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Get over it.
by Helen Lowe

Intro | The Cause | Relief | Avoidance | Warnings | Wacky Remedies

Can Anything Relieve a Hangover?
Given that there are no real cures, the best we can hope for is some relief. And knowing what a hangover is helps us define a plan of attack. So when you wake up to the pain of life after a binge, the task at hand is 2-fold: first, rehydrate and nourish your body to replace what the alcohol took away and second, metabolize the remnants of your toxic alcohol overdose.

That dry, hot landscape in your mouth is the product of some major dehydration; so the very first thing you need to do the "morning after" is drink water…lots of it! Knowing that the last thing you'll want to do when you wake up is actually get up, consider setting out a tall glass or pitcher of water as you stumble into bed after a night of excess. This way you can begin to repair the damage you've done without leaving the relative comfort of your covers.

When you finally get up, continue drinking clear fluids all day. Water and real fruit juice are the best choices. Not only does fruit juice contain a good deal of water, but the fructose found in it is reputed to aid in metabolizing the toxins still at work in your system. Stay away from coffee. That hot cup of Joe may be a tempting "wake-me-up", but it will actually dehydrate you further and may prolong your agony.

Eating may not feel like a priority but, unless you turn green at the thought, try to eat at least a little something to help replenish what the alcohol has taken away. Keep it simple. Given that eggs and dairy products (other than yogurt) can be tough to digest, you may want to avoid them for now. Some toast and fruit are good choices.

But food alone may not replace all the vitamins and minerals that your cocktails "washed away". Taking a few supplements the day after over-doing-it is a good idea. Get yourself a good B-complex vitamin as well as 500 to 1000 mg of vitamin C. Also get a supplement with Calcium, Magnesium, Niacin and Potassium - you may be able to find a single multivitamin that contains all of the vitamins and minerals you'll need. Groovy Dr. Weil (of TV, book and Internet fame) suggests adding 100 mg of Thiamin to your hangover recovery plan.

Now that you've rehydrated and refueled it's up to your body to purge the alcohol's remaining toxins. Unfortunately, the only sure remedy for metabolizing those impurities and completely relieving your agony is time. But a little exercise can increase your intake of oxygen and help to speed up the metabolizing process. It has also been said that the fructose in honey and fruit juice can offer a similar effect.

Bright Idea:So those ridiculous oxygen bars may have a practical use after all. If your city is graced with one of these trendy phenomenons, you may consider paying a visit to inhale a little relief.

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