Avoiding that new year's hangover

December 31, 2013
Avoiding that new year's hangover
Drink in moderation and eat beforehand, doctor says.

(HealthDay)—Hangover headaches are a common problem over the holidays, but there are ways to prevent them, an expert says.

The best way to avoid a hangover headache is to stick to non-alcoholic drinks such as sodas, spritzers and punches, said Dr. Noah Rosen, director of the Headache Center at North Shore-LIJ's Cushing Neuroscience Institute in Manhasset, N.Y.

If you do drink alcohol, do so in moderation, he advised.

"It is also best to eat beforehand as having food in the stomach slows the absorption of alcohol in the body," Rosen noted. "High-fat foods are particularly good in absorbing alcohol. Also, it is a good idea to snack throughout the party to keep up."

Drink slowly and make every other drink a non-alcoholic one. Water is the best choice, because caffeinated sodas can boost heart rate and contribute to dehydration, he explained.

"Avoid darker alcohols as they contain more congeners, which are toxic chemicals," Rosen said. "Red wine has high congeners that can contribute to a hangover headache."

If you've been drinking, taking an anti-inflammatory drug—such as aspirin or ibuprofen or naproxen—before going to sleep will help reduce the pain of a hangover , Rosen said.

Explore further: How to prevent, treat a New Year's hangover

More information: The U.S. National Library of Medicine offers hangover treatment tips.

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