Bad news for those who like to imbibe copious amounts of alcohol. The only proven way to prevent a hangover is to, well, imbibe smaller amounts of alcohol. Researchers tested various hangover "cures" on 826 Dutch students and found that neither drinking water nor eating fatty foods will "take away the misery," the lead author from Utrecht University tells the BBC. "The more you drink, the more likely you are to get a hangover." Drinking water may, on the other hand, "help against thirst and a dry mouth," but "it's not simply dehydration—we know the immune system is involved, but before we know what causes [hangovers], it's very unlikely we'll find an effective cure."
Presenting their findings at the European College of Neuropsychopharmacology conference this week, researchers say more controlled trials are needed, but that in the meantime the best way to prevent a hangover is as straightforward as it gets: drink less. This message was reiterated in Canada, where another group of researchers set out to learn exactly why some people don't seem to get hangovers at all. But after studying the drinking habits of 789 students last month they concluded that those who avoided hangovers simply weren't drinking enough to get them in the first place, reports Newsweek. (These are some of history's most high-functioning alcoholics.)