Hangover

Everyone has a hangover remedy. — a greasy meal, fish oil, over-the-counter hangover fixes, more booze… the list goes on.


So it’s rather disappointing to learn of new research that says drinking water and eating food won’t cure a hangover, and the only true hangover cure is to drink less.

Sorry, I have a problem. If you drink less it isn’t a hangover remedy, it’s a hangover preventative, isn’t it? Is that too obvious or what?

This study looked at the origins of hangovers and their cures in alround 800 Canadian college students, asking them  about their drinking habits. Researchers also calculated estimated blood alcohol concentration levels for the students, on the basis of their reported habits. (Ian: so find me a college student who doesn’t boast about how much he drank last night. It’s a sign of ‘manhood’!)

They are saying there is nothing special about the people who claim never to get hangovers, that neither physical differences nor behavioral factors (like drinking water or eating food) explain why these survey participants never became hungover.

Instead, the 25 to 30 percent of people who never get hangovers simply drink way less in the first place.

Ian: This report is about as bad as I have ever seen. What is it? An undergrad assignment? Now they are saying hangover proof people just don’t drink, thus making their original error larger and more preposterous.

Yup, they seriously suggest the secret to hangover immunity is drinking less. Those drinkers may have consumed water and food too, leading them to believe that those had helped significantly, but they weren’t the deciding factor.

Medical News Today puts it this way:

[The researchers] found that 79% of the participants that claimed they never experienced hangovers had estimated blood alcohol concentration scores of less than 0.10%. As a point of comparison, many states in the US have a safe driving limit of 0.08%.

Yep— the reliable hangover avoiders were barely drinking past the point of being able to drive. For anyone who’s ever had a bad hangover, it’s clear that it resulted from far, far overshooting that point. Unsurprisingly, they found that the more alcohol the participants consumed, the more likely they were to develop a hangover afterwards.

About half the participants in the study reported drinking water or eating food after consuming the alcohol, but the water and food were not significantly associated with reduced hangover symptoms. This conflicts with the hypothesis that a hangover is just extreme dehydration, and suggests that perhaps alcohol is doing something else (like disrupting your immune system) instead. So feel free to indulge in that hangover meal, but don’t expect any miracles”

Ian: Of course, the natural result if this unnatural act (getting plastered) is inflammation. That’s what hurts, and we are experiencing (not personally!) some great stories about the effect of I LOVE H2 on this. Take a look at this scientific report on the effect of H2 on alcohol consumption.