5 Hangover Myths That Are Total BS

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We all have that one little trick that helps us heal after a heavy night of boozing. But do our hangover “cures” actually accomplish what we believe they do? The answer, unfortunately, is likely no. There are countless myths about drinking and undoing the damage it does to our bodies that we accept as facts, and the top five offenders are explained below.

At the end of the day, you can believe whatever makes you feel better, but science doesn’t lie.

1. The “hair of the dog” only delays the inevitable.

You might think that a bloody mary at brunch is helping your body rebound from all of those whiskey shots you took the night before, but all it’s doing is holding your hangover at bay for a few extra hours, and dehydrating your body even more in the process since alcohol is a diuretic. The reason you feel like it’s helping is that it’s relaxing you thanks to alcohol’s natural depressant effect. Maintaining your chill in the morning makes it seem like everything is fine… but just wait.

2. Coffee is more likely to make your nausea and dehydration worse.

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Sure, that strong cup of coffee helps you wake up and feel more alert after a wild night, but it’s not alleviating other major hangover symptoms. The acidic nature of coffee can actually exacerbate your nausea, and its diuretic effect (similar to the alcohol that got you here in the first place) keeps you dehydrated when you really want to be replenishing your fluids and electrolytes. You’re better off sticking with water or downing a Gatorade.

3. Trying to sleep it off keeps the toxins in your body longer.

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Sure, getting out of bed is the last thing you want to do after a bender, and you think that giving your body extra rest is going to help it heal faster. But you actually need to do the opposite. The only ways alcohol toxins are going to leave your body are through your urine and your breath, so you might as well get up and take a stroll around the block to get your heart pumping a little harder and your breath moving a little faster.

4. Late-night food binges are not soaking up residual alcohol.

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The only thing drunk eating does successfully is throw off your diet. Once you’ve already been drinking, food does very little to help you sober up. It’s only helpful when you eat a small balanced meal before you start pounding drinks. And the fat content of that meal is what makes it protect your body from a hangover, so opt for chips and guacamole, or a reasonably sized burger to reap the caloric benefits here.

5. Tylenol before bed only stresses your liver even more.

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So many people swear by chasing two Tylenol with a glass of water before they call it a night, but since acetaminophen (the active ingredient in Tylenol) is processed by the liver alongside all of the alcohol you just consumed, it’s possible to not only overstress this vital organ, but also accidentally overdose on this pain reliever. Use aspirin or ibuprofen instead, and pop the pills in the morning when you actually start to feel like crap and can notice the relief they bring.