So... how was your New Year's Eve?
So... how was your New Year's Eve?

Sorry, there’s no hangover cure

A COLD shower, a strong coffee, a fat-laden plate of bacon and eggs, or another of whatever you were drinking the night before.

If you were one of the many revellers who saw in the new year last night, chances are you are starting your day with a hangover - and any or all of the above.

The bad news is that no scientific evidence exists to show that any of them works.

About the only thing guaranteed to get rid of the headache, pains, fatigue, nausea and vomiting is time.

What your body is going through when you have a hangover is a biochemical rollercoaster.

The alcohol reduces production of a chemical in the brain which has an anti-diuretic effect which means the body produces more urine.

The alcohol also knocks about metabolic processes, meaning lactic acid increases and glucose decreases, leaving a feeling of weakness.

But many researchers believe the acetaldehyde that forms as the body processes the ethanol in alcohol causes most hangover symptoms.

Sunshine Coast Local Medical Association vice-president Rob Ingram said prevention was better than a "cure" for a hangover.

Dr Ingram said no proof existed that hangover "cures", such as throwing down multi-vitamins, made any difference.

"It's one of those sorts of things people say is true," he said. "They just get this reputation but they don't really work."

If the idea of damage prevention does not appeal, consider harm minimisation.

Dr Ingram's simple advice for anyone planning to imbibe is to take it easy, stay safe, stick with friends, and drink plenty of water with alcohol to keep fluid levels up.



  • Shower and coffee - will make you feel alert but do not change the physical symptoms.
  • Hair of the dog - only delays the hangover.
  • Drink lots of water the morning after - this will help but it is more important to drink water while you are drinking alcohol to prevent some of the dehydration that occurs.