A hangover can be uncomfortable and everyone has their own remedy to recover after drinking, ranging from eating chocolate to fried chicken. Still, the only tried and true remedies for a hangover are time and plenty of hydration. A few smart preventative measures can also help you avoid suffering through a hangover the next time you decide to go out for cocktails.
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Drinking plenty of water is essential when nursing a hangover because hangovers are partially a product of alcohol-induced dehydration. Indiana University professor and registered nurse Ruth Engs further notes that in addition to hydrating the body, water will also help flush out toxins from the alcohol in your body. Along with water, sip sports drinks to replace electrolytes. Since alcohol also causes your blood sugar to drop, fruit juices will also help ease a hangover by boosting your blood sugar.
While chocolate isn't a textbook cure for a hangover, the sugar in a piece of chocolate may help relieve symptoms of hypoglycemia, or low blood sugar, experienced after a bout of drinking. Additionally, Dr. Bankole A. Johnson of the University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio, notes that chocolate stimulates the pleasure centers of the brain by aiding in the release of the chemicals dopamine and serotonin. This means that chocolate may improve your emotional state when fighting an uncomfortable hangover. However, you should eat chocolate in moderation. Too much chocolate can give you a headache, Johnson warns.
If you have a hangover with an upset stomach, stick to such bland foods as toast and crackers to nourish your body without further upsetting your stomach. To replace the salt and potassium lost after heavy drinking, try bullion soup. Foods with fructose, such as honey and juice, may also help you recover by burning off alcohol in the body. Avoid drinking more alcohol, as the "hair of the dog" approach can prolong your symptoms and increase the severity of dehydration.
If you'd rather not deal with an uncomfortable hangover, drink responsibly and take measures to prevent hangovers from occurring. Eat a meal before drinking alcohol. Drinking on an empty stomach can make your body absorb alcohol more quickly. Between each alcoholic drink, take a break and drink a glass of juice, water or other non-caffeinated and non-alcoholic drink. Pace yourself and don't drink to excess. In general, you should have no more than one drink per hour.