The perfect hangover cure: fact or fiction

The perfect hangover cure: fact or fiction?

As the Summer party season gets into full swing, Bupa Australia suggests that the best hangover cure starts before you even have your first drink.

Reviewing some widely touted hangover cures, Bupa recommends the key to help avoid typical hangover symptoms - such as headaches, nausea, stomach upsets, tiredness, irritability and difficulty concentrating - lies in drinking responsibly and understanding the effects of alcohol on your body.

Dr Christine Bennett, Chief Medical Officer of Bupa Australia, said that it was important for people to drink responsibly to help minimise the negative effects of alcohol.

"While drinking alcohol in limited amounts can be enjoyable, and one or two drinks may even have some small benefit for cardiovascular health, it's essential that people stick to safe drinking practices," she said.

"Substituting every second alcoholic drink for a non-alcoholic one and not drinking on an empty stomach can make a big difference to how you feel the next day and to your long term wellbeing.

"Since the main causes of a hangover are most likely to be dehydration and lack of sleep it is recommended that drinking plenty of water, preferably before going to sleep and then again when waking, as well as rest, may help. A mild analgesic, such as two paracetamol, may also reduce the severity of the headache."

Common hangover cures - do they work?

· Mild analgesic: A couple of paracetamol either before going to bed or on waking may help the headache. Alcohol irritates the stomach lining so analgesics that irritate the stomach such as aspirin or ibuprofen are not recommended.

· Multi-vitamins: While dehydration may mean that your body is low on vitamin B and C, there is minimal evidence to show that supplements such as vitamin B will help.

· A fried breakfast: While eggs and other typical breakfast foods such as sausages, mushrooms and tomatoes may provide salts and vitamins that have been lost, make sure it is isn't a high fat fry-up.

· Coffee: While the caffeine in tea and coffee may make you feel more awake, too much caffeine will dehydrate you further.

· Exercise: For the brave, exercise will actually speed up the detoxification process and take your mind off feeling terrible. It is important that you drink plenty of water before, during and after exercising, and don't exercise if you're feeling too groggy, as it may increase your risk of an accident.

Tips to help minimise the impact of alcohol:

· Never drink on an empty stomach - eat a substantial meal before you go out.

· Have at least two alcohol free days each week.

· Do not drink alcohol if you are taking medications (especially those that may enhance the effects of alcohol) such as antibiotics, anti-anxiety medications, barbiturates and sedatives.

· Do not drink alcohol if you are pregnant or breastfeeding.

· For every alcoholic drink, have a non-alcoholic one, and don't mix different types of alcoholic drinks.

· Drink plenty of water before you go out and when you get home.

· Organise a designated driver before you go out, and never drink and drive.

For more information regarding healthy living visit