8 Hangover Myths You Need To Stop Believing
Drink a little too much last night? Before you grab a bottle of painkillers, greasy breakfast sandwich, or strong cup of coffeelisten up! When it comes to cure or preventing a hangover , none of the urban myths appears to get onto completely right, says Aaron Michelfelder, MD, prof of family medicine at the Loyola University Medical Center. In fact, the truth about some of your go-to remedies is downright sobering.
Here, 8 hangover myths to stop believing now, and what you should do instead.
The hair of the dog will define you straight .
While it may seem to help at first, drinking alcohol the morning after a binge will only delay your inevitable hangover. “You’re self medicating with the substance that stimulated you feel sick in the first place, ” says George Koob, PhD, Director of the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism. “We definitely don’t recommend that as a therapy for hangovers.”
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So why does everyone drink a Bloody Mary or a mimosa in the morning? While adding more alcohol to your system isn’t a good idea, a morning drink can temporarily alleviate some of your hangover symptoms. “Alcohol has a depressant affect, ” says Michelfelder. “It attains you feel calmer and more relaxed.” As alcohol leaves your system, though, that calm feeling turns to anxiety. Drinking the morning after can relieve some of that anxiety and pacify you down again, but overall, it’s only doing more damage caused to your liver and brain. Plus, it will build your pounding headache even worse later on.( Overdoing it? Take a look at these 6 sneaky signs you drink too much .)
Pop two painkillers before bed and you’ll be fine !
Did anyone else have those friends in college who swear that two aspirin and a glass of water was some kind of sorcery defense against hangovers? Well, the latter are( kind of) right. Your body burns a lot of water to process alcohol, which means that too much beer and too little water equals major headache-inducing dehydration by the end of the night, says Koob. The aspirin or ibuprofen can be helpful, too, since alcohol inflames the liver and brain, and both ibuprofen and aspirin are anti-inflammatory. Still, there’s no guarantee that this will avoid a hangover, so don’t count on it as a remedy. Both Koob and Michelfelder also strongly advise not to reach for Tylenol( acetaminophen) when you’ve been drinking. Taking it could cause potentially serious damage to your already overburdened liver.
Eat bread before you drink to soak up the alcohol .
Sorry, but bread does not act like a sponge. Still, it doesn’t hurt to eat something both before and while you’re drinking( yes, we did just give you permission to eat bar snacks !) Having food in your belly, whether it’s bread or not, slackens the absorption of alcohol into your bloodstream, says Michelfelder. “Obviously it’s not going to protect you if you drink a whole bottle of gin, but it might help if you have three or four drinks, ” he says. And this is actually a great time for your greasy diner snack. “Fat slackens the emptying of the belly as well as belly movement, ” says Michelfelder. While that’s usually not something you want to happen, it actually helps if you’re drinking too, because it blocks the absorption of alcohol longer than other types of food.
Sleep off that hangover .
We know, we are aware, the last thing you want to do when you have a hangover is get out of bed and walk around the block. But that’s exactly what you should do. Alcohol leaves the body in two main ways, says Michelfelder: Through urine and through your breath. So if you want to sober up faster, you might wishes to do something active like go for a walk or jog. “Get your blood moving, get yourself inhaling a little faster, and drink lots of water so you can urinate out the alcohol, ” says Michelfelder.( Get yourself along with Rodales not-crazy 12 -day liver detox for total-body health !)
A greasy diner breakfast is the best hangover medicine .
Ditch the bacon for a few saltines, says Michelfelder. When your belly is already queasy, loading it with sausage, eggs, and home fries won’t assistance. Instead, you want something easy to digest that can quickly raise your blood sugar, like the simple carbohydrates in crackers and bread. The reason: Under normal conditions, your liver automatically renders more glucose from stored carbs when your blood sugar dips( see what happens when one novelist decided to eat a GIGANTIC breakfast every day for a week ). But when you drink, your liver is busy metabolizing your alcohol and can’t always regulate your blood sugar, leaving you moody and drained of energy.
Drink a strong cup of black coffee to speed recovery .
Sorry, caffeine ogres, but your morning cup might actually build your nausea worse. “Caffeine will build you feel more alert and focus your attention, but it will not help your body process the alcohol a little faster, ” says Michelfelder. Not only that, but in some people it can actually send you running for the nearest lavatory. Coffee is incredibly acidic, so if you’re already feeling queasy, then a cup of coffee might be merely the push your body needs to vomit.( Here are the 8 best things to eat and drink after a binge .)
Stick to clear alcohol and you’re golden .
This one is actually true! Kind of. The extra impurities in whisky or wine, as opposed to vodka, can get you drunk faster. But, that doesn’t mean you can tip-off back shoot after shoot and is completely fine. The change is subtle. “I’m talking two shoots of vodka are going to be less likely to get you hungover than two glasses of wine, ” says Michelfelder.
Beer before alcohol, never been sicker. Liquor before beer, you’re in the clear .
This one is purely urban legend, says Koob. If you’re going to drink to excess, especially if you drink rapidly, then the order of your drinks doesn’t matter. What matters is pacing and moderation. “The faster the alcohol gets absorbed into the bloodstream, the faster it gets to your brain. And the faster that occurs, the more severe your hangover will likely be, ” says Koob. So, if you toss back gin and tonics at the beginning of the night and then switch to beer, you might actually have a worse hangover than if you started with beer and paced out your G& Ts.
This article originally appeared on Prevention.com .
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