How can I avoid a hangover?

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1. Like death warmed up

You wake up with a faint memory of an enjoyable night that probably lasted too long. Your head is pounding. You feel nauseous and sweaty. You can't get out of bed but you don't want to stay there...

Drinking a lot of alcohol is bad for you in the short and long term. But despite regretting your over indulgence, you might well end up doing it again.

Apart from abstinence – the only guaranteed hangover protection – there are strategies that could help you avoid waking up in an unholy mess the next day.

2. What makes you feel so bad?

Which of these might be the cause of your pain?

Dehydration

Alcohol makes you go to the toilet more, so you wake up dehydrated. True?

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Dehydration

Not quite

Although dehydration might contribute to symptoms like headaches or dry mouth, research shows that low hydration isn't a major cause of hangovers.

Toxins from alcohol

Your body breaks down alcohol into toxic chemicals that wreak havoc on your body. Fact?

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Toxins from alcohol

Yes

Your liver turns alcohol into a chemical called acetyaldehyde, which is very toxic. It gets broken down too, but if it happens too slowly it makes you feel ill.

Low blood sugar

Alcoholic drinks give you a sugar rush, and the sugar crash that follows leaves your brain starved of fuel. Right?

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Low blood sugar

Unlikely

The evidence for this is slim. Even if it is true, it's unlikely that the effect would be big enough to be responsible for the hangover's symptoms.

Mixing your drinks

Combining different drinks – be they beer, wine, champagne or cocktails – swamps your body with toxins that linger through the night. Correct?

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Mixing your drinks

Probable

Some alcoholic drinks contain congeners – distinctive flavour chemicals. These can be toxic and mixing drinks means you're likely to be consuming more of them.

3. CLICKABLE: Strategy or superstition

Everyone has their method of either preventing or curing a nasty hangover after a night of over-indulgence. Click on the images below to find out which might help – and which have no effect at all.

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4. VOTE: What works for you?

Which of these strategies do you think has helped you beat a hangover? Vote for your top tip: