Published: Dec 29, 2011 7:40 PM EST

CHICAGO (AP) - Chicago attorney Colleen Gorman has a holiday ritual that doesn't involve buying presents or counting down to midnight: She goes online looking for new hangover remedies.
    
The 28-year-old's fiancé tells her she should probably just drink less.
    
Experts say that's good advice for everyone.
    
In fact, the only way to prevent a hangover is to not get drunk. But there are strategies to soften the blow.
    
Experts say not drinking on an empty stomach tops the list because food helps absorb alcohol and delay toxic effects on the body. Drinking plenty of water before, during and after also helps because alcohol can dehydrate the body.
    
But researchers note that preventing hangovers is a challenge because no one's pinpointed a cause.
    
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Online:
    
National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism: http://www.niaaa.nih.gov

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