The truth about hangovers

Wine, vodka, tequila ... pick your poison but pick wisely.

“Typically the darker the liquor, the worse the hangover because of what's called congeners,” said Dr. Spencer Greene, director of medical toxicology at Baylor College of Medicine.

Congeners, which come from the ageing process, darken the liquor in large amounts. Basically, that means darker liquor could make you feel worse the next day.

“The alcohols with fewer congeners include things like: vodka, gin, wine and then some of the worst offenders are: whiskey, bourbon, scotch, brandy, cognac,” Greene said.

Greene said vodka, for example, has a fraction of the congeners that are in whiskey. Tequila has more than that.

“Then some people will make margaritas not with tequila but with things like Everclear,” Greene said. “There are famous restaurants that have the high potency margaritas that are made with grain alcohol and they can cause pretty profound inebriation and subsequently hangovers.”

Greene recommends having water in between drinks. In fact, he says, water and ibuprofen are the only proven cures for a hangover.

“And certain vitamin supplementation are known to help. If you take magnesium for example, or selenium or some other things that show promise are prickly pear extract or milk thistle extract also seem to help,” he said.

Some of the hangover cures you may desperately try, like caffeine and vitamin C, Greene said are old myths.
“At one time people recommended raw eggs with Tabasco and salt and pepper Then in Germany they used to recommend goulash and pickled herring and personally I’d rather have the hangover then try that,” he said.

Plus, he advises against the hair of the dog as it will just deaden your senses, prolong the inevitable and could lead to bigger problems with alcohol.