Hangover Remedies

In the movies, hangover symptoms — headache, fatigue, nausea, vomiting, no appetite, raging thirst, sweating, poor vision, depression, giddiness — often seem amusing.
But in real life, they are the unfunny and painful result of too much alcohol in the system, causing an unbalanced biochemistry in the body. The feeling of dehydration occurs because alcohol is a diuretic.
The first and best way to avoid a hangover is not to drink. The second best way is not to drink to excess. For many people, excess means when they “get a buzz.”

Here are seven other ways to avoid a hangover:

  1. Set reasonable limits for yourself and learn to say no.
  2. Drink slowly.
  3. Dilute your drinks with water or other nonalcoholic beverages.
  4. Don’t drink by yourself.
  5. Don’t smoke. Smoking makes the hangover worse.
  6. Eat a full meal before drinking; fatty foods are good choices because the fat seems to coat the stomach and cut down absorption of alcohol.
  7. Drink plenty of nonalcoholic liquids.

Some drinks are worse than others. Most alcoholic drinks contain added coloring and flavoring substances. Different substances in different combinations combined with alcohol are an almost certain formula for a hangover, say medical experts. The alcoholic beverages with the highest amount of these headache-producing substances are brandy, bourbon and red wine.
Although there is little evidence that one alcoholic beverage causes less severe hangover symptoms than another, drinking several different kinds of alcoholic beverages at one sitting does seem to produce more severe hangovers.

How to deal with the morning after. Should you have a hangover, try:

  • Two aspirin or buffered aspirin, or antacid for stomach upset.
  • Lots of nonalcoholic beverages, particularly fruit juices loaded with vitamin C.
  • Sweet, bland foods.

There is no evidence that a “hair from the dog that bit you” will do anything but make the situation worse. Obviously, if your hangover is caused by too much alcohol in the bloodstream, having more will not help.

The only “cure” for a hangover is aspirin, (nonalcoholic) liquids, sleep and time.


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