Loyola University Health System family physician Dr. Aaron Michelfelder offers the following tips on how to avoid the misery of a New Year's hangover:

Before the party:

-- Plan to drink moderately -- a maximum of five drinks for men and three drinks for women during a minimum three-hour period.

-- To prevent inflammation, take an anti-inflammatory drug such as ibuprofen or Aleve.

During the party:

-- Eat first, and then drink, not the other way around. Food slows the absorption of alcohol.

-- Drink slowly.

-- To prevent dehydration, drink a glass of water after each alcoholic drink.

-- Take a B vitamin supplement.

After the party:

-- Do not drink and drive.

-- Get as much sleep as possible.

The morning after:

-- Take another B vitamin.

-- Drink lots of water.

-- Exercise (if you can stand it). During vigorous exercise, blood circulates three times as fast as it does when you are sitting on the couch. And the faster you circulate blood through your liver and kidneys, the faster your body will remove the toxins.

What doesn't work:

-- Coffee will make you more alert, but it won't prevent or help a hangover.

-- Forget "hair of the dog" -- the notion that having a drink can relieve a hangover. It will only make you feel worse.