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What are Some Common Myths About Hangovers?

A hangover is a combination of the unpleasant feelings associated with consuming alcoholic beverages, and can include headaches, nausea and sensitivity to light and noise, among other effects. There are several suspected causes of hangovers, including dehydration, lack of vitamin B12 and more. Some people simply do not get hangovers even if they drink large quantities of alcohol. There are, however, many myths about hangovers due to the wide variety of reactions that different people have to alcohol.

What exactly is a hangover? On a basic level, a hangover is the combination of all the unpleasant feelings associated with consuming alcoholic beverages, and can include headaches, nausea and sensitivity to light and noise among other effects. There are several suspected causes of hangovers, including dehydration, lack of vitamin B12 and more, and some people simply do not get them, but there is definitely an association between drinking and hangovers.

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The mysterious nature of all this unpleasantness has caused many myths about hangovers that include how to avoid them as well as how to cure them, and these myths have simply been proven not to be true. One example is the thought that the order in which the liquor is consumed will somehow prevent the drinker from getting a hangover. More specifically it is thought that if you consume hard liquor first, then beer or wine, a hangover can be prevented, and this is simply not true. In the end, the hangover will have more to do with how much alcohol is consumed as well as the time it takes to consume it.

Another one of the more popular myths about hangovers is that a cold shower or several cups of coffee will reduce the time that a person is drunk and in turn reduce the effects of a hangover. The fact of the matter is that only time will be effective in allowing someone to sober up, and this amount of time hinges upon the physiology of the drinker. Similarly, eating after drinking and before going to bed is not effective in preventing a hangover, and the food should be eaten before drinking as a more preventive measure.

Some of the myths about hangovers involve other drugs that simply do not help. It is thought that acetaminophen (Tylenol) should be taken during and after drinking to prevent a hangover. This can be downright dangerous since interaction with alcohol causes acetaminophen to be toxic to the liver. There are also several "anti-hangover" pills on the market, none of which have been proven to truly be effective against hangovers.

The many myths about hangovers can be attributed to people trying to take an easy way out of making the mistake of drinking too much. The actual ways to prevent hangovers involve simply being smart and responsible. For example, you can pace yourself when drinking, know your own limitations, partake in a healthy diet and avoid getting too drunk to begin with.

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