There is no real cure for a hangover. But scientists are arguing that it’s about time to find one.
You see, hangovers are estimated to cost U.S. companies over 148 billion dollars every year. How? Well, people have taken sick days, making dumb mistakes because they are not feeling well, that sort of thing.
We know a ton of stuff about the effects of alcohol on the body, but we never looked much into the hangover, scientifically anyway. We know what it is about them that makes us feel awful; alcohol dehydrates us, it increase the production of stomach acid which makes us nauseous, it makes your blood sugar falls which is where all of that weakness shakiness comes from. It also makes your blood vessels expand, which turns into that pounding headache.
We even know what the main ingredient in the alcohol is that causes all of these nasty symptoms. Congeners. Congeners are what gives alcohol their flavor and there are more of them in dark liquors like bourbon whiskey and dark beers.
But so far, all of the cures we have for hangovers are either folklore or con artistry. You see, eating a greasy fatty meal in the morning seems to be what most people do which makes sense because alcohol snaps your body of meat and salt and protein.
Drinking fruit juice will give you back a bunch of your missing sugars and electrolytes and vitamins. Eggs are phenomenal for replacing cysteine which is the super-awesome chemical that your body uses to clean out toxins. So all of this stuff puts a bunch of missing thing back into your body but you will probably just feel bad again in 15-20 minutes because the damage is already done.
So why don’t we have a hangover pill? And no, he ones at the drug store doesn’t count because they are basically glorified multi-vitamins. Allison Mitchel, a professor at UC Davis thinks that science shies away from curing the hangover because no one wants to promote out-of-control drinking. But she also says that if we study a hangover, it would improve our understanding of the immune system metabolism and our gastrointestinal system.
Curing hangovers might just be the most important thing that science can do. Ok, a little exaggeration here. There is one major scientific advancement towards eliminating a hangover. Researchers at UCLA and USC basically got a bunch of mice drunk and then injected them with nano-capsules full of enzymes that the body uses to metabolize alcohol.
The blood alcohol content in the mice began to fall drastically. The thought is that in the future, you will be able to have a few drinks, and then take a pill that breaks down the alcohol before your liver has to. That means your body doesn’t have to use a ton of resources to break it down on its own. Boom! No hangovers.
Until then, the best you can do is have a fatty meal before you go out drinking and then have a lot of water that night. Well, the actual best thing you can do is not drink.