At some point, nearly everyone’s gotta blow off some steam. And sometimes, the easiest way to let loose is to head out on the town and get a lil’ wild. Healthy (and, more importantly, safe!) drinking is all about balance and making smart decisions. The difference between waking up fresh as a daisy and spending your whole Sunday in bed is a bit of planning and foresight.

Normal hangover symptoms—nausea, sensitivity to light, headache, achy muscles, diarrhea, and decreased motor skills—are all caused by changes in body chemistry due to changing hormone levels and how the chemicals in alcohol affect the bodyThe alcohol hangover. Wiese JG, Shilpak MG, Browner WS. Veterans Affairs Medicinal Center and the University of California, San Francisco, USA. Annals of Internal Medicine, 2000 Jun 6;132(11):897-902.. The science of hangovers (and how to prevent them) is largely unstudied, which is why people have been inventing their own “cures” for centuries. While nothing (except abstaining from alcohol) can guarantee a hangover-free morning, certain strategies can help protect the body from the not-so-fun side effects of a wild night out on the town.

Read on to learn our best tips for how to prevent and cure a hangover. These tricks are designed to help you feel better, but keep in mind that there’s no “magic cure” for a hangover—except not drinking as much the night before.

Text by Sophia Breene. Illustration by Kim Steinhilber.