Can the Hair of the Dog method help cure a hangover?

PImagine it: a perfect summer day to drink with friends, hopping from a brunch or barbecue to your favorite bar, and then back home for a drink. As the classic song goes, summer and life are easy… that is, until you wake up with a raging hangover, a dry mouth that rivals Saharan conditions, and the worst case of a Sunday scare in recent memory. You limp to the kitchen to pour yourself a glass of water, and then look at your collection of prosecco while your pitcher of orange juice in the fridge stares you in the face. Will a little “dog hair” mimosa give you the relief you desperately need to get over your hangover, or will it just make things worse?

To find out once and for all if the dog hair hangover method is legit, we asked Amy Shapiro, MS, RD, CDN, of Real Nutrition in New York City.

But first, what causes a hangover?

Some things are at play when it comes to the dreaded hangovers, which are triggered when your body breaks down alcohol to sober you up. For starters, Shapiro reminds us that alcohol is a diuretic, meaning it causes more frequent urination and fluid loss, which contributes to dehydration. “Being dehydrated can make you get a headache and feel tired, dizzy and thirsty,” she says.

From there, Shapiro explains that excessive alcohol consumption upsets the electrolyte balance, doubling the symptoms of dehydration. “Alcohol intake can also lead to low blood sugar,” he adds, creating a triple whammy to make you feel like complete trash and vowing never to drink again…or at least until the next weekend. of week. “Finally, alcohol intake can disrupt sleep, and when we don’t get enough sleep, all of these symptoms increase,” says Shapiro.

So can dog hair help prevent or relieve hangovers?

Once again, hangovers are a direct result of the alcohol metabolism process. While adding fuel to the flame won’t do you any favors in the long run, it *may* provide short-term relief at best. “By drinking more alcohol, you’ll simply delay this effect and therefore won’t feel the hangover, that is, until you stop drinking at a later point,” says Shapiro. “Also, drinking alcohol is said to increase endorphins, which could mask hangover symptoms.” However, the operative word in play here is “mask”, which is not synonymous with “cure” or “prevent”.

Also, as a leading dietitian, Shapiro does not endorse the hair-the-dog method (or excessive drinking in any form, for that matter). Remember: alcohol is still a toxin and your body registers it as such. In short, this popular hangover trick “doesn’t prevent a hangover, it just delays it,” she reiterates. “And of course it can also be dangerous.”

Hangover Tricks That Really Work, According to an RD

Since dog hair will end up hurting rather than helping you in the hangover department, try giving these RD-approved hangover tips a try (no pun intended). Just keep in mind that you’ll need to put them into play before and while you drink.

1. Avoid drinking on an empty stomach

For starters, if you’re going to drink alcohol, it’s best to do so after a meal or snack (at the very least). “I recommend not drinking on an empty stomach,” says Shapiro. “I also recommend having some carbohydrates with your meal before you drink, which will help slow the absorption of alcohol.”

2. Keep the water in your rotation

Never underestimate the benefits of staying hydrated, especially when it comes to hangovers. Again, remember that alcohol is a diuretic, so if you don’t add H2O to the mix, your chances of having a hangover the next day will be even more likely. “Stagger each alcoholic drink with a glass of water,” advises Shapiro. You should also be careful to hydrate before and after you sip your liquor, wine or beer of choice, or even opt for sparkling water and hydrating fruit mixes.

3. Choose your alcohol wisely

Did you know that certain types of alcohol can cause stronger hangovers? As Shapiro says, “Darker drinks like red wine or whiskey tend to have congeners, which have been associated with worse hangover effects.” (FYI: Congeners are natural compounds other than ethanol that contribute to the physiological effects of alcohol.)

According to a medical review, bourbon is the beverage with the most congeners, while vodka has few, if any, congeners. However, vodka still contains ethanol, and “the effects of ethanol per se had a considerably stronger effect on hangover than the congener content,” the review reads. In other words, while skipping dark drinks for lighter adult beverages*May* helps relieve hangover severity, no guarantees.

4. Be safe and smart when you drink

Of course, this hangover tip is a no-brainer. In addition to heeding the tips shared above, do your best to drink in moderation. Also, if you know that certain types of alcohol, dietary habits, or other factors inevitably make you feel dizzy and nauseated the next day, watch your patterns and break the cycle. “Know your limit and get enough sleep,” says Shapiro. While all of these ideas will help you in the long run, remember that the same cannot be said about reaching the dog’s fur.

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