Making too much merry during the holiday season can result in a few too many drinks. With parties and dinners aplenty during the weeks leading up to the holidays, you may be faced with more headaches than Santa has elves. In The Hangover Handbook, Dean Martin gives us his recommendation for combatting the morning-after madness: stay drunk. While that may sound appealing on first thought, it’s not realistic, especially when work, kids, or commitments beckon the next day.
The Mayo Clinic says that only time can heal a hangover — 24 hours worth of time — but that is 23 more than most would like. You can reduce that time by being proactive and starting the recovery process while you’re drinking; just match every cocktail with a full glass of water to help your body stay hydrated; that’s a start.
Some swear by “hair of the dog” as a surefire remedy to recover from drinking. Ernest Hemingway — who was known to like the drink — is said to have preferred a beer-spiked Bloody Mary to help with his frequent hangovers; as tempting as it sounds, don’t try it.
"Bad idea," says Dr. Daniel K. Hall-Flavin, a consultant in addiction psychiatry at the Mayo Clinic. "It will provide a numbing effect, but all you're doing is prolonging the inevitable, and it will likely make your headache worse." Similarly, the caffeine in coffee could actually make a headache worse if you aren’t used to drinking it. And if you think eating a greasy breakfast the next day is going to make things better, you’re wrong. Choose your morning after meal carefully and make sure you’re eating while you’re drinking, too. Drinking alcohol with a rich meal can actually slow digestion and alcohol absorption by as much as 50 percent, leaving you with a prolonged situation.
Instead of opting for Dean Martin’s or Ernest Hemingway’s advice on handling a hangover, try these foolproof ways to recover from a holiday night out.
This article was originally published on December 17, 2014.