You have a headache, you have a stomachache, and your get-up-and-go is gone. You have a hangover

Experts know little about what causes a hangover. Some theories say that alcohol disrupts biological rhythms; others that alcohol withdrawal is the culprit. Research suggests that impurities produced when alcohol is distilled can make you feel nauseous. According to EverydayHealth.com, the sweeter the drink, the higher the level of impurities. Malt liquors and red wine are especially toxic.

That headache? It may come from dehydration — alcohol is a diuretic — and your body’s adjustment to your dropping blood alcohol levels after you’ve stopped drinking.

For now there’s only one surefire way to avoid a hangover: Don’t drink.

Drink water. It’s important to stay hydrated while you're drinking alcohol. That means drinking plenty of water between cocktails. If you bypass that rule and wake up groggy the next morning, drink up to rehydrate and flush the impurities from your system.

Drink other fluids, too. Remember: Water isn’t enough. You need to drink electrolyte-rich fluids, too — like sports drinks, coconut water, or bouillon soup — that can restore the salt and potassium you’ve lost.

Grease up before you go. One longstanding folk remedy is to take a spoonful of olive oil before a party. Some swear by it. Eating a pizza or other fatty food has the same effect. Both are said to grease the intestines so the alcohol takes longer to absorb. Ew, but also, OK.

Consume sugar while you’re drinking. Studies show that fructose may speed alcohol metabolism, thus reducing the risk of a hangover. It’s important to eat sugar while you’re drinking, not before, since fructose metabolizes quickly. Try plain orange juice between cocktails.

Fill up the morning after. Eat breakfast. Electrolytes in food help replenish a dehydrated system and get calories back into your body. But go easy. While a greasy meal before drinking may help, a hangover needs foods that are easy to digest, like toast and cereal. Some believe that eating burnt toast will help, with the charred carbon crust filtering out impurities much like a carbon water filter. But there’s no research to back it up.

Eat ginger. For centuries, people have taken ginger to reduce nausea and vomiting. Try nibbling crystallized ginger in the aftermath of a night of drinking. The National Institutes of Health reveal early research that consuming a combination of ginger, tangerine pith, and brown sugar before drinking decreases nausea and vomiting.

Watch for prickly pear cactus. While it’s still being tested, one study has shown that taking 1,600 IU of prickly pear extract five hours before drinking reduced risk for severe hangover by 50 percent.

Take a B vitamin. I swear by this one and I bring plenty for my friends if we plan a night out. Your body loses vitamins and minerals when you drink, consuming extra vitamins helps. Trust me.

Go back to bed. A hangover isn't caused by lack of sleep, but that makes it worse. Take a long nap the day after: It’s the body’s way of healing itself.

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