When it comes to avoiding or treating a hangover, myths and old wives’ tales abound. From following the rule, “liquor before beer, you’re in the clear,” to taking an NSAID before bed, to attempting “hair of the dog.” And recently a proliferation of hangover products has flooded the market. So what, if anything, actually cures a hangover?
Sermo physicians recently discussed this topic, with 94% saying they’re skeptical of the new hangover products; while 37% believe that certain vitamins and minerals could assist with overcoming or curing a hangover.
When it comes to offering specific advice on avoiding or curing a hangover, here’s what the physicians had to say:
Regarding alcohol consumption, 84% of Sermo physicians said they enjoy it in moderation.
Here are there go-to alcohol choices:
According to the New York Times, “A hangover is the byproduct of acute alcohol withdrawal. As your body processes alcohol, it breaks it down into acetaldehyde, a colorless chemical compound, said Alexis Supan, a nutrition expert at the Cleveland Clinic. Acetaldehyde is essentially a poison, Ms. Supan said, and as your body struggles to metabolize it, your heart rate rises and you can become nauseous. In addition, alcohol works as a diuretic, occasionally inducing some of the most-dreaded hallmarks of a hangover: sweating, diarrhea, vomiting. Those, in turn, dehydrate your body even further and can cause a pounding headache.
The standard advice for avoiding or lessening the severity of a hangover is still the best: Drink in moderation, alternate alcoholic drinks with water and try not to drink on an empty stomach…Hydration is just as important the next day, to help ease a headache and replenish fluids…True to conventional wisdom, caffeine can help you burst through the fog and grogginess that come with a hangover, Ms. Supan said. A cup of coffee might be just as effective as the caffeine included in some hangover pills.”
Below, Sermo physicians from around the world share more of their perspectives and opinions on alcohol and hangovers—in their own words:
“Moderation, Hydration and potassium.”Pediatrics, U.S.
“Rest in silence the following day and wait to get better. Plenty of hydration of course. And a good warm [cup of] tea.”Radiology, Italy
“Tried and true. After you come home from the party or wherever you’ve been, you have to drink as much water as you can BEFORE you go to bed. Works 100% of the time.”Internal Medicine, U.S.
“Like any other drug that affects autonomic nervous system, withdraw more slowly and increase metabolism of toxic metabolites sg oxygen glucose and hydration.”Allergy & Immunology, U.S.
“The best measure is the ingestion of alcoholic beverages in moderation, if one day we exceed the best option to improve the symptoms is proper hydration because the symptoms of a hangover are due to cellular dehydration.”Anesthesiology, Cuba
“Not drinking is the best hangover treatment.”GP, Cuba
“Don’t have more than 1 drink.”Family Medicine, U.S.
“I think that the most effective way to avoid a hangover is to consume alcohol in moderation and avoid mixing with other drinks, in case you cannot take some pain reliever the next day to relieve it.”Family Medicine, Cuba
“Interesting topic, for a hangover a little coconut liqueur, with lemon juice and help. Also consume natural fruits and plenty of water.”Family Medicine, Cuba
“Take glutathione prior to drinking.”Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation, U.S.
“Tablespoon of Honey helps a great deal.”Emergency Medicine, U.S.
“I had an organic chem professor in college who swore that drinking with high vitamin c would keep a hangover away.”Otolaryngology, U.S.
“Drink lots of water, at least a quart, before going to bed that night and during the night. It really works.”Emergency Medicine, U.S.
“I believe that none of the products on the market are hangover cures. Vitamin B6 and the replacement of fluids in the body could improve the symptoms and discomfort of a hangover. The best treatment is to drink in moderation and avoid a hangover.”Neurology, Cuba
“I think that a hangover can be resolved with a well-concentrated chicken broth, with garlic, or a glass of cold milk, but the best thing is to consume alcoholic beverages with control, so as not to get a hangover.”Family Medicine, Cuba
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