Cocktails & Spirits

New Year's Day Hangover Cures: Let's Get Scientific

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A hangover is, for all intents and purposes, a medical condition.

You're severely dehydrated, you've lost essential vitamins, minerals,

and nutrients, and your body is processing and desperately trying to rid

itself of some uncomfortable toxins.

An ounce

of prevention is worth a pound of cure, so hydrate properly, eat the

right foods (greasy), and take a multi-vitamin before you down your

first cocktail.

After, the best medicine isn't

pain pills which will further thin your blood (Aspirin), irritate your

stomach (Advil, aka ibuprofen), and tax your liver (Tylenol,

aka acetaminophen). Caffeine or "hair of the dog" might make you feel

better in the moment, but in the long run will only make your hangover

worse. You've abused your body and you need to give it what it needs to

heal itself. Let us break it down for you:

1. Hydration
This means water. Lots and lots and lots of water. More water than you thought you could drink. Now, don't guzzle it all at once. Water intoxication is a thing and can kill you. The key is to keep drinking water, slowly and steadily. This not only rehydrates you - because you probably failed to drink 8 oz. of water between every alcoholic beverage - but also helps the toxins being produced from the digestion of the alcohol get out of your body that much faster. And you want them out of your body. Sports drinks or chicken broth can also be helpful because they are full of electrolytes, but water is life. Drink a bottle before you go to bed and as soon as you wake up.

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Rebecca McBane is the arts and culture/food editor for New Times Broward-Palm Beach. She began her journalism career at the Sun Sentinel's community newspaper offshoot, Forum Publishing Group, where she worked as the editorial assistant and wrote monthly features as well as the weekly library and literature column, "Shelf Life." After a brief stint bumming around London's East End (for no conceivable reason, according to her poor mother), she returned to real life and South Florida to start at New Times as the editorial assistant in 2009. A native Floridian, Rebecca avoids the sun and beach at all costs and can most often be found in a well-air-conditioned space with the glow of a laptop on her face.
Contact: Rebecca McBane