The Best Drinks For Preventing Post-Booze Anxiety, Because Hangover Blues Are Real

by Charlotte Pasha
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Anxiety is a horrible feeling. It's never easy; whether it's caused by a rotten hangover the morning after the night before, overthinking everything and anything you've ever said, or if you are living with constant, crippling general anxiety disorder, that leaves you paralysed with fear at the thought of leaving the house. It's beyond difficult, and only amplified by alcohol, which is frustrating as truth be told, having a glass of wine or a vodka tonic or two can be a great social lubricant, and sometimes what you want to have fun and relax on a night out. So what is the best drink for preventing alcohol anxiety?

Many people unfortunately suffer from anxiety for the day after drinking, because, as Drink Aware reports, alcohol aggravates the nervous system, and increases anxious feelings and symptoms. It also worsens sleep, and a combination of alcohol, a hangover, and little to no sleep is ripe territory for seriously anxious thoughts.

Bearing that in mind, having a drink every now and then can be really enjoyable, and the good news is, certain drinks will help to minimise hangover anxiety. Even though pretty much all alcoholic drinks contain ethanol, they can contain it in different amounts and your body can react differently, so pick your tipple wisely. Here are a few tips to help you out.


Go For Lighter Drinks

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Look, I'm not saying vodka shots will leave you anxiety-free, but there is apparently some truth in the fact that darker coloured drinks, like rum, beer, and red wine, leave you feeling rougher the next day. It's because they contain more congeners, Professor Roger Corder, author of The Wine Diet, told The Guardian. In case you didn't know, congeners are "chemical byproducts from the production process." So when in doubt, opt for light or see-through drinks.


Seek Out Drinks With Lower Sugar Content

The sugar in many alcoholic drinks can also leave us feeling jittery and exhausted the next day, which contributes to anxiety. It can cause extreme stress and blurred vision, according to an article in Psychology Today by Dr. David Sack. He explained that this is similar symptoms to an anxiety attack. So when it comes to mixers, opt for soda water rather than fizzy popp, and be wary of super sweet (and delicious, sadly) cocktails.


Load Up On Good Ol' Water

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Such a boring one, I know. But drinking a glass of water in between actual, fun drinks, can help with your hangover, and subsequently keep your anxiety in check. Also remember to down water when you get home, and stay hydrated the next day. Other boring advice that will help with next-day anxiety: don't drink on an empty stomach, and know your limits.


Avoid Gin-Based Drinks

Ever heard the saying "gin makes you cry"? Well, if you haven't, let me tell you it's quite possibly true. According to the research by Public Health Wales, spirits like gin are more like to trigger negative emotions, the Telegraph reports. This is because gin has a high alcohol content, so when drunk quickly, you get well and truly hammered. Try and drink it *sloooowwwwly,* or seek out a gentler option.


Go For Drinks With A Low Alcohol Content

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This means you'll enjoy the buzz of alcohol, but won't get too drunk, too fast. Low alcohol content is generally considered as having an ABV of 0.5 percent to 1.2 percent. There are plenty of cocktails with a low alcohol content cocktails — something vermouth-based is a good idea. The hangover will be so much better, it's worth it, and if you sip slowly, your night will work out cheaper. Win win.


Make Spritzers Your Friend

White wine is delicious, and a white wine spritzer is no less so. Better still, you end up drinking half the wine content you would normally per glass, due to the sparkling water in there. This could help keep anxiety in check, rather than matching everyone glass for glass with straight wine. It's sort of like a cheaper champagne, and sort of hydrating. Ish.


Do An Alcohol-Free Day

Sometimes, you can feel anxiety symptoms creeping up on you, and you know that alcohol won't help. The truth is, alcohol can seriously impact your anxiety. So if a mate asks you out for drinks, tell them you're taking an alcohol-free day. Yes, that is a thing. Whenever I've said I'm not drinking, for whatever reason, I've always been surprised at how many people say they'd prefer a soft drink as well. It's OK to just say no.


Picking drinks carefully is a good idea, but essentially, it comes down to quantity, which is why drinking in moderation is advised. For people who suffer from serious anxiety, going teetotal may help. When in doubt, consult an expert.