It’s a trick many people swear by after a night of heavy drinking: Drink lot of water and eat some food before going to bed to avoid a hangover headache.
But does it work?
Researchers say not necessarily. A hangover study shows that this strategy really offers no guarantees that your head will be clear and free from pounding in the morning.
The findings of the study also indicate that no one is immune to hangover headaches.
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Are Hangovers Avoidable?
Because alcoholism is a rampant problem in this country and around the world, researchers in the UK set out to answer the question: How can someone avoid a hangover?”
A hangover is the body’s reaction to excessive alcohol consumption, characterized by a headache, queasiness, dizziness, fatigue, confusion and thirstiness. Although unpleasant, they do serve the purpose of discouraging most people from continuing drinking.
Research suggests that if a person does not experience a hangover, they may be more likely to continue drinking.
Blood Alcohol Levels Less Than .10% Leads to Less Hangovers
For the study, 789 Canadian students reported their drinking habits for a month, including the number of alcoholic drinks consumed, how long it took them to drink them and how severe any hangovers were. The researchers also calculated estimated blood alcohol concentration scores for the participants.
They found that 79% of the participants who claimed they never experienced hangovers had estimated blood alcohol concentration scores of less than 0.10%. As a point of comparison, many states in the US have a safe driving limit of 0.08%.
“The majority of those who in fact reported never having a hangover tended to drink less, perhaps less than they themselves thought would lead to a hangover,” reports lead author Dr. Joris Verster, of Utrecht University in the Netherlands.