Home And Hung-Over For The Holidays

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You try to only have a few drinks at the neighbor’s annual Christmas potluck but before you know it you’re dancing the night away. And, oh, are you ever regretting it in the morning when the hangover hits! Next time, you can do some damage control before you spend another weekend at home nursing a headache. Here are some of the old-fashioned remedies you may have heard of that really work.

Choose your beverage of choice wisely. Studies show that alcoholic beverages that are mainly just alcohol and water, like vodka and gin, produce less severe hangovers, while other compounds that contain congeners - brandy, whisky, red wine - tend to produce more severe hangovers. Beer has a relatively low congener level, although the heavier the beer, the more congener it contains.

Eat before you drink. Alcohol is absorbed more slowly when you have food in your stomach. Any food will do the trick.

Pace yourself. Have a nonalcoholic drink between each alcoholic beverage, which helps to maintain a low blood alcohol level, and keeps you hydrated.

Replenish lost fluids. Before you put your head on the pillow, guzzle some water or other nonalcoholic drink, but avoid caffeine. Like alcohol, it has a diuretic effect and may contribute to hangover symptoms.

Take over-the-counter pain relief before the headache hits. Experts warn, however, to avoid acetaminophen (Tylenol), as too much acetaminophen is toxic to the liver. Alcohol can disrupt the metabolism of acetaminophen, making it even more toxic to the liver.

So go eat, drink and be merry - just watch your alcohol consumption. Always listen to that little angel on your shoulder telling you it’s time to stop before it’s too late.