11 Hangover 'Cures' Debunked

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GET OVER IT


No one likes to drink too much and wake up with morning-after regrets -- about the alcohol or otherwise. While the holidays present a slew of opportunities to overindulge, remember that moderation is the best bet for preventing a hangover. If you've tippled a tad too much anyway, don't think for a second there's a quick fix to relieve the misery. Some of these so-called hangover cures may take the edge off the symptoms, but they probably won't make you feel much better. The only remedy, friends, is time.

Related:10 Ways to Avoid Holiday Overeating
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MYTH #1: REACH FOR 'THE HAIR OF THE DOG'

Think twice before knocking back a morning-after mimosa or Bloody Mary. More booze will only delay an inevitable hangover, which starts as soon as your blood alcohol level starts to dip. Unless you want to prolong the pain, it's probably best to get the headache and nausea over with as soon as possible.
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MYTH #2: TAKE SUPPLEMENTS

Activated charcoal or chlorella can lessen hangover symptoms, but liver-cleansing herbal supplements don't. In theory, they may help the liver flush enough toxins to make a difference. However, alternative medicine practitioner Melanie Angelis of Nourished In Eden says her clients haven't noticed much of a difference after using milk thistle, reishi mushroom, or the amino acid glycine.
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MYTH #3: DRINK COFFEE

If you drink coffee regularly, a little bit won't hurt, but don't think for a second that caffeine is the key to getting back in the feel-good saddle. Instead of alleviating symptoms, it amplifies them.
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MYTH #4: EAT GREASY FOOD

Bacon and eggs may seem like the breakfast of champions, but it's not going to help you cross the hangover finish line. Go for calories, not heartburn. Think simple, bland carbs that raise blood sugar, such as toast, oatmeal, and cereal.
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MYTH #5: SWEAT IT OUT

A gentle workout may help you feel better. But if you feel up to exercising, first drink water or something with electrolytes. When you're in hangover territory, dehydration makes it hard to work out. Sleeping it off may be a better solution.
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MYTH #6: DRINK PICKLE JUICE

Some people swear by the Polish hangover remedy of drinking pickle juice before bed. Sure, the liquid has a high concentration of electrolytes (read: sodium), but gulping down this salty brew doesn't do much to cure a hangover (and it's kind of gross).
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MYTH #7: POP A PAINKILLER

Alcohol can change how your body uses a painkiller intended to cure a hangover headache. Acetaminophen (Tylenol) can be dangerous when the liver is too busy metabolizing liquor to deal with it. Aspirin is borderline, because it can increase stomach acids. David J. Clayton, a doctor and health club owner in San Diego and co-author of "The Healthy Guide to Unhealthy Living," is widely quoted as saying ibuprofen (often sold as Advil or Motrin) is a better choice for the morning after.
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MYTH #8: HAVE AN ORGASM

There isn't much in life that an orgasm can't top, but there's no research showing that a big O will out-wow the misery of a hangover. Still, if it makes you happy, go for it.
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MYTH #9: THROW UP

It's intuitive to want to get the bad stuff out, but bowing down to the porcelain god isn't going to save you. Vomiting makes you even more dehydrated and there's a risk of vomit entering your lungs. Instead, drink water and seek medical attention if you start to shake or experience hallucinations.
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MYTH #10: EAT BEFORE BED

Right idea, wrong time. It's best to have a stomach full of food before drinking. Although a heavy bout of drinking may bring on a craving for a pre-bedtime burger, it's going to sit on top of all the alcohol that's going straight to your bloodstream.
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MYTH #11: BEER BEFORE LIQUOR, NEVER SICKER

There's no truth to the chemistry of combining booze in a particular order. Beer, wine, and spirits all contain different levels of alcohol, and it takes longer to get drunk with beer than the hard stuff. But once you've passed the point of no return, the feeling is basically the same.
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