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How to handle a hangover

Nothing's worse than a really bad hangover
Nothing's worse than a really bad hangoverRobert Stahl

Just about everybody can relate to the absolute misery of a really bad hangover. Oh, those awful symptoms: a stomach that feels like it’s twisted into knots, a pounding headache and body aches too. We become like vampires, oversensitive to any type of light. Many of us experience an inability to concentrate or even make simple decisions, and some might even a get wicked case of the blues. And every time we put our bodies through this miserable process, we vow never to do it again.

Unfortunately, there’s not much you can do to get rid of a hangover once it’s set in. Your body simply needs to repair the damage caused from your night of partying. At best, all you can do is work to not complicate the situation. None of those ‘hair of the dog’ remedies, please! What you need is to help your body out by getting plenty of rest. Now’s the time to catch up on all those unwatched episodes of Supernatural on your DVR. If the pain is too unbearable, take a painkiller. Just be warned: some medicines, like acetaminophen, are bad for the liver; while others, like aspirin, are hard on the stomach. Most importantly, your night on the town has left you dehydrated, so drink lots of fluids. And no, a Bloody Mary doesn’t count. You need water, and lots of it. However, sports drinks like Gatorade are okay, as are clear broths. Nothing will get you feeling better faster than getting your fluid levels back up to where they were before you started your drinking alcohol.

So, is there anything you can do to avoid hangovers? Well, obviously you could not drink. But for some of you, that won't be an option. If you absolutely must go out drinking, just about all you can do to protect yourself is drink lots of water beforehand. We mean, really guzzle it! It will help cut down on the effects of your hangover. Drink as much water as you can before leaving the house. While you’re out, alternate a glass of water with every other drink. Finally, when you get home, down as much water as your belly can hold before stumbling off to bed. In the morning, you’ll be glad you did.

Because let’s face it, hangovers happen, and they really, really suck. So until science discovers a miracle cure for hangovers, we just have to figure out ways to minimize them. Consider it a small price to pay for a species that gets to party like rock stars.

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