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Hangover Helpers

Find out what helps you feel better when you've had one too many

Fat Chance continued...

"It's fatty, and it sits in your stomach for like 12 hours. For some reason, the hangover goes away," says Ramsey.

Schaefer explains: Fatty foods, if eaten before drinking alcohol, "grease" the lining of the intestines. The alcohol then takes longer to be absorbed by the body.

"Personally, I recommend eating pizza, but chorizo would work too," Schaefer says. "In the Mediterranean, one folk remedy involves swallowing a spoonful of olive oil to do the same trick."

Besides filling your stomach before you drink, eating almost any kind of food the morning after can help alleviate a hangover, says Stephanie Brooks, MS, RD, a nutrition consultant in San Francisco. Food provides electrolytes that replenish the body after dehydration. This is especially important for someone who's vomited within the last 24 hours. Brooks particularly recommends a fruit smoothie or a sports drink.

Blood And Alcohol

Of course, a hangover's not a hangover without a pounding headache. Schaefer explains that the pain comes from a mix of dehydration and your body's adjustment to the rapidly dropping blood-alcohol level. He recommends taking two aspirin before going to sleep and another pair when you wake up, if the headache's still there.

What about that "hair of the dog that bit you?" It's a renowned hangover remedy: a small morning-after drink to bring your blood-alcohol level back up.

It's the absolute best remedy for Steven Chinn. "I'm not 100% clear about the science behind it, but I've noticed that continual buzz equals no hangover."

To those willing to try this approach, Schaefer offers a quick lesson in biology and a word of caution.

"Biologically, it actually will make you feel better for a short period," says Schaefer. "Of course I wouldn't recommend it, because you'll have to come down from your high eventually. Besides that, it's a habit that can very easily lead to a drinking problem."

Will They Work? It All Depends

How effective any of these remedies will be depends on how much alcohol you can handle and how many drinks you actually put down the night before. It takes the average 150-pound man about an hour to fully digest a standard drink, Brooks explains -- that's roughly how much alcohol is in a bottle of beer, a glass of wine, or a standard shot of hard liquor.

"There's no magic vitamin that you can take," she says. "If you're going to drink a lot, you're going to pay the piper eventually."

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