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Use trial and error to figure out which worksbest for you

By unknown | Dec 13, 2007 | COMMENTS [ 0 ]

Hangover Helpers

Hangover Helpers

Drinking is a buy-now, pay-later proposition. Here's how to cut your interest rate.

Moderation may be your mantra, but we all cross the line now and then. That's why we tested 11 common hangover remedies. Use trial and error to figure out which work best for you.

Approach One: Stay hydrated


Alcohol inhibits secretion of the hormone vasopressin, bringing on dehydration, which exacerbates the symptoms of a hangover.

Two approaches: Drink loads at the end of a night, or drink it in between your alcoholic glasses throughout the evening. "For me, a glass every two hours worked great," said our tester.

"It puts you ahead of the game," he adds. Unlike Coors, it's not a silver bullet. Try something else, too.

Hydrant from Clicks is a sugar and carbohydrate solution. It promotes hydration and does a better job than mere water.

"I downed two huge bottles at the end of the night," said our tester. "And I felt like a million bucks the next day."

Approach Two: Absorb slower and metabolise faster

The Mega-Dinner

Food delays gastric emptying in the stomach - meaning alcohol stays there longer and is processed more slowly.

"There's nothing like pounding a burger before a night of boozing. But the effect wore off as I kept drinking," said our tester.

A no-brainer. Don't drink on an empty stomach. "The longer alcohol stays in the stomach," says Yolanda Swift, a nutritionist, "the better your body breaks it down."

The Juice-Chaser (two glasses of orange or tomato juice before bed)

The fructose in the juice speeds up metabolism, ridding your system of alcohol quicker.

"I felt as sick the next day as I would have otherwise."

It looks good on paper, but here's the fine print: "You'd have to drink at least 10 glasses," says Swift.

Approach Three: Replace essential nutrients

Salt helps you retain the fluid you lose over a night of drinking. With 32 milligrams of salt per cracker, this is a surefire way to keep from drying up.

"Too labour-intensive. I would much rather pop a pill than shove crackers down my abused throat."

Drinking water is a better way to stay hydrated. But, "at the very least, it'll help dilute the alcohol in your stomach," says Swift.

The Bull's Eye (a glass of orange juice mixed with a raw egg)

Fructose in the orange juice helps promote breakdown of alcohol, and egg protein replaces lost nutrients.

"More vomit-inducing than the alcohol itself," remarks the tester.

"There is no evident benefit to this concoction that would justify the risk of getting salmonella," says Swift.

Approach Four: Clear your head

Hair of the Dog

Hangovers only hit once you sober up, so stay drunk.

"I woke up feeling horrible. I was nauseous and grumpy. My head was pounding. Then I had three beers and felt like a new man," said our tester.

Fine, but you're just putting off the inevitable. Plus: "This could lead to alcohol abuse," says Paul Erickson, a bartender.

Drink only light-coloured alcohol (white wine, vodka, gin)

Lighter drinks have fewer headache-inducing congeners than darker drinks like red wine, beer and dark liquors.

It actually does work - if you're drinking in moderation. "If you drink a whole two litres of white wine, you're still going to get a hangover," says Erickson.


Popping two the night before helps fight off headaches.

"My head wasn't too bad, but I was still tired and nauseated."

Thumbs-up - but be careful. "Aspirin can irritate the stomach," says Dr Swift. And mixing alcohol and Tylenol can damage the liver.


Sweating helps leach alcohol out of your system more quickly.

"I felt like I was actually sweating out alcohol. It might just be in my head, but I felt better by doing it."

The perfect placebo: "You're just doing something to get your mind off the hangover," says Erickson. But you're getting a good workout, too. -


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