National Hangover Day is almost here.
That’s right. New Year’s Eve is fun and all, but it’s the day after that we’re here to address.
While New Year’s Day is an official American holiday, Jan. 1 is also unofficially dedicated to recognizing that much of the world will wake up with nasty hangovers after ringing in the new year with plenty of alcoholic beverages.
The annual hangover tradition has become such a sure thing that England’s National Health Service is warning Brits not to be “selfish” and require medical treatment for excessive alcohol consumption.
“N.H.S. doesn’t stand for ‘National Hangover Service,’” said Simon Stevens, the chief executive of N.H.S. England.
Maybe you and your friends are regular partiers or maybe you’re about to have your once-a-year glass of champagne. Either way, your head, your stomach and/or your soul are likely about to take a hit.
After the confetti falls and 2017 is kicked to the dust, you’ll probably need some help crawling into 2018. We’re here for you.
How to prevent a hangover
ABC News’ chief medical correspondent Jennifer Ashton says the two main rules for avoiding a hangover are to limit your alcohol consumption (duh) and to stay hydrated.
As more than one person on Twitter points out, Pedialyte — known widely as a solution for sick children who are dehydrated — has become a go-to choice for adults after a night of drinking.
The company is tapping into the trend by advertising for New Year’s Eve, and plenty of people are planning ahead with Pedialyte.
- Eat before and while drinking. As alcohol is absorbed more quickly if your stomach is empty, it may help to eat something before drinking alcohol and during the time you’re drinking.
- Choose carefully. Beverages with fewer congeners are slightly less likely to cause hangovers than beverages with more congeners, but remember that all types of alcohol can result in a hangover.
- Sip water between drinks. Drinking a full glass of water after each alcoholic drink will help you stay hydrated. It’ll also help you drink less alcohol.
- Know your limits and only drink in moderation. Decide ahead of time how many drinks you’ll have — and stick to it. Don’t feel pressured to drink.
- Take it slow. Avoid having more than one alcoholic drink in an hour. Stop drinking completely when you’ve reached your limit (or before then).
How to treat a hangover
As CBS News is quick to point out, there’s no magic cure for a New Year’s hangover, but here’s what we could find.
Mayo Clinic staff reminds people to be careful with pain relievers because, while standard over-the-counter options can help with headaches, acetaminophen can cause liver damage when combined with excessive alcohol consumption.
They suggest sipping water or fruit juice to deal with dehydration and having a bland snack like toast or crackers to boost blood sugar and settle the stomach. Bouillon soup is a go-to food choice to replace lost salt and potassium, according to the Mayo Clinic. Greasy breakfast sandwiches also help if you can stomach them.
Taking a nap is also on the list of suggestions.
Robert Glatter, an emergency physician at Lenox Hill Hospital in New York City, told CBS News that drinking the soft drink Sprite, which contains a compound called taurine, may also be helpful. On the other hand, caffeinated drinks should be avoided.
Advice from people who’ve been there
These tweets obviously do not contain professional medical advice, but are well-intentioned nonetheless.
No matter what happens, know you’re not alone.
Good luck, everyone. Please drink responsibly.
What’s your go-to hangover remedy? Tweet us at @sdutIdeas and we may add your cure to our list.
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