Head pounding, stomach flipping, room spinning -- a hangover wasn't exactly the glamorous start to 2007 that you envisioned. But what if a tiny pill could prevent all of that, and you could revel without regret this New Years?
It's almost midnight on New Year's Eve. The countdown begins. … Ten, nine, eight… Party-goers are scanning the crowd, searching for the lucky person they'll kiss as the clock strikes 12. … Seven, six, five… Champagne glasses are raised. … Four, three, two… You pop a pill and… One…
Happy New Year?
Magic or Myth?
There are more than 40 products on the market promising to ease or eliminate the symptoms of a hangover -- perhaps appealing to drinkers looking to ease the aftermath of a New Year's Eve party.
But is there really a magic cure for a hangover?
"Yes: Cut your head off," says Mike Pearson, co-owner of www.hangoverreview.com.
Pearson's website has been reviewing and comparing hangover pills since 2004, when a plethora of new brands claiming to ease your partying mind hit the market.
While websites for these pills claim to "eliminate hangovers safely and effectively" and are "clinically proven to help prevent hangovers before they start," Pearson says they aren't wonder drugs.
"There are no 'active' ingredients to any hangover pill, unless you consider a vitamin or herb active," says Pearson.
A majority of the pills are merely a combination of vitamins. The top five ingredients in all of the products reviewed on Pearson's website were everyday supplements -- vitamin C, vitamin B, thiamine, calcium and potassium. So why pay the hefty cost? Most hangover pills average $20 to $30 a bottle.
Too Good to be True
Dr. Nicola Vogel of the Cleveland Clinic says save your money.
"Hangover cures that contain vitamin C, B1 and B12, thiamin, calcium and potassium will likely not do much to help with the symptoms of a hangover," she says.
Vogel adds there are several other things that can make a hangover worse in addition to alcohol.
"Certain factors can increase the severity of hangover symptoms -- such as dehydration, decreased food consumption and decreased quality and quantity of sleep."
She recommends drinking other liquids in between alcoholic drinks to ease the hangover headache.
"Maintaining adequate non-alcoholic hydration may help with hangover symptoms," says Vogel. "But best bet in avoiding hangover symptoms is to avoid drinking a lot of alcoholic drinks over a short period of time."
Pearson agrees. His advice for ensuring a happy New Year's morning?
"Seriously," he says, "the only absolute guarantee you will never get a hangover is to not drink."