NEW YORK ( MainStreet) — Show me a dozen different drinkers and I'll show you as many ways to kill a hangover. People have been trying to chase off the side effects of booze since the Mesopotamians poured that first mug of beer.

Mostly, and heartbreakingly, that's because there's no such thing as curing a hangover. As the BMJ Group wrote in a study on the subject, "[n]o compelling evidence exists to suggest that any conventional or complementary intervention is effective for preventing or treating alcohol hangover. The most effective way to avoid the symptoms of alcohol induced hangover is to practise [sic] abstinence or moderation."

Or, as my friend Scott likes to say, we'd know if a cure for hangovers existed because they'd be putting it in the water.

That hasn't stopped anyone from looking (or most of us from drinking in the first place), and for good reason. Alcohol is the cornerstone of human civilization , and any chance to get back Sunday morning is well worth trying. So, for everyone out there living in fear of New Year's Day, November 1 and March 18, here are a few suggestions.

Hair of the Dog

"Don't be swindled into believing there's any cure for a hangover. I've tried them all: iced tomatoes, hot clam juice, brandy peaches. Like the common cold it defies solution. Time alone can say it. The hair of the dog? That way lies folly. It's as logical as trying to put out a fire with applications of kerosene." – Actress Tallulah Bankhead.

Frankly drinking hot clam juice sounds worse than living with a hangover. Keep your juiced shellfish; I'll take my chances with tequila.

That doesn't mean Bankhead's wrong; chasing booze with more booze only ends badly. It's a classic case of delaying the symptoms. A good morning drink will make you feel better for a little while, but sober up and you'll be right back where you started.


A much better idea than the hair of the dog (a saying born from the old Irish practice of treating a dog bite with hairs from the offending animal).

Some of the many possible symptoms of a hangover include fatigue, headache, lethargy and generally just feeling like crap. Given how much a hangover sounds like an average Monday morning, it should be no surprise that the prescription is the same: a strong cup of coffee. Maybe two or three.

Caffeine does help. It can ease headaches and chase out some of the cobwebs, especially good for mornings that force you out into the world. If you have the luxury of staying in bed, though, keep away from the Red Bull. Nothing helps like a bit more sleep.