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MAIN Arrow to Health Health Arrow to Pain Pain Arrow to Hangovers Hangovers

A Hair of the Dog & Other Hangover Cures
Advice On Surviving the Morning After
Hangover Cures include plenty of water and  mild exercise

The best remedies for hangover symptoms
are water with vitamins & minerals - as in
sports drinks - and mild exercise.

The only proven cure for a hangover? You guessed it - don't drink. But that probably didn't happen. Check out why you feel so bad, plus what you can do to feel better - along with top links to other hangover cures from a variety of sources around the Web...

When everyone is enjoying their wine, after-dinner drinks, or a few pints at the pub, it can be fairly easy to forget the resolution you made the last time you had a hangover...

"If I survive this...I'll never drink again..."

Of course, it may be too late now, but next time try switching to "virgin" drinks after the first two glasses. Try a drink that isn't sweet - the sugary taste tempts you to drink more...faster...than a less pleasant tasting drink.

Get plenty of rest and make sure you eat well before you hoist a few with your friends...or try matching every glass of alcohol with a glass of water. That slows down the rate that you're adding alcohol to your system and helps flush the poisons out before they make you sick. It also keeps the alcohol from dehydrating your body - one of the reasons you feel so awful.

If you know you tend to get bad hangovers and end up drinking anyway, try to stick to light colored drinks. It seems that the darker the wine, beer or liquor, the worse the hangover.

Don't drink sweet drinks. The sugar in the drinks speeds up the action of the alcohol and increases the effects, and the after-effects.

Don't mix drinks. The components of different types of alcoholic beverages can interact with each other and make for one monster hangover.

Why people get hangovers is not really fully understood, but as your body absorbs alcohol, the lining of your stomach is irritated by the chemicals that make up alcohol, leading to heartburn and acid indigestion. As your liver processes the alcohol it changes from ethanol to methanol and acetaldehyde...which is toxic. Put all of that together with the fact that alcohol is a drug that acts on your brain. Basically, it's a depressant that slows down your mental processes - that's probably why you begin to lose the ability to walk and talk after a few too many.

It's also a mild diuretic - it makes you lose water (remember all those trips to the facilities?)

After you drink too much you are dehydrated, and you have flushed minerals and vitamins that you body needs to function out of your system. Meanwhile, you are recovering from an overdose of a depressant drug which makes you jittery and overly sensitive to normal stimuli like noise and lights.

It's not surprising you feel so bad. So what can you do to feel better?

Simple. Start replacing the water and the nutrients you've lost. Sports drinks, basically water with electrolytes added, will do wonders. Remember to avoid coffee and tea - both diuretics which may just make your hangover worse!

Exercise also helps your body to remove the toxic chemicals. So the best thing to do is drink sports drinks and exercise. The problem is, if you can barely crawl out of bed...this cure may not be as easy as it sounds.

Don't worry though, there are plenty of other suggestions.

  • Some recommend "a hair of the dog..." or a drink to combat the hangover. This does work...but only for a short time and then you're back to the hangover, only worse. Your body contains an enzyme, alcohol dehydrogenase. It breaks ethanol down into the other chemicals that are making you ill. Adding more alcohol (ethanol) makes your body stop and concentrate on the new alcohol coming in so you do get a brief reprieve. But as soon as that added alcohol gets processed, you're back where you started but with even more toxic chemicals floating around. Unless you intend to keep drinking forever, this is probably not the best hangover cure.

  • The Prairie Oyster is a popular remedy:

    INGREDIENTS:
    1 whole raw egg
    1 dash Worcestershire sauce
    salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
    PREPARATION:
    Carefully crack the egg into a glass without breaking the yolk. Season with sauce, salt and pepper.
    ADMINISTRATION:
    Swallow the drink in one gulp - the object is to get the yolk down without breaking it. Good Luck!

    *Pregnant women, infants, the elderly and those with a compromised immune system should not eat raw or partially cooked eggs, but then again - they also should not be in need of a hangover cure...

  • Bloody Mary
    This one combines the 'hair of the dog' cure with tomato juice which does have many of the vitamins and minerals your body needs. A bit of exercise is usually added to this one.

  • Banana Milkshake
    The same principle as the Bloody Mary, and packed with nutrients.

  • Voodoo Cure
    Sticking 13 needles in the cork of the wine bottle is reputed to head off a hangover. Probably because by the time you find the needles and get coordinated enough to stick them into the cork, you've given your body a chance to recover! This remedy has a variation wherein the ashes of a cigar get dropped into a beer bottle. (Not recommended in nonsmoking areas.)

There are plenty of other ideas...and you'll find someone who swears by each one. The problem is that everyone reacts differently to alcohol. A hangover cure that works for one person may just make you feel worse. Here are some sources for alternative cures to try...

More hangover cures & information around the Web:

Medical Encyclopedia: Hangover treatment

Hangover - Wikipedia

10 Hangover Remedies: What Works?


 

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