How gym will fix it for your hangover
Published 31/12/2010 | 05:00
New Year's partygoers who need to cure a hangover should skip the conventional wisdom advising they swill coffee or another alcohol drink, and instead hit the gym.
The body gets rid of alcohol and its toxic by-products four ways -- through breathing, via the liver or the kidneys and from sweating, said Aaron Michelfelder, a family physician from Loyola University Health System in Maywood, Illinois, US.
Exercise speeds breathing, increases sweat and moves alcohol-laden blood to the liver and kidneys more quickly.
"That's why you should stay hydrated as well," Mr Michelfelder said. "It takes a lot of water to process alcohol in your body."
Drinking water, especially between every glass of wine or beer, has another benefit -- it can reduce the overall amount of alcohol consumed, he said.
Mr Michelfelder has a list of recommendations partygoers should heed as they hit the town on New Year's that can help the body grapple with the tsunami of alcohol ahead. The first is, avoid a hangover altogether, he says.
"A hangover is brain damage," he said. "Some of it is going to heal and some will be permanent. Prevention is the best medicine."
The most important is to drink moderately and slowly, at most five drinks for men and three for women over a three-hour period.
Other measures include taking an anti-inflammatory pill such as ibuprofen and eating before any drinking occurs.
Mr Michelfelder's most surprising advice involves what to do after the hangover has set in. Coffee is unlikely to ease the nausea, dizziness and general malaise that stems from over-imbibing, he said.
"Hair of the dog," the familiar standby of getting down just one more drink, is particularly unhelpful, Mr Michelfelder said. It will only make you feel worse. (© Bloomberg)