The New Rules for Curing and Preventing Hangovers

Expert tips on how to recover from a night of partying hard.


wake-up
Istockphoto
The pometini pitchers were flowing, and you danced like a star. But today, youre feeling a wee bit fried. These feel-better tricks will help, no matter what you did last night.

1. Those cocktails were really good
What to do today: after too much hooch, drink a lot of water and at least one serving of fruit juice (any kind, even if its not 100% juice)—that will replenish the sugar that's lost when your body metabolizes alcohol.

And treat yourself to extra carbs, such as wheat toast, which help your body process the alcohol by delivering extra sugar and absorbing the alcohol's toxins, experts say. If your head hurts, its partly because alcohol has an inflammatory effect that makes your blood vessels swell, a common headache trigger. Christine Lay, MD, a headache specialist at The College of Physicians and Surgeons of Ontario, recommends ibuprofen, which not only relieves the pain, but has anti-inflammatory powers that acetaminophen doesn't.

2. You danced all night in stilettos
You pulled out your best moves, but now your feet are achy. That happens because high heels strain the balls of your feet and the metatarsals, the long bones in the forefoot, explains Marc A. Brenner, DPM, a podiatrist based in Glendale, New York. “Depending on how pointy the shoe, you may also have pain in your toes,” he says. After you get up, soak your feet in cool water for 10 minutes. Then dry off and massage them with a foot balm containing menthol, which offers short-term pain relief. We love Dr. Scholls for Her Cooling Peppermint Lotion ($5.49).

When you must put on shoes again, drag out the most comfortable pair in your closet (read well-cushioned with thick soles and good arch-support); theyll help ease the ache. Soak again at night, wear sane shoes for the next day or two, and youre good for another round of dancing. However, if the ache doesnt go away, call your doc.

3. You had the richest meal of your life
You adored the steak frites and chocolate souffle. The bloat and full feeling 12 hours later? Not so much. As soon as you feel hungry, return to your normal eating habits—maybe a breakfast that includes low-fat dairy (like low-fat cottage cheese), high-fiber whole grains like oatmeal, some fruit, and a little protein like a hard-boiled egg.

Then hit the gym ASAP. Experts say that exercise may help gas escape your body, which can ease the bloat. Follow your normal diet the rest of the day; try not to blame yourself or drastically cut back on calories to make up for last night. “One night of indulgence wont wreck a healthy diet,” says Elisa Zied, MS, RD, a New York City–based spokeswoman for the American Dietetic Association.

12 Next
Tiffany Sun
Last Updated: February 20, 2010

Get the latest health, fitness, anti-aging, and nutrition news, plus special offers, insights and updates from Health.com!

More Ways to Connect with Health
Advertisement