Blame it on that time of year. Office holiday parties, family gatherings or just the general merriment of the season can lead to one too many glasses of wine. Too much wine, red wine in particular, and you’re left with an unbearable hangover. But don’t fret, the experts say there’s something you can do to stave off the dreaded red wine hangover in the first place.
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According to Vinepair, there are three major culprits for a post-wine headache—tannins, sugar and histamines. Experts believe the first steps to getting a red wine headache are the phenolic compounds related to tannins, which can open blood vessels once they’re absorbed into the bloodstream and metabolized by the body. This is called vasorelaxation.
So how can you drink your wine and avoid the morning after headache all together? Dr. Seymour Diamond, executive chairman of the National Headache Foundation, told the Chicago Tribune that all it takes is two cups of coffee before you start imbibing. Dr. Diamond says that when you pregame with coffee, the caffeine constricts blood vessels and reduces vasorelaxation. He also suggests adding a little bit of honey to your coffee, as the fructose can help your body metabolize the alcohol faster.
So next time you’re ready to pop the cork on a cab or merlot, make sure you double fist a strong brew first to save yourself from the pain and agony of the infamous red wine headache.