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Some people say that the best way to avoid a hangover is not to start drinking in the first place - such people are quite obviously insane. So, for anyone out there who has experienced the morning after blues (and greens), here are some suggestions.

[Drink types | Prevention | Cure | Remedies]

Choose your poison

As most serious drinkers know, some drinks are more likely to give you a hangover. This depends on the toxic chemicals, or congeners, present in alcoholic drinks. On a scale of least (and therefore less likely to result in a hangover) to most (to give that head kicked in by a gorilla feeling):

- Vodka.
- Gin.
- Scotch.
- Single Malts.
- Brandy.
- Rum.
- Bourbon.

For non-spirits, the list is:

- White wine.
- Beer.
- Lager.
- Cider.
- Red wine.
- Port.

Also, the old rule of not mixing grape (wine and Cognac) with grain (beer and whisky). Sticking to one type of drink is good, and as a general rule the darker and sweeter the drink the more likely it is to cause a hangover.

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1) Eat before drinking, as food slows down the rate of alcohol absorption and protects the lining of the stomach.

2) Don't mix drinks.

3) Don't smoke. It makes you want to drink more because alcohol causes arteries to expand, whereas nicotine causes them to contract. Not good for a happy morning after.

4) Drink a pint of water before retiring. Alcohol is a diuretic, and dehydrates your body. Replacing this lost water at the earliest possible time will help you liver and kidneys no end.

5) Take evening primrose oil. It apparently boosts liver activity, and therefore the enzymes that break down alcohol. Although both sexes have these enzymes in their livers, only men have them in their stomachs, so we can start breaking down alcohol earlier! Nice one....

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1) Drink as much water as you can take without going insane. As before, it replaces water lost due to the dehydration effects of alcohol.

2) Take vitamin C, such as in fresh fruit juices, which neutralises the effects of alcohol.

3) Exercise will help sweat out the toxins, and get your metabolism shifting. Although the chances of going for a run on a hangover....

4) A good balanced breakfast. Alcohol stimulates the production of insulin which reduces blood sugar levels and causes effects such as drowsiness, trembling and hunger. (ie. coma, DTs and munchies.)

5) There is a homeopathic remedy for hangovers called "Nux Vomica" (seriously!) available from health food stores.

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These recipies are the more "traditional" methods of curing hangovers. I take no responsibility if these make you feel worse than you already do.

Hilda's Hangover Cocktail.

Hangover Breakfast.

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