It’s holiday party season, which means people are a little more likely to overindulge than usual. If you know you tend to get raging hangovers this time of year, Dr. Oz has some advice for you. “First off, never have two [alcoholic] drinks in a row,” Dr. Oz told Us Weekly in a new interview. “You have a drink and then water. A drink and then water — equal amounts — so it slows you down.”
Hangovers come from dehydration, Oz says. “Your brain is like a walnut,” he adds. “If it dries out, it’s bouncing around that coconut skull. It hurts.” The answer? “Hydration,” he says.
If you happen to overdo it anyway and wind up with a hangover, Dr. Oz previously recommended that you drink 1/4 cup of pickle juice to help replenish the body’s electrolytes and ease your hangover.
The Doctors have also tackled hangover cures, recommending that people have “The Doctors Shot of Health.” It involves downing a slightly complicated drink that includes two cups of coconut water, one teaspoon of dried turmeric, 1/2 ounce of fresh ginger root, juice from one lemon, and up to two tablespoons of honey.
In general, hangover prevention isn’t rocket science: Drinking in moderation is the best way to avoid the pain, health expert Jennifer Wider, MD, tells Yahoo Lifestyle. “The more someone drinks and the more alcohol they ingest, the more likely they are to have a severe hangover,” she says.
Still, if you’re prone to hangovers, you probably want to avoid certain types of alcohol that are more likely to trigger hangover symptoms. “Champagne is known to cause bad symptoms because the carbon dioxide in the carbonation may hasten the alcohol absorption,” Wider says. “Other types of darker alcohol like tequila, whiskey, and bourbon have more chemicals called congeners, which result from the fermentation process. These congeners have been known to worsen hangover symptoms.”
While hydration matters, it’s not the be all and end all. “It isn’t going to cure your hangover, but dehydration can definitely worsen the symptoms,” Wider says. That’s why she says that making sure you stay hydrated when you drink “will help” to some degree.
Eating food while you drink or, at least, having a solid amount of food in your stomach when you drink can help. “Food can slow down the alcohol absorption rate, which will have a positive effect on the severity of a hangover,” Wider says. “It can also help replenish the body of both nutrients and electrolytes — elements it may lose while drinking.”
Overall, it’s really best to try to keep yourself in check. “The likelihood of feeling hung-over goes way up with binge drinking, so if you are going to drink during the holidays, try do to so in moderation,” Wider says.
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