What's the best hangover cure? how to prevent a hangover

What's the best hangover cure? how to prevent a hangover

So you are heading out to the big holiday party, and you are planning to have fun.

And for you having fun means having a few drinks, whether it is beer, wine or something stronger, and maybe some champagne at midnight on New Year's Eve, too. Nothing wrong with that, as long as you do not overdo it. And most importantly, as long as you do not drive while impaired by alcohol.

Unfortunately, too many people will overdo it, and find themselves waking up on New Year's Day with a terrible splitting headache and a queasy stomach.

Is there an effective way to cure hangovers? In this Medical-Diag.com article, a psychiatry professor from the University of North Carolina who specializes in alcoholism treatment and research provides the answers.

Here are some key points about hangover cures. More detail and supporting information is in the main article.

  • The elusive "hangover cure" remains elusive.
  • Eating food before a drinking session is a must.
  • Pacing yourself with a glass of water can help.
  • Avoid taking Tylenol on a hangover.
  • Sports drinks might help reduce some symptoms.
  • A pre-emptive ibuprofen can help minimize symptoms.
  • Rehydration is key.

The search for a hangover cure

The best way to avoid a hangover is to drink sensibly in the first place.

For those people who overdo it when it comes to alcohol, the bad news is that while myths about hangover "cures" abound, there is not a single one that has been scientifically proven to work, said James C. Garbutt, M.D., a professor of psychiatry in the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill School of Medicine who specializes in alcoholism treatment and research.

"The most important message I would emphasize is that people shouldn't drink too much in the first place," says Garbutt, who is a member UNC's Bowles Center for Alcohol Studies. "Hangover is one negative consequence of excess alcohol consumption but there are many others, including accidents, which can be serious, loss of control over emotions such as anger or sadness, and bad decision-making exemplified by the classic office party gone wrong."

In addition, it is worth noting that drinking too much in a single night can result in fatal alcohol poisoning. In other words, you can literally drink yourself to death. If someone passes out after heavy drinking, it is a serious medical emergency and the person should be taken to the hospital right away.

That being said, there are steps you can take to enjoy a few drinks responsibly and prevent getting a hangover.

Eat food

"Eating food is an important element in reducing drinking and reducing risk of intoxication," Garbutt suggests. Eat a meal before you take your first sip of alcohol and continue to take in food as the night wears on. Food, fats especially, help slow down the body's absorption of alcohol. But to truly be effective, the food must be in your stomach first. If you wait until you are feeling buzzed or tipsy to start eating, it is already too late.

Drink a glass of water

Garbutt suggests another good way to pace yourself: After finishing a drink with alcohol, drink a glass of water before your next round. This will both dilute the concentration of alcohol in your blood and help prevent dehydration.


And if you ignore this advice and end up with a hangover anyway, there are things you can do that, while not a cure, will aid in your recovery. For example, taking two ibuprofen just before you go to bed and then again when you wake up will help reduce your headache pain. But it is best to avoid aspirin, because alcohol can aggravate gastritis and aspirin can increase risk of gastric erosion and bleeding. "Put the two together and there might be increased risk of gastrointestinal bleeding," Garbutt says. You should also avoid acetaminophen, the active ingredient in Tylenol, because in some people taking this drug while alcohol is in their system can cause serious liver damage.


Rehydration is very important. Garbutt suggests that drinking a sports drink, such as Gatorade, will help both rehydrate you and replace salt and other electrolytes lost through the increased urination that drinking alcohol causes.

Hangover cure myths

What about those hangover "cures" we have all heard about? Garbutt gives his opinions:

  • Drinking coffee? This does not help.
  • "Hair of the dog" (i.e., drinking one more round of whatever caused your hangover)? All this does is delay the start of your recovery.
  • Eating a big, greasy bacon and egg breakfast, or any other legendary "morning after" meal? This might have helped a bit if you had eaten it before you started drinking.

So when it comes to hangovers, the message is clear - there are no "cures" for a hangover, but there are several methods of prevention to ensure that your fun night out does not turn into a miserable morning after. The big, obvious message from James Garbutt is simple - drink responsibly in the first place and do not overdo it.

Nicotine helps suppress alcohol-induced sleepiness, study finds

Use of nicotine and alcohol often go hand-in-hand, although the underlying causes are unclear. One suggestion is that nicotine boosts the pleasurable effects of alcohol while reducing the aversive effects. Now, a new study finds another explanation - nicotine cancels out the sleepiness brought on by alcohol.

CDC: 10% of pregnant women drink alcohol

Significant numbers of mothers-to-be are not only consuming alcohol but also binge drinking, according to research published by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The Scientific Hangover Cure (Video Medical And Professional 2020).

Section Issues On Medicine: Psychiatry