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You’re pretty good at this whole social drinking thing. Beer before liquor, hair of the dog…you’ve known all the tricks since college. So why are you still waking up with a pounding headache the next morning? Here are ten things you thought you knew about hangovers that are actually false.
Remember that ol’ adage from your undergrad days? Well, it’s 100 percent untrue. What matters is the pacing and moderation of your drinks—not the order in which you have them.
While sipping on the clear stuff like vodka won’t prevent a hangover, it could decrease the severity of one. Darker liquors like whiskey have more congeners (the byproducts of alcohol fermentation) that make you feel extra crappy.
Using a mixer—even something as innocuous as club soda—can actually increase the absorption of alcohol into your system. You’re better off taking your drink straight up or on the rocks.
While drinking more water helps to slow down and reduce your overall consumption of alcohol (which, by the way, is the only thing that actually prevents a hangover), it is by no means the cure-all that people believe it to be.
Food, in general, slows the absorption of alcohol into your bloodstream, but bread isn’t any better at doing so. In fact, fatty foods—like a greasy burger—are more effective at slowing things down when consumed before you drink.
Medicine (particularly if it’s acetaminophen-based, like Tylenol) can cause damage to your already overburdened liver when mixed with alcohol. Instead, wait it out and take ibuprofen (like Advil) when you wake up.
Come morning, you’re better off with something that’s easy to digest, like a few saltines or a piece of toast. Your liver is busy metabolizing the alcohol in your body, so it’s less effective at other tasks like regulating your blood sugar levels.
Ever hear of the hair of the dog? Better skip it. Though having that Bloody Mary at breakfast may seem to help at first, it will only further dehydrate you and make the symptoms worse as the day wears on.
Put down the sports drink and reach for some coconut water or plain water instead. You’ll counteract the dehydrating effects of the alcohol without the extra sugar.
You’d do better with some light exercise. (Perhaps a brisk walk around the neighborhood?) Get moving and you’ll sober up faster. After all, one of the ways alcohol leaves the body is through your breath.
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