6 Tips to Beat a Hangover
Chose Clear Booze
The color of the spirits you drink may affect how you feel tomorrow. You may be better off sticking to a clear booze like vodka and gin, or the clear versions of rum and tequila.
The reason has to do with chemical compounds called congeners. Those are "anything in alcohol besides alcohol and water," Koob says. Darker drinks like bourbon, scotch, and tequila tend to have higher levels. Those compounds can bring on the inflammation that makes your hangover worse.
Don't Light Up And Drink
For some people, the two go together. But you may pay the price.
"Smoking cigarettes while drinking results in worse hangovers," says Damaris Rosenhow, PhD, associate director of the Center for Alcohol and Addiction Studies at Brown University.
One theory is that both alcohol and smokes affect your sleep, and poor shut-eye may make you feel even crummier.
Have a Drink the Next Day
If you're looking for a short-term fix, this may help -- but not for long. There’s a scientific explanation for why the "hair of the dog that bit you" works.
When you drink, alcohol holds back a brain chemical called glutamate. That causes your brain to make more and more of it, Koob says. When the alcohol wears off, you have a bunch of it floating around in your brain. It may be to blame for hangover symptoms like irritability, headaches, nausea, and fatigue.
Down another drink or two the next morning, and you’ll hold off the glutamate all over again. Your hangover symptoms may improve. But it won't last. "Once you stop drinking you’ll still have to deal with a hangover," Koob says.
Treat Your Symptoms
Although there’s no cure for a hangover, there are ways to treat what ails you.
If you have a headache, reach for an anti-inflammatory medication like ibuprofen. Upset stomach? Pepto-Bismol might help. If you’re tired, have some coffee.
One thing you shouldn’t take is any other medication that has the ingredient acetaminophen. It can cause serious liver problems when it mixes with alcohol.
While ibuprofen is a better option, you still need to be careful. "Taking too much ibuprofen can upset your stomach, and it may already be queasy from your hangover," Koob says.