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Favorite remedies for hangovers — and ways to prevent them

By Paul Harris

Hangovers are about as common on a college campus as stress. Around the KSU campus on this particular Sunday morning, they may be even more common, since Saturday was Fake Patty’s Day here. Not that you, one of our readers, would over-indulge. . . but you may know somebody who did. If so, feel free to pass along these tips for dealing with those very bad Sunday morning feelings.

An ounce of prevention

While it’s easy to get a hangover —defined by the Mayo Clinic as “a group of unpleasant signs and symptoms that can develop after drinking too much alcohol”  — it is not easy to get rid of one. In fact the simplest way to deal with hangover symptoms is also the most obvious: don’t drink too much. But having failed that…

Symptoms of a hangover include nausea, headache, dizziness, and muscle aches.

Drinking water is a common suggestion, as is eating a big meal. But in an interview with ABC, Duke neurology professor Timothy Collins said, “Almost no research at all has been done on the hangover state.”

Simply, there is no cure for a hangover, which lasts between 8-24 hours. Yet there are plenty of theories on preventing a hangover.


Hydration is key

Drinking 16-20 ounces of water is a tried-and-true method. Dr. Daniel Hall-Flavin, a consultant with the Mayo Clinic, said to order a glass of water with every beer and alternate between the two. Some doctors recommend drinking a sports drink during or after a booze binge.

If you are reading this now, it may be too late to prevent a hangover. Here are some suggestions on ways to make you feel better about Saturday’s debauchery. Sadly, they won’t erase those drunken texts, though. 

A banana milkshake sweetened with honey is another suggestion. founder Ted Pollard told AOL that the fructose from the honey will help metabolize the alcohol, while the banana will replenish the body’s potassium, and the sugar and the electrolytes in the milkshake, as with the sports drink, will help replenish lost nutrients. 

Another common idea is to eat a greasy breakfast. While the breakfast will help absorb the alcohol, it won’t prevent a hangover from occurring. If you don’t want to hit up your local diner, you can always grab a box of crackers or slice of bread.

Hall-Flavin said the crackers and bread will help bring your blood sugar levels back up after a night of partying. Your liver usually brings your blood sugar back up when it dips, but it cannot do that while metabolizing the alcohol in your system.

There are plenty of hangover pills to take. One, called Blowfish, which was recently approved by the FDA, is a combination of aspirin, caffeine, and a stomach-soothing agent and is split in to two effervescent tablets. The pill is fast-acting, according to Blowfish creator Brenna Haysom, and may work in as little as 15 minutes.


Cures from various cultures

If you can’t make it to the drug store, there are many suggestions for more — um — creative home remedies.

According to CNBC, some in the American Indian culture suggests to “work up a sweat, lick the sweat from your arm, and then spit it out.

Cowboys recommend drinking a cup of tea with rabbit droppings. If that isn’t your cup of tea, though, you can throw a T-bone on the barbie and drink a glass of chocolate milk with the Australians.

Puerto Ricans have the easiest cure: putting a slice of lemon under your arm while you sleep. It may not cure a hangover, but at least your arm will smell fresh.

Or you could follow my cure: suffer. Live with the decisions you made last night and let time, the only true hangover cure do its work.

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