While food won’t help your body heal faster after a night of drinking, eating good hangover food can alleviate some symptoms. Nonperishables like crackers will work since complex carbs will help lessen nausea and increase low blood sugar levels. Nuts and seeds will help, too (think almonds, cashews, or pumpkin seeds), as they can replenish magnesium stores depleted by alcohol and ease hangover symptoms.
Sleep mask. When the crack of dawn hits, that blinding light can ruin your sleep. A sleep mask can keep those bloodshot peepers covered so you catch a few more winks and let your body get the rest it needs.
Ear plugs. Even a child’s whisper can feel like a roar when you’re thick in the throes of a hangover the next morning. Drown out the sounds to catch some much-needed shut-eye and minimize your headache.
Lip balm. Your day-after dry mouth likely extends to your lips after a night of overindulging. Nourish your parched pucker with a moisturizing lip balm.
Hair care. A comb, some hair ties, and a small bottle of dry shampoo will help you look presentable, especially if you’ve got somewhere to be the next day.
Underarm wipes. No time to shower the next day? No worries. Reduce the pit stench and block the hangover sweat with some refreshing underarm wipes.
Hand sanitizer. Who knows what you touched last night before you conked out in bed? A bottle of hand sanitizer will help keep germs at bay until you have time for a nice, hot shower.
Breath mints. Last night’s wine never tasted so bad as the moment you wake up to a hangover. Pop a few mints into your cotton mouth to get the lubricating saliva flowing and to give your breath a quick refresh.
Coffee shop gift card. While a cup of coffee won’t cure your hangover, the caffeine boost it delivers will help you wake up when you’re feeling sluggish.
Celebrating life’s milestones can sometimes mean a rough hangover the next day. While abstaining from drinking is the only way to prevent a hangover, you can still take steps to ease symptoms if you and your guests do partake too much the night before. Supply everyone with a good hangover kit which includes water, ibuprofen, nonperishable hangover food, sleep mask, ear plug, lip balm, and other essentials to recovery.
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