by Mike Bryant

Hangover tip #!: Hydrate! 

And no, that does not mean more alcohol, or the “hair of the dog” approach. What it means is getting water in your body to hydrate those cells and get your body working again.

Drink water. Rehydrating your body involves drinking a lot of water when you wake up. It doesn’t hurt to drink a big glass of water before you go to bed also. The key is the absorption  of the alcohol by your body. Water slows the rate in which your body absorbs alcohol  and will keep your blood alcohol level down. The water helps in replacing those fluids that you are losing with alcohol consumption, so keep a bottle of water by your bedside and drink it as soon as you wake up.

Don’t smoke, or reduce your amount of smoking while drinking. There have been links between the amount of smoking that you do and the intensity of your hangover. Smoking affects the way that you sleep due to congestion and your overall breathing, which prevents you from getting a good night’s sleep. Combined with the alcohol, it makes you feel worse.

Sleep, sleep, sleep. Sleeping off a hangover can make a difference in that it gives your body more time to heal itself. Good sleep is affected by your water intake and the way that you hydrate. Also, it helps to get good airflow and give your body the time to do what it needs to do.

Drink the right alcohol. Studies have shown that clear booze vs. dark booze plays a role in the way that your body processes these chemicals. The better your body deals with  it,  the less intense of a hangover you will have. Consequently, making the right alcohol choice can make a difference.

Early grease can help. People have even gone as far as consuming olive oil before heading off to a party. It is a classic scene from Parks and Recreation that had Nick Offerman’s character showing up with a bag of hamburgers the next morning to get people to grease their hangovers away. The idea is that your intestines use the grease in the absorption of the alcohol.

Early sugar can make a difference. Studies show that fructose may speed up the way your body processes alcohol. Consequently, people have used orange juice as a remedy.

Try ginger. Ginger is a natural ingredient used to reduce nausea and  vomiting. Consequently, eating a little ginger may make a difference. The National Institute of Health has research that consuming a combination of ginger, tangerine pith, and brown sugar before drinking decreases nausea and vomiting the next day.

Prickly pear cactus may work. There are early studies that indicate taking 1,000/600 IUs of prickly pear extract five hours before drinking  reduces risk of severe hangover by 50 percent.

Finally, if you are experiencing a lot of hangovers, you may want to look at whether you have a problem related to alcoholism. There are a number of groups out there that help with either early signs of alcoholism or people who are using alcohol to deal with other issues, such as pain, relationships, or day-to-day life. Don’t be afraid to ask the right questions in dealing with this problem so that things don’t get worse.