Avoiding That New Year's Eve Hangover

Loyola doctor ways to relieve the morning-after misery

By Marcus Riley
|  Thursday, Dec 29, 2011  |  Updated 1:19 PM CDT
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However you decide to spend New Year's Eve, there's a good chance that a fair amount of drinking will be involved.

But how can you make sure that New Year's Eve revelry doesn't turn into New Year's Day misery?

Everyone seems to have their own tried-and-true methods for avoiding the morning after aches and pains. We posed the question to our Facebook fans, who came up with suggestions ranging from drinking everything from Gatorade, Dr. Pepper and Mountain Dew, to eating biscuits and gravy and doing headstands.

Products like the Bytox patch are available that promise to cure a hangover before it starts by replenishing the vital levels of vitamins and nutrients in your body lost through the consumption of alcohol.

But Loyola University Health System's Dr. Aaron Michelfelder says if you follow a few simple tips, you can avoid the resultant New Year's Day discomfort.

  • Drink moderately -- A maximum of five drinks for men and three for women in a three-hour period.
  • Take an anti-inflammatory drug such as Ibuprofen or Aleve before drinking.
  • Eat first. Food slows the absorption of alcohol.
  • Drink a glass of water after each alcoholic drink and drink lots of water the next morning. 
  • Take a B vitamin supplement before drinking and another in the morning.
  • Get as much sleep as possible.
  • Exercise the next day. It helps the blood circulate faster, which removes the toxins from your body more quickly.

Michelfelder says popular hangover cures such as coffee and "hair of the dog" -- having another drink in the morning -- don't work.

Of course, the only tried and true method is to avoid drinking altogether, but can you really envision New Year's Eve without champagne?

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