Can you prevent a hangover?

Can you prevent a hangover?

There are many theories about how to prevent hangovers – drinking water and eating a meal after drinking alcohol – but do these remedies actually work?

The research isn’t encouraging. At least that’s what study leaders found after surveying Canadian and Dutch college students about their drinking habits.

“In general, we found a pretty straight relationship; the more you drink, the more likely you are to get a hangover,” lead study author Dr. Joris Verster said in a news release. “The majority of those who in fact reported never having a hangover tended to drink less, perhaps less than they themselves thought would lead to a hangover.”

Approximately 79 percent of Canadian students who said they had not experienced a hangover had a blood alcohol concentration less than .1 percent. Additionally, among the Dutch students there was not a “meaningful difference” in hangover severity between those who had eaten a meal after drinking and those who did not.

“In reality, only eating before drinking will help by slowing down the delivery of alcohol to your blood stream,” says Dr. Tony Hampton, family medicine physician with Advocate Medical Group in Chicago. “Fat in the diet is most effective at this.”

Another hangover remedy Dr. Hampton says is false is that red wine is less likely to cause a headache than beer. In fact, just the opposite is true.

“Red wine has compounds like tannins that can trigger headaches in those who are susceptible to headaches, and that will only make the hangover worse,” says Dr. Hampton. “Moderation or avoidance of alcohol consumption is best defense against a hangover.”

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  1. I can never understand how a few hours of fun drinking is worth being sick the next day. Best advice for a hangover? Don’t drink!

  2. Red wine doesn’t give me a headache but white wine does; I’ve always been curious as to why.

  3. Here is the best way I have found….
    Night before (before you sleep): Drink two 8 oz. glasses of water, take one Tylenol and two Advil, take 3 vitamin B complex.
    Day of (as soon as you wake up): Take one Advil, make a Bloody Mary with 1-2 shots of alcohol (if you’re coming down from a hard night of drinking then take the 2), after that drink water or juice until you have to use the restroom, then use the restroom, then watch the Lord of the Rings trilogy until you feel better!
    Side note: I hear the kids these days are drinking pedialite to help with their hangovers. Makes sense since it is a complete electrolyte formula.

  4. I was make sure that I drink as much water per volume as I do alcohol and I take ibuprofen before I go to bed. It works very well.

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health enews Staff
health enews Staff

health enews staff is a group of experienced writers from our Advocate Aurora Health sites, which also includes freelance or intern writers.