Ways you can enjoy the party and avoid the hangover

By Lori Lyle - bio | email   
Posted by Charles Gazaway - email

LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) - If you've ever suffered through a hangover, it's probably something you'd like to avoid repeating. As health and medical reporter Lori Lyle tells us, there actually are ways you can toast the season without feeling like toast the next day.

'Tis the season for merry-making and for hangovers. But before you're reconciled to a day of misery, there are ways to blunt, or avoid it, altogether.

"The key thing is, first of all, drink in moderation," says Dr. Susan Broner, a neurologist at St. Luke's-Roosevelt Hospital Center in New York City.

Moderate drinking means limiting alcohol to one or two drinks. Spread them out by alternating your cocktails with alcohol-free ones.

"So that you're actually drinking much, first of all, not as much, and also at a slower rate," Dr, Broner says.

Taking time to enjoy party foods also helps slow the flow of alcohol.

"If you eat something like greasy foods, there's foods with a lot of fat in them, they tend to slow the absorption of alcohol so you tend to have less of a peak effect of the alcohol and less of an alcohol withdrawal," said Dr. Broner.

And if fatty foods aren't already enough, sweet treats also help your body burn through the libations.

"If you're having something that has sugar, it helps your liver metabolize the alcohol and the, the more toxic components of alcohol more effectively," Dr. Broner says.

Dehydration is another contributor to hangover misery. So pump up with water and juices, but avoid caffeinated drinks.

"Because caffeine can also dehydrate you. So sort of steering clear of the colas and teas and coffees," says Dr. Broner.

If in spite of your best efforts, you still wake up with an alcohol smack-down, you can take an over-the-counter pain reliever.

"As long as you don't have, you know, ulcers or problems like that, then those can help treat a hangover," says Dr. Broner.

That gives you the chance to leave the hangover behind.

In case you're thinking about using one of those hangover remedy pills, a study published in the British Medical Journal a few years ago found there's no evidence they work.

Fast facts:

  • 61 percent of adults drank alcohol in 2006.
  • On average, it takes about an hour for the body to eliminate one serving of alcohol.
  • 77 percent of people who drink too much will get a hangover.

For general information on alcohol consumption: