'Hair of the dog' makes hangover worse

Dec. 28, 2011 at 7:49 PM   |   Comments

MAYWOOD, Ill., Dec. 28 (UPI) -- The so-called hair of the dog -- the notion that having a drink can relieve a hangover -- only makes a hangover worse, a U.S. family physician advises.

Dr. Aaron Michelfelder of the Loyola University Health System says there are several things people can do to avoid the misery of a New Year's hangover.

Before a party, plan to drink moderately -- a maximum of five drinks for men and three drinks for women during a minimum 3-hour period -- and to prevent inflammation, take an anti-inflammatory drug such as ibuprofen or Aleve, Michelfelder says.

During the party, Michelfelder advises, eat first and then drink -- not the other way around -- because food slows the absorption of alcohol. Drink slowly, drink a glass of water after each alcoholic drink to prevent dehydration and take a B vitamin supplement.

After the party Michelfelder reminds everyone to not drink and drive and to get as much sleep as possible.

"The morning after: Take another B vitamin, drink lots of water and exercise if you can. During vigorous exercise, blood circulates three times as fast as it does when you are sitting on the couch and the faster you circulate blood through your liver and kidneys, the faster your body will remove the toxins," Michelfelder said. "However, what won't work is more alcohol or coffee."

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