Many people are well aware of the effects of excessive drinking -- headache, upset stomach, thirst, and nausea. While there are many folk remedies to prevent hangovers such as junk food, orange juice and aspirin, very few have proved to actually work. However, besides simply cutting back, there are methods confirmed by studies to reduce or counteract the effects of alcohol consumption.
Eat first. According to the Mayo Clinic, alcohol is absorbed faster into the body if you drink on an empty stomach, making you more likely to become inebriated and suffer a hangover. To reduce the likelihood of this, eat a small snack before a night of drinking, or drink a small glass of milk, which will help coat the lining of your stomach and protect you from alcohol's effects.
Drink coffee. A study by the American Medical Association that was published in the Archives of Internal Medicine studied the role of coffee consumption in preventing cirrhosis of the liver caused by alcohol. In the study, which involved 125,000 people, if was determined that one cup of coffee per day cut the risk of cirrhosis by 20 per cent, and four cups a day reduced the risk by 80 per cent. However, coffee should not be used to cancel out the affects of alcohol abuse. "The way to avoid getting ill is not to drink a lot of coffee, but to cut down on the drinking," says study co-author Dr. Arthur Klatsky.
Consume asparagus. In a study published in the "Journal of Food Science," scientists discovered that extracts taken from the leaves of asparagus plants help boost the body's production of enzymes that speed the breakdown of alcohol. "The two key enzymes quickly metabolise ethanol into the 'nontoxic' acetate," says Deokbae Park, PhD, professor of medicine at Cheju National University School of Medicine in Korea. "Our study basically aimed to find any diet to promote the breakdown of ethanol by stimulating the two key enzymes," he says. Study participants who drank a beverage containing the asparagus extract reported fewer and less severe hangover symptoms.
Refrain from drinking excessively. Drink slowly and avoid taking shots of hard liquor. Know your body's limit; when you start to feel dizzy or light-headed, you've gone too far. Space your drinks further apart and limit yourself to one drink per hour, maximum.
Drink water between alcoholic drinks. Excessive alcohol consumption dehydrates the body, leading to headaches and stomach upset. To prevent this, keep your body hydrated by drinking enough water. According to "American Chronicle," the best way to do this is to alternate alcoholic drinks with plain water.