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Say bye-bye to hangover hell
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December 30, 2008

There is little that makes you feel as miserable as a really bad hangover. The kind that pounds away at your head from inside, while the contents of your stomach lurch and churn. The kind that makes you want to throw up, crawl into a hole, and spit out your dry-as-cotton tongue all at the same time. You know the kind we mean --- most people have had at least one of these to mark their drinking careers.

There is no free-size remedy that will fit all, but there are some that have been known to fit most. 

Prevention is better than cure

1. Don't drink too much. You rarely need that last drink for the road. But since we know just how many people are going to take that advice, here are some more tips on how to prevent a hangover.

2. Don't drink on an empty stomach. This is the primary cause for hangovers. But don't assume that just because you've had dinner before a night of binging, you're in the clear. The food, preferably a fatty meal, will line your stomach and lessen the effects of the alcohol, but it won't negate them.

3. Mixing drinks is a no-no. That Long Island Iced Tea may get you in the mood real quick, but it won't do anything for you the morning after. Stick to one kind of alcohol all evening.

4. Alternate your drinks with water. For each drink that you down, chug a glass of water. This will help to keep the dehydration at bay... or at least part of it.

But if you've gone ahead and committed these cardinal sins of drinking, you are going to need something that will stop that little hammer from pounding in your head as well as something to keep the contents of your stomach down.  

1. We have one word for you. Water. Lots of it. Up to three glasses as soon as you wake up. You are hung-over because you are dehydrated, amongst other things. So it is important to hydrate your system as quickly as possible.

2. If you have an unbearable headache that just refuses to let up, draw the curtains and crawl back into bed. Some things just need time and sleep to fix, and a hangover headache is often one of them. Apply a cold compress on your forehead for some relief.

3. Taking a disprin to kill that awful headache might be tempting, but refrain. "There are other ways to cure a hangover, as far as possible, try not to resort to medication. Sometimes there might be an adverse reaction." says Dr Sunil Dalvi, a general practitioner.

4. Some foods help in curing hangovers -- expert drinkers swear by bananas and toast. Plain crackers are also easy on the stomach. "All fruit is good for hangovers, especially pulpy fruit. Drinking warm water with sour lemon and sugar as soon as you wake up also helps. Carbohydrates are also good the morning after," says Dr Dalvi.

5. If you find yourself vomiting, drink a glass of cow's milk or buttermilk to keep your stomach steady.

6. Coffee might make you feel better at the moment, but will dehydrate you even more in the long run. Ditto for tea. Water is really the best thing the morning after.

7. Vitamin B and C have been known to reduce the effects of a hangover. Pop a supplement pill before going out to drink and one the next day.

8. If all else fails, just throw up. Forget about trying to keep it down. Purge your system instead. Stick a finger down your throat if need be, you will feel much better instantly. Follow it up with a glass or two of water to replenish your system.

9. Finally, if your friend falls unconscious either while drinking or the next day, rush him/ her to the hospital without wasting any time in trying to self-diagnose. "This could be fatal and should be taken seriously. The person should be rushed to the nearest hospital at the earliest," says Dr Sunil Dalvi

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