STAGE ONE: KILL ME
What’s going down when you feel like throwing up.

BRAIN
Does it feel like a pig made love to your skull? Thank cytokines, inflammatory chemicals that booze causes to be produced in excess by your immune system. Cytokines, according to Dr. David Sack, an expert in comprehensive neuroscience cause “pain, thinking and memory problems, evenanxiety.” Yup, a typical Sunday morning (minus the dead clown in our bed).

MOUTH
Thirst and dry mouth can be blamed directly on the drinks. Alcohol acts as a diuretic and sucks the fluid from the male body faster than your sister in a Denny’s parking lot.

SKIN
Flushing, sweating, and dilated blood vessels are all side effects of a night out. You’ll look “dull, lusterless, dry, and generally older,” in the morning says Howard Sobel, M.D., director of the N.Y Institute of Aesthetic Dermatology and Laser Surgery. Abuse hooch and chronic blood vessel dilation will redden your face and nose for good – and not in a cute Rudolphy way.

HEART
Your racing heart-beat is a result of the buildup of acetaldehyde, a toxin produced during the digestion of alcohol. The cumulative effects of a sustained drinking problem enlarges the wrong love muscle and could lead to congestive heart failure.

LIVER
This tasty organ produces the enzymes responsible for breaking down ethanol. In the long term, too much of the stuff and scarring (cirrthosis) becomes a problem. And sorry, eskimos, people of asiatic descent are genetically poorer at digesting alcohol. Yet still genetically gifted at producing the world’s best tentacle porn.

STAGE TWO: HELP ME
These popular post-drinking “cures” are anything but.

HAIR OF THE DOG
“Drinking more alcohol might postpone a hangover for the short run,” says Susan Kraus a dietitian at the Hackensack University Medical Center, “but you’ve set yourself further back from the inevitable.” But be a man – ignore sound medical advice and enjoy one of the cockstails to the left.

EXERCISE
“Sweating it out” might be the most popular, and least helpful, solution. The critical workout is in your liver. not your quads. Sorry, brah – neither anaerobic (pounding the weights) nor aerobic (jazzer-yoga-lates) exercise boosts liver function. In fact, dehydrating yourself further will only worsen your condition.

COFFEE
Once the cappucino comes out, it’s a good sign the paty is done, but i’ts not a cure. Coffee is another diuretic and will only sap more precious water from your already drained body.

SEX
“Hornovers” are definitely the coolest and only bonus to your morning hell. Nobody is quite sure why we wake up randier than Roman Polanski at a Chuck E. Cheese, but some postulate that booze, as a capillary – widening vasodilator, gets the blood flowing to the main vein fast. Yet while sex with yourself (or another person, even!) is a relief of one kind, it won’t ease a splitting skull.

BE AN ALCOHOLIC
“The tolerance that alcoholics develop is due to increased enzyme production,” explains Carolyn Dean, M.D., medical director of the Nutritional Magnesium Association. While great in the short term, that doesn’t make you boozeproof. Studies show you may be able to handle alcohol-related hangover symptoms, but you’re more likely to suffer from alcohol withdrawal problems – like hallucinations. We know – sounds awesome.

STAGE 3: RESURRECTED
Gird your loins (and the rest of your body) for another booze bat.

EAT
“Anything high in protein is a good alcohol buffer,” says James Schaefer, Ph.D., and a lead researcher in hangover studies. A meal high in delicious amino acids should keep the pyloric valve closed longer. (That’s the valve that controls when your stomach contents dump into your small intestine, where most alcohol is absorbed, dummy.) Avoid fatty or sugary meals before a bender, as they’re less efficient. Sigh, so long. Krispy Kreme tuna melts.

DRINK
Water is an obvious friend, but once the drinking has commenced it’s difficult to follow the “eight ounces of water per drink” rule. Also that rule is for boring people. You are cool and awesome, therefore instead of asking for Evian and risking the scorn of the bartender, just skip all the carbonated drinks (they irritate the pyloric valve) and take your cocktails mixed with water or fruitjuices.

POP
Acetaminophen (Tylenol, NyQuil) can exacerbate liver problems in heavy drinkers. Use an over-the-counter antacid, which will ease the cauldron of pain brewing in your gut and contains enough aspirin to act as what Dr.Sack calls a “prostaglandin synthetase inhibitor” (something to battle body damaging cytokinesis), but not enough to harm your delicate stomach lining.

GO EAST
According to a study conducted by the Department of Food Science and Technology at the College of Agriculture and Biotechology at Chungnam National University in Deajeon, South Korea (whew!), certain natural compounds could help delay the absorption of alcohol in the small intestine. If you can get your hands on leaves of laurus nobilis, fruit of kochia scoparia, or seed of aesculus you’ll be good to go! And are also probably a woodland druid.

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