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Wednesday, December 17, 2008

How To Prevent The Dreaded Hangover

I've always subscribed to a mixture of "cures". Advil and water before bed - Fruit Punch Gatorade and Chinese food for breakfast. It's worked for years.

Advil and Water Before Bed

Most people think dehydration is the only cause of a hangover, but inflammation is a big contributor as well. That's where the anti-inflammatory drug ibuprofen (the ingredient in Advil) comes in. True aficionados recommend taking two to three pills with a couple of big glasses of water before hitting the sack. By ingesting it before you go to sleep you attack the problem of inflammation as it's starting, rather than once it's already taken hold. Helpfully, it also prompts you to rehydrate. A trusty preemptive measure, though if you're sentient enough to remember to take the Advil, maybe you won't be so hungover anyway....


When you're hungover, reversing dehydration is a critical first step, and replacing your body's mineral-rich bodily fluids with salt-heavy Gatorade is a far tastier way to do that than a cup of bouillon (apparently recommended by the National Headache Foundation). Of course, the drink was actually invented by four U of Florida researchers in 1965 to help the football team rehydrate in hot weather. The Gators famously went on to win the Orange Bowl later that year, and credited the drink. (Rumor has it the idea to use the drink as hangover cure was discovered the day after the big win.)

Hair Of The Dog

Little more than an excuse to start drinking again? Maybe, but there's merit here, too. The reason? When the liver breaks down alcohol, it deals with ethanol before methanol, which is the more toxic of the two components. By introducing more ethanol into your system, you actually delay the methanol processing. (Bloody Marys are extra-effective because the spices slow things down even further.) Of course, to continue avoiding the reckoning, you'd have to keep boozing forever. And sadly, what flies at Sterling Cooper doesn't always fly in the real world.

For some more suggestion to clamp-down on that morning headache and wooziness that is sure to come around this holiday season, check out the list at

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