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Donya Currie is the editor of The Free Lance-Star's Healthy Life section and Healthy Life Virginia newsletter.

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Hangover cures

If you drink too much alcohol New Year’s Eve, you’re likely to wake up wondering about the best way to cure a hangover.

You might Google around and find a recent New York Times story about new concoctions (of aspirin and caffeine, vitamins and minerals) being marketed to Manhattanites. You might read about the virtues of eating jellow or Mexican food or chicken broth.

Let me save you a little time. I went to mayoclinic.com, a fantastic source of reliable health information, and read the clinic’sĀ treatment suggestions for hangovers. “Time is the only sure cure for a hangover,” the site says. Here’s what else you can do while you wait, according to the famous clinic:

  • Drink water or fruit juice to prevent dehydration, but definitely don’t drink any more alcohol.
  • Eat some bland food, like toast, to settle your stomach. Bouillon soup is also good, as it replaces lost salt and potassium. And food/drinks that contain fructose (like fruit juice) can help your body burn the alcohol faster.
  • Take a small dose of a pain reliever if your head or body aches, but keep in mind that aspirin can irritate your stomach. And if you drink to excess, know that Tylenol and other acetaminophen-containing drugs can cause liver damage.
  • Sleep. Maybe when you wake up, you’ll feel better.

Really, that’s it. Hydrate, sleep, eat bland foods and treat your headache. Better yet, of course, don’t drink so much in the first place. And don’t drink on an empty stomach — an empty stomach speeds up your body’s absorption of alcohol, the clinic says.

To learn more, including why dark-colored drinks seem to cause worse hangovers, visit mayoclinic.com/health/hangovers/DS00649

Cheers!

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