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Health & Balance

Hangover Helpers

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

Alcohol Can Be Deadly

There are two warning signs you should take very seriously because they indicate you or someone you're with is going past his or her limit:

Multiple vomiting. This is simply your body's natural way of quickly getting rid of the toxins in alcohol -- not a bad thing by itself. But it can rapidly lead to potentially life-threatening dehydration and electrolyte imbalances. Lay off the liquor and start drinking lots of water.

Passing out. If someone drinking heavily passes out, and doesn't respond when you try to wake them, take that person to a local emergency room. People in that condition are in danger of choking on their own vomit or going into shock.

"It's common for people to see a friend with these symptoms and say, 'Oh, Fred's just a lightweight, he'll be fine,'" says Schaefer. "But passing out is a serious medical emergency, and it's always better to err on the side of safety."

Leave Your Car Keys at Home

Remember that if you've had too much to drink, no amount of burnt toast or chorizo is going to make you a safe driver. Assign a "designated driver" -- one person in your group who abstains from alcohol and drives everyone else home safely. Or make arrangements to have a cab take you home from your revelry.

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Reviewed on November 30, 2007

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