ORIGINAL TIPS: HANGOVER REMEDIES Wednesday, December 14, 2011

We all know that unless we take care of ourselves before, during and after a long night of too much fun that the hangover is not only inevitable, but often inescapable. And it boils, almost literally, down to this: we are dehydrated.

But what we might not necessarily realize is that the reason those punishing headaches hurt so much is because our brains are wrung dry. In fact, our brains, recognizing that our bodies’ other organs are thirsty, sacrifices itself and releases its water reserves to replenish those organs to create in our bodies a better sense of equilibrium. Our shrinking brains, in turn, remind us that yes, perhaps we did indeed overdo it.

But what’s done has been done. The question is, what do you do now?

Well, when you wake up, your body might be telling you that it wants fatty and/or fried foods, specifically something meaty and potatoy. Perhaps it wants a cup or two of coffee to snap you out of it. Or some good old fashioned Hair of the Dog (like this ethereally photographed glass of crisp, cold beer). But what you have to remember is your body cannot be trusted.

Coffee will simply dehydrate you even further. Meats and potatoes digest slowly, and will sap up the energy reserves you need to quickly overcome the way you currently feel. And Hair of the Dog? That’s just a myth—it actually prolongs your hangover.

Luckily for all of us, The Original has the “cure” for what ails you. Because let’s face it, you’re hurting, the last thing you want to do is cook for yourself or for others.

So, skip the coffee—and the Screwdriver, and Bloody Mary—and order instead a glass of Orange Juice, or Tomato Juice or Apple Juice. And rather than order a Chicken-Fried Steak with potatoes, ask for eggs and bacon, with a side of fruit instead.

Of course, drink lots of water and, when you’re through eating, take a short walk and then climb back into bed or stretch out on the sofa for a nap.

Trust us, you’ll feel better when you come to.

But ultimately, the best cure for a hangover is prevention. So if you know you’re going to be celebrating, remember to first eat a healthy meal, and drink plenty of water throughout the night. But the best advice you can give to yourself is to know your body, and to know its limits.

So, in words taken from an Irish toast: May you have the hindsight to know where you’ve been, the foresight to know where you’re going  and the insight to know when you’ve gone too far.