The best treatment is prevention, by avoiding heavy alcohol use. If drinking, never drink enough to get really drunk. That way, hangovers will be rare, if not nonexistent. Not everyone is alike in such things as size, weight, metabolism, liver health and body chemistry. So, what works for one to help prevent hangovers may not work as well for another. Even when drinkers know their own tolerances and limits, hangovers seem to strike with a great deal of inconsistency. Similarly, hangover remedies seem to work with varying efficacy. This is because the hangover is actually a very complicated biological phenomenon, which is affected by widely varying factors, including the specific alcohol involved and even the drinker's emotional state.
Contrary to popular belief, dehydration is not the only cause of hangovers. A lesser-known, but equally serious cause is congeners. Congeners are toxic chemicals that are created during the alcohol fermentation process. They give flavor, smell and appearance to alcohol and exist in varying amounts in different liquors. Unfortunately, congeners are also the main cause of the notorious hangover headache. The higher the congener content, the greater the hangover. Gin and vodka have the fewest congeners, while bourbon and red wine claim the most.
Drinking on a full stomach slows the absorption of alcohol, giving your body more of an opportunity to metabolize the alcohol without becoming overwhelmed.
This is important -- don't take aspirin, Tylenol or ibuprofen while drinking or before going to bed for the night. Acetaminophen (Tylenol) is metabolized by the liver and the combination of alcohol and acetaminophen can cause your liver to release a toxic metabolite. Alcohol mixed with acetaminophen is very dangerous and can do serious damage to your liver. Tylenol was recently forced to include warnings on its packaging telling its users not to mix it with alcohol. Ibuprofen is metabolized by your liver as well.
The remedy of having a drink the next morning does help, but also only delays the side effects temporarily. Using alcohol as a cure for alcohol sounds like it might lead to an undesirable habit, doesn’t it?
One person has reported that tomatoes taken during the recovery process, such as a glass of V8 juice, can hasten recovery. This is partially supported by the popular habit of drinking a Bloody Mary the next morning.