After a night of one-too-many “yes, pleases” to topping off your glass of red, a killer headache the next morning is probably an expected consequence. Most drinkers know that staying hydrated with H20 is a great way to avoid pesky hangover symptoms, but experts now say that another, rather unexpected, beverage can also do the trick: coffee! Because caffeine constricts blood vessels (and alcohol dilates them), drinking two 8-ounce cups of strong java before you get your booze on can mitigate the alcohol’s painful vascular effects, Dr. Seymour Diamond, the executive chairman of the National Headache Foundation, explained to the Chicago Tribune.
But, let’s take it a step back. Why do we get headaches from booze, in the first place? When it comes to wine, many people think the sulfites are to blame, but that’s just a myth. The real culprit is the tannins, which are the antioxidants that thrive in the grapes’ skins, stems, and seeds. To top that off, some aged wines naturally cause us to release histamines, AKA the chemicals responsible for triggering allergy-like symptoms such as, you guessed it: headaches. And since sweet wines and cocktails contain ample amounts of sugar, the body requires plenty of water to efficiently process both the sugar and alcohol (which is just one reason to favor one of these low-sugar 16 Wines For Weight Loss over your usual bottle of booze). That said, if you're not keeping yourself hydrated, you'll likely suffer a major headache.
The bottom line: Next time you plan to indulge in a drink or two, make sure to drink one cup of water for every glass of alcohol. And to further avoid next-day head throbs, we suggest sipping on two 8-ounce cups of these 21 Best Coffees for the Planet before hitting the bar.