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How Nutritionists Prevent and Cure Hangovers

There’s no real cure, but you can manage the symptoms with a few tips and tricks.

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Here's How to Help "Cure" Your Hangover

How many times have you tried to prevent a hangover? What about cure it? Although a true cure for an all-out night of binge drinking doesn’t exist, there are things you can do to minimize your hangover symptoms and help with quicker recovery. We asked registered dietitians from around the country what they do to prevent and help cure a hangover. Here are their top tips.

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Eat Before Drinking

"I often see people, especially women, try to eat less when they’re drinking, in hopes to manage calories. This just ends badly," says Rosanne Rust, MS RDN LDN, fact-finding blogger and author of Chew the Facts. Rust explains that once too tipsy, you can’t backtrack with food, and your hangover will be worse. "I always make sure I eat a high-protein lunch or eat something before I go to the party. Once I’m there, I go straight to the food table and fill a small plate. I enjoy my snacks while I mingle into the room and say my hellos and then I head to the bar for my first cocktail."

Registered Dietitian Nutritionist, Malina Malkani, MS, RDN, CDN, Media Spokesperson for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics and author of Simple & Safe Baby-Led Weaning says, "There is no known cure for a hangover, although it is possible (and advised!) to prevent and reduce some of the symptoms. Making sure to eat a well-balanced meal before drinking alcohol is one of the best ways to reduce the likelihood and severity of a hangover, because it helps to slow the rate of absorption of alcohol into the system."

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Prepare Hangover Beverages

"Hangovers happen actually because alcohol is toxic to the body, so the effects we get from over-imbibing indicate we need to support our body in a variety of ways: hydrate, sleep and get some nutrients in that support the liver," explains Seattle-based registered dietitian Ginger Hultin, spokesperson for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics and owner of ChampagneNutrition. Although Hultin says that time is the only real cure, there are some hangover beverages (containing electrolytes like sodium and potassium) that she feels actually helps quite a bit. One contains equal parts plain water, unsweetened coconut water and a sports drink (1/3 of each). A second beverage is a blend of milk (dairy or non-dairy) with a frozen banana and some ice cubes for a frothy, hydrating drink to sip on.

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Get Your Potassium

Ashley Koff, RD CEO of The Better Nutrition Program and author of Hangovers: Prevention + Cures Guide says, "Hydration isn’t just about water. Potassium is needed to bring water into the cells." Koff recommends breakfast foods like potatoes, avocado on toast, and coconut water.

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