10 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.

MYTH #1: FOLLOW THE 'HAIR OF THE DOG' ROUTINE

Think twice before reaching for a morning-after mimosa or Bloody Mary. More booze will only delay an inevitable hangover, which starts as soon as blood alcohol levels start 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.

MYTH #2: TAKE LIVER-CLEANSING HERBAL 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 The Grecian Garden says her clients haven't noticed much of a difference after using milk thistle, reishi mushroom, or the amino acid glycine.

MYTH #3: DRINK A CUP OF COFFEE

If you regularly drink coffee, 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.

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. Go for calories, not heartburn. Think simple, bland carbs such as toast, oatmeal, and cereal that raise blood sugar.

MYTH #5: SWEAT IT OUT

Okay, a gentle workout may help you feel better. 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.

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).

MYTH #7: HAVE SEX THAT ENDS IN AN ORGASM

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

MYTH #8: THROW UP

It's intuitive to want to get the bad stuff out, but bowing down to the porcelain gods 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.

MYTH #9: EAT A MEAL BEFORE BED

Right idea, wrong timing. 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.

MYTH #10: 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 crossed the point of no return, the feeling is basically the same.