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Remedy a New Year's Hangover

Hangover Helper

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 "the 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-lb 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 him or her, 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 the same night. 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 night of revelry.

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