How to survive your New Year's hangover

HAD a wild New Year's Eve last night, did you? If you're paying for it now, we're here to help.

If you're reading this, you probably didn't listen to our advice on how to prevent a hangover before it happens. 

You'll be suffering symptoms including headaches, dizziness, nausea, fatigue, sensitivity to light and sound, rapid heartbeat, irritability, anxiety and even depression. 

Here's the bad news: hangover "cures" are a hit-and-miss science, and even experts aren't certain what causes hangover symptoms. 

Evidence in support of hangover pills is similarly patchy. Sorry.

But there are still a few things you can do:


Have a decent breakfast

You'll need to replenish your blood sugar. Stick with plain, starchy foods that are easy to digest, like toast or cereal. Take an antacid first if you have to. Bouillon soup will help put the salt and potassium back in your system. 


Keep hydrated

Keep the water flowing, and some juice will help put some life back into you. Sports drinks will also replace the salt and potassium you lost while drinking. If water is too much for your stomach, try sucking on ice cubes or ice blocks first. Liquids containing ginger can also help settle your stomach. 


Sleep in

You've put your body through hell, now it's time to be kind. Rest is what you need. Why suffer through a hangover when you could be dreaming of pink fluffy unicorns dancing on rainbows?


Keep cool

It's January now, remember? Keep out of the heat to avoid more dehydration. Throw a wet washcloth in the freezer for half an hour, then drape it over your face and take it easy. 


Are you a coffee addict? 

Missing your morning cuppa could throw a caffeine-withdrawal headache on top of your hangover. On the other hand, coffee increases blood pressure, which is also going to feel unpleasant. Try a weak coffee if you feel you need it.


Get moving... gently

Some gentle exercise could energise you, if your body's up to it. Make sure you're well-rested, hydrated and fed before attempting a workout.


Take painkillers

Over the counter painkillers like ibuprofen and aspirin are usually safe to take when there's a small amount of alcohol in your system, but they'll be tough on an upset stomach. Tread carefully. Avoid anything with Acetaminophen---this damages the liver when it's trying to process alcohol.
 

WHAT NOT TO DO

Drink more alcohol: You might be tempted to try "hair of the dog". While it may make you feel a little better in the short term (research suggests it fights the congeners in your system), you can end up with a worse hangover later. It's also the beginning of a slippery slope to alcoholism. 

Hit the sauna: Don't try to sweat out the toxins. You're already dehydrated, and the extreme heat will play havoc with your blood flow, with potentially dangerous consequences. 

Pop pills with Acetaminophen: Painkillers like Tylenol can cause damage to the liver when alcohol is in the system. 



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