Coffee, More Alcohol no Cure for a Hangover

Kathleen Blanchard's picture
Curing a hangover
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If you want to nip a hangover, experts say drinking coffee or having more alcohol is no cure. According to experts, trying to cure hangover misery with either will instead make you feel worse.

Exercise and vitamin B are the two top cures for a hangover, says Dr. Aaron Michelfelder Loyola University Health System family physician. However, even before you drink alcohol, there are some steps to take that can minimize misery the next day.

Before attending a party Michelfelder says, take a vitamin B and an anti-inflammatory drug like ibuprofen or naproxen to lessen inflammation. Pre-party planning also includes the intention to drink moderately and slowly. For women, that means no more than three drinks, and for men four, over a 3-hour period. Have water in between drinks to prevent dehydration.

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Before drinking, make sure you eat to slow the absorption of alcohol into the bloodstream. After the party, get plenty of sleep and don’t drive.

According to the Mayo Clinic, you can also minimize a hangover by avoiding dark colored alcohol that contains substances known as congeners. Examples include scotch, bourbon, brandy, red wine, tequila and dark beers with high alcohol content. Smoking cigarettes and drinking can also boost the chances of experiencing a hangover.

The next day, forget the coffee, except for a “pick-me-up”. Instead, try to get some exercise to remove toxins rather than sleeping or laying on the couch - more vigorous exercise rids the body of toxins more quickly. Michelfelder also says take another B vitamin, and forget the “hair of the dog” – it will only make things worse.

This page is updated on May 17, 2013.

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