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4 Ways to Prevent A Hangover

women partying with alcohol before hangover

December 10, 2018 | Categories:

‘Tis the season for overdoing it—and we’re not just talking holiday cookies! A few too many seasonal cocktails might leave you hurting the morning after, but that hangover will be even worse if you’re also smoking cigarettes, warns new research.

A study published in the Journal of Studies on Alcohol and Drugs asked 113 college-aged participants to complete a daily survey for eight weeks, in an effort to assess whether heavy drinking and tobacco smoking increased hangover severity the following day. Indeed, smoking significantly upped the odds of a hangover (along with more severe symptoms) when participants had imbibed heavily—a whopping six cans of beer in one hour—the evening before. (Learn how to use mindfulness to stop bad habits, like smoking.)

“Rule number one to avoiding a hangover is: Don’t drink to this extent,” says Dr. Gary Murray, acting director of the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism Division of Metabolism and Health Effects. “These study participants were…way past legally drunk. It’s kind of a surprise that anyone in this study didn’t get a hangover.”

If you tend to puff a cigarette or two when you’re feeling festive, this research is a motivation to rethink the habit. And while the days of heavy college drinking are behind you, it’s easy to forget that even one extra drink can lead to a pretty unpleasant morning after. We asked the experts how you can keep consumption in check and avoid any holiday hangovers this year:

Hold a non-alcoholic drink

The number one rule, says Dr. Murray, is to match each alcohol drink with one that doesn’t contain any booze. “If I’m holding a glass in my hand while I’m talking, I’ll drink it, so it helps to make that drink water whenever you can.”

Take vitamin B before bed

Excess alcohol depletes the body of essential B vitamins, so take a B-50 complex supplement before bed, says Laurie Steelsmith, ND, a naturopathic physician. These vitamins can help break down alcohol in the body, and previous research has shown that B vitamins might prevent the onset of some hangover symptoms. (Wondering which vitamins you need? Our guide to Vitamins For Women breaks it down.)  Discover the foods nutrition experts NEVER eat.

Chug H20 and (if you must) pop a pill

The dehydration effects of alcohol are responsible for many of those next day aches and pains. ”My own recommendation would be you can have an aspirin or NSAID if you wake up with a headache, but not before bed right after drinking,” Dr. Murray says. Alcohol takes time to metabolize, so it’ll be 6 to 8 hours before you can safely pop any pain pills.

 Read the full article on Prevention.com.

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