Maybe you don’t remember last night. One glass of champagne turned into who-knows-how-many.
Welcome to Hangoverville, where pounding headaches, relentless nausea, dizziness and general malaise are a way of life that feels an awful lot like death.
Unfortunately, the only surefire way to avoid a hangover is simply not to drink.
Hard-living revelers have the hangover helpers they swear by, though most have not been scientifically proven. But let’s face it, if you’re dry-mouthed and desperate they’re probably worth a try.
Here’s hoping this will be your last hangover of the New Year.
Over-the-counter painkillers, known as non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), can help to ease a throbbing headache the day after a booze binge, but aspirin certainly won’t undo the damage completely.
Some people suggest popping a few aspirin before bed to prevent a hangover the next day. However, there's no science to back up the claim that you’ll feel more clear-headed in the morning.
However, plenty of research finds these drugs can irritate the lining of the gastrointestinal tract. It’s always best to use NSAIDs with caution. Adding a few ibuprofen to an empty stomach could actually make you feel worse.
"Hair of the dog"
The Scottish phrase refers to an old folkloric treatment for the bite of a rabid dog, in which the person puts a few hairs from the animal on the wound to prevent rabies.
Translated to alcohol it means to simply keep drinking the morning after you emerge from a binge.
This theory hasn’t been scientifically proven, though some experts say there’s a reason why that Bloody Mary in the morning could make you feel better. Alcohol contains the chemicals ethanol and methanol. The latter, found in small traces in drinks, is converted to acetaldehyde once in the body, which is a toxic substance. To treat methanol poisoning doctors give a patient ethanol. Some experts say methanol poisoning is the main cause for a hangover, and therefore consuming something that contains ethanol may temporarily alleviate the hangover symptoms -- or delay your recovery.
Some say scrambled eggs do wonders when you wake up after a night of drinking and your brain feels a little, well, scrambled. It turns out this remedy may actually hold some truth. Eggs contain cysteine, a chemical that breaks down acetaldehyde in the body, which is the toxin that is partially responsible for leaving you in a slump.
A glass of juice may provide you some sweet relief. Fructose in fruit juice sends instant energy to the body and may help flush out the toxins. Juice also contains plenty of vitamins, which are likely to need replenishment after a night on the town.
At some point in time, who hasn't gone on a search to fill up their belly with a giant plate of greasy-spoon diner food after a night of drinking? There’s little science to suggest eating piles of french fries will make your troubles go away. But what is known is that greasy foods may be helpful before you hit the bar, since the fat coats the lining of the stomach and slows down alcohol absorption.
The brine liquid bathing those cucumbers contains lots of salt and electrolytes, both of which your body will desperately need after a night on the town.
Some people swear by the sauna to detox and ease a hangover. Soaking up the heat might feel good, but don’t overdo it.
Saunas cause excessive sweating, which can add to the dehydration that’s already resulted from drinking too much booze. Experts caution that alleviating a hangover with a trip to the sauna may be associated with a number of serious health risks, including a drop in blood pressure and heart arrhythmias.
This remedy must have been thought up by a gaggle of inebriated college students studying organic chemistry. The theory goes that carbon forms on burnt toast, which acts as a filter in the body. Activated charcoal is used as an emergency treatment for certain type of poisoning. But the burnt bits that arise from toaster use is not activated charcoal. It’s just burnt toast.
Alcohol is a diuretic so drinking too much of it can lead to dehydration, the reason a hangover feels so rotten. Dehydration contributes to a number of hangover symptoms including headache, nausea and dizziness. Drinking a lot of water will help the body flush out and eliminate the harmful toxins from booze.
Staying well-hydrated throughout the night by drinking plenty of water before, during and after a party can also help you feel less wretched the following morning.
While some people claim a little alcohol helps to induce sleep, an oversize nightcap is sure to put a damper on your quest for post-party shuteye. Passing out is not the same as restorative sleep.
Too much alcohol means skipping the REM stage of sleep, and then likely waking up as the alcohol wears off. This may result in a night of tossing and turning.
Other than not drinking, the only tried and true way to "cure" a hangover is to wait it out. Nap the afternoon away and you might finally feel better afterwards.