Hair of the Dog or Hero of Hydration? Debunking Hangover Myths and Embracing Science-Backed Solutions

Avoiding the Hangover Blues: Expert Tips for a Perkier Morning After

Headaches, nausea, exhaustion – the dreaded hangover is a familiar foe for many. While there’s no magic cure, scientists offer some key strategies to minimize its misery.

Drink Smart, Not Fast:

Pace Yourself:

Avoid chugging.

Opt for slower-absorbing drinks like beer over bubbly champagne.

Professor David Nutt, a neuropsychopharmacology expert, says the fizz speeds up alcohol’s entry into the bloodstream, leading to faster intoxication and, potentially, a worse hangover.

Skip the Congeners:

Darker-colored drinks like rum, red wine, and brandy contain higher levels of congeners, which may worsen hangovers.

Dr. Duane Mellor, a dietitian, suggests sticking to lighter options like vodka or gin.

Mix with Caution:

Mixing drinks won’t make your hangover worse, but it can make tracking your intake harder, leading to overconsumption.

Professor Nutt recommends starting with weaker drinks and progressing to stronger ones to maintain control.

Fuel Up Before You Fuel Up:

Line Your Stomach:

Drinking on an empty stomach is a recipe for disaster.

Fill up with any food beforehand, even if it’s just a quick snack.

Professor Peter McNaughton of King’s College London suggests fatty foods like pizza as they soak up some alcohol.

Dr. Mellor cautions against overdoing it, though, as greasy food can increase heartburn.

Hydration is Key:

Water is Your Friend:

Dehydration is a major hangover culprit.

Alternate alcoholic drinks with water or non-fizzy soft drinks throughout the night.

Professor Gunter Kuhnle of Reading University recommends sipping water alongside each drink.

Skip the Fizzy:

Avoid fizzy drinks like soda or champagne.

They accelerate alcohol absorption and worsen dehydration.

Hair of the Dog? Not Quite:

Don’t Double Down:

The myth of “hair of the dog” is just that – a myth.

Having another drink when hungover won’t cure it, but it will delay the inevitable and potentially lead to unhealthy drinking patterns.

Dr. Mellor emphasizes that your liver still needs to deal with the additional alcohol, prolonging the ordeal.

Bonus Tip:

Sleep it Off:

While not a direct cure, getting enough sleep helps your body recover from the alcohol’s effects.

Aim for a good night’s rest after a night of drinking to feel better the next day.

Remember, the best hangover remedy is prevention.

By following these tips and drinking responsibly, you can minimize the chances of waking up with a pounding head and wishing you’d stayed home.

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