10 Ways to Cheat a Hangover

Tips for Holiday Celebrating

hangover man

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For most people who don't have the lucky hangover-resistant genes, drinking at parties and celebrations comes with an inevitable hangover the next day.

But the pounding headaches and upset stomachs don't always have to be the aftermath of an alcohol-filled New Year's Eve outing. Here are seven wise tricks to ward off a brutal hangover. (Of course, the best way to avoid a hangover is to not down too much booze the night before.)

1. Clear drinks

vodka tonic, gin and tonic, tonic

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Light-colored drinks, such as gin and vodka, cause a milder hangover than darker drinks, such as bourbon or whiskey, according to research. The reason appears to be what are called congeners, or toxic substances produced during alcohol fermentation. Clear drinks that are distilled many times contain lower concentrations of these congeners. [11 Surprising Facts About Hangovers]

2. No bubbles

A wine glass is shown closeup.

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Those bubbles in your beer and champagne can contribute to a hangover's severity, by increasing alcohol levels in the blood. The gas in carbonated beverages relaxes the sphincter between the stomach and the small intestine. The alcohol then can get into the intestines faster, where it is absorbed into the bloodstream.

3. Choice of mixer

Cocktails ranging in color from dark to light

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Mixing liquor with a diet soda may sound healthier than drinking it straight up or with a full-calorie beverage, but it may also increase intoxication.

In one study detailed in the journal Alcoholism: Clinical and Experimental Research, in April 2013, people who had taken their vodka with diet sodas had higher blood alcohol levels than people who had downed an equal amount of vodka mixed with regular soda. The reason may be that the sugar in regular sodas keeps the stomach busy, and the alcohol doesn't reach the small intestine as quickly, the researchers suggested.

4. Have a drink … of water

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Water is the silver bullet to hangovers. One of the main contributing factors to hangovers is dehydration. Alcohol suppresses the hormone vasopressin, which regulates the water levels in the body and causes the body to lose more water in the urine.

To counteract these effects of alcohol, doctors suggest following each alcoholic beverage with a glass of water.

5. Eat protein-rich snacks


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Drinking on an empty stomach is a recipe for the worst hangovers. Anything that fills the stomach and keeps it busy during drinking can help prevent a severe hangover, but the best choice may be protein-rich snacks. Meat, nuts and cheese take longer to digest than most other foods.

6. Smoking makes it worse

A cigar and cognac

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The nicotine in tobacco and e-cigarettes might bring a brutal hangover by making people drink more. Some studies have suggested the two compounds boost the pleasurable effects of each other, which results in more smoking, and, in turn, more drinking.

Conversely, other studies have found that nicotine dampens the effect of alcohol, forcing people to drink more to get the buzz they are looking for.

Whichever is the case, anecdotal evidence strongly supports the idea that nicotine and alcohol go hand-in-hand, and that smoking when drinking simply means more drinking.

7. Hair of the dog?

A person drinks alcohol.

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One common hangover cure is to have more of what made a person sick in the first place. But a 2017 study in the Danish journal Ugeskriftet Laeger (or Weekly for Doctors) found that people who drink five beers when hungover experienced a decrease in blood pressure, heart rate and self-reported heart palpitations. However, the overall sense of well being didn't improve.

8. Ancient remedy


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A placebo-controlled study conducted in Korea in September, 2017 found that an extract from the fruit of the oriental raisin tree, or Hovenia dulcis, didn't reduce overall hangover symptoms, but did seem to cause hangover symptoms to dissipate more quickly. The study also found reduced levels of inflammatory markers in the blood of people who took the extract, which could explain the quicker reduction in symptoms.

9. Multiple lines of attack

Drunk woman holding an alcoholic drink and sleeping with her head on the table

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A review published in May 2017 found six products, from red ginseng to Korean pear juice, were effective at reducing some, but not all, hangover symptoms. The products and treatments were best at curbing nausea and vomiting and reducing feelings of tiredness, the review found. And none of the products completely wiped away all symptoms of hangover.

10. Dance it away

An image of a dance party

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p> Using the alcohol-induced extra energy to hit the dance floor may keep you from drinking shot after shot. It also enhances the body's overall metabolic rate, which can clear alcohol out of the bloodstream faster, helping to prevent a severe hangover.

What's more, dancing is fun. The occasion, after all, is one to celebrate.

Original article on Live Science.

Tia Ghose
Managing Editor

Tia is the managing editor and was previously a senior writer for Live Science. Her work has appeared in Scientific American, Wired.com and other outlets. She holds a master's degree in bioengineering from the University of Washington, a graduate certificate in science writing from UC Santa Cruz and a bachelor's degree in mechanical engineering from the University of Texas at Austin. Tia was part of a team at the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel that published the Empty Cradles series on preterm births, which won multiple awards, including the 2012 Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism.