There are few things worse in this world than a bad hangover. You know the feeling: your head aches, your body feels like you’re 90 years old, and you want to do absolutely nothing except lie on the couch or in bed.

When it comes to hangovers, the best cure is prevention … but hindsight is 20/20, right? In this article, we’ll look at some of the best things you can do to prevent a hangover and some ways to help you feel better after you’ve had one too many libations.

Drink a soda.

While it’s probably not wise to drink sugar-laden soda on a regular basis, sipping on one after a night of drinking may help you feel better. There’s one type of soda that stands out above the rest, too. Chinese researchers tested 57 beverages and found that Sprite was the most effective at combating a hangover. When you’re nursing a brutal hangover, have a glass of Sprite and some healthy snacks, and you’ll start to feel better.

Eat asparagus.

A study published in The Journal of Food Science that tested the effect that eating asparagus had on hangovers found that eating this vegetable can protect your liver cells from toxins, which in turn helps prevent nausea, fatigue and headaches.

Drink water … a lot of water.

One of the best ways to prevent and cure a hangover is drinking water. Alcohol thins the blood, which can affect fluid balance. Drinking water helps restore fluids when your body is dehydrated after drinking and can help remove toxins from your blood. The best time to drink water is before and while you’re drinking alcohol, though. Aim for a glass of water for every alcoholic libation you indulge in.

Drink a sports drink.

Sports drinks like Gatorade and Powerade contain electrolytes that can give you an edge over plain old water when you’re dealing with a hangover. These drinks lead to quick spikes in your blood sugar levels, which can help your muscles rehydrate faster.

Take your vitamins.

Certain vitamins such as vitamin C and magnesium can help your body break down alcohol so you can cure your hangover faster. Pick up some vitamin C tablets and magnesium citrate powder, which you can mix with water to help remove toxins and get your body back to normal.

Get some exercise.

While sitting around and doing nothing always sounds like the best thing to do when you’re hungover, the more you get up and move the faster your body will metabolize the alcohol and get it out of your system. Research shows light exercise can help you cure your hangover faster. It’s probably not a good idea to continue your marathon training when you’re hungover, but some light cardio or yoga can really help.

Clean yourself up.

Most of us have experienced a hangover so bad that we can’t even get up to bathe or shower. But when you’re feeling like you just climbed out of the gutter, having a hot shower or bath can help you feel better instantly. The steam will open up your pores and help you sweat out some of the booze, so get off the couch and clean yourself up.

Remember, a little prevention will go a long way. Take the time to eat healthfully and drinks lots of water if you know you’re in for a long night of drinking. Stay hydrated throughout the night by having a water with every drink or every other drink. And stick with clear liquors, which tend to have fewer toxins (and therefore don’t cause bad hangovers … anyone who has had too much whiskey can attest to this).

Featured photo credit: hal9k via flickr.com

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