Russians chug a glass of brine from a jar of pickled gherkins. In Mexico, beef tripe soup will set you straight. Strong coffee with a shot of condensed milk and a raw goose egg is the popular pick-me-up in Bali.
Some people are willing to do anything to get rid of the raging hangover and all the painful side effects — the fireworks exploding in your head, dizziness, acidic throat and back-flipping stomach — that come after a night of drunken revelry. But we all know there is no medically proven cure-all aside from the obvious: not drinking.
If abstaining from alcohol this New Year’s Eve is out of the question, here are some other ideas:
Drink water: Alcohol is a diuretic, and excessive drinking can cause dehydration. Replacing the fluids lost could help you feel a little less miserable.
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Eat before you drink: Food helps slow the body’s absorption of alcohol.
Beware of pain killers: Aspirin and other pain killers could irritate an already sensitive stomach. If you need pain relief, try the nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory (NSAID) kind, like ibuprofen or naproxen. Acetaminophen and alcohol is a bad combination for the kidney. Read all labels.
Eat light the morning after: Alcohol metabolism mostly takes place in the liver. The liver also produces glucose. Alcohol can interfere with the liver’s production of glucose, which can cause low blood sugar. Eat basic carbohydrates like bread and crackers to offset the symptoms associated with low blood sugar, like dizziness, blurry vision and headache.
Drink slowly: The body can metabolize one standard drink in about an hour. One standard drink is considered 1.5 ounces of distilled spirits, five ounces of wine or 12 ounces of regular beer.