No Miracle Cure For The Hangover
Despite popular opinion, there is no true miracle cure for the hangover, and even the old faithful concept of chugging back a few glasses of water and munching on greasy food isn’t going to save you after a long night at the clubs.
While enjoying a bite to eat and drinking water before a drinking session can help keep you sober for longer, it isn’t likely to save you from the aches and pains of the next morning. Medical News Today reports; “Findings of the study examining the drinking habits of students from Canada and the Netherlands also indicate that no one is immune to hangovers, despite many people suggesting that they never experience them. The research is presented at the European College of Neuropharmacology (ECNP) conference in Amsterdam in the Netherlands.”
Those who enjoy a night of drinking wine and beer with friends will now have to rely on the tried and true method of portion control to remain free of the head and stomach ailments which often follow a night of alcohol.
Understanding A Hangover
A hangover, so called because of the way the feeling hangs around long after the drinks stop flowing, is the way that the human body responds to the poisoning of the liver. This often includes an inability to sleep peacefully, aches and pains, headaches, thirst, dizziness, nausea, and extreme shakiness and fatigue. In extreme cases, these signs can lead to death due to alcohol poisoning.
To break down these symptoms and identify a possible cure-all, researchers gathered data from nearly 800 students. This information included the number of alcoholic beverages each individual drank, as well as the symptoms they felt the following day. The results showed researchers that there was no one way to avoid a hangover, unless of course, students refrained from imbibing. The Science Explorer explains other relevant findings, stating; “We all know people who claim to never get hangovers, but the study concluded that no one is immune to them. As a matter of fact, about 80 percent of those who claimed to not experience hangovers had an estimated BAC of less than 0.10 percent— to give some frame of reference, people can legally drive with a BAC of 0.08 percent.”
One thing that did seem to make a slight difference was the water intake following a night of drinking, but only in reducing dry mouth and the unquenchable thirst which often accompanies a hangover. Nausea, headaches, fatigue, and aching muscles were still present in most cases of drinkers who tried to fix their discomfort through water.
While abstaining does seem to be the only sure fire way to prevent a hangover from occurring, there are some remedies to ease individual symptoms. Acetaminophen can take the pain out of a headache, while bismuth subsalicylate may reduce chances of diarrhea and heartburn. Sports drinks packed with electrolytes can give your body a boost of much needed sodium, magnesium, calcium, and potassium.
Other than these and a few other natural sources of vitamins and minerals, a good night’s sleep is just about the only thing that will leave you feeling like your old self again. BBC suggests that this lack of a remedy stems from the fact that scientists don’t understand the exact cause of the hangover. They have quoted Dr. Verster in saying; "Research has concluded that it's not simply dehydration - we know the immune system is involved, but before we know what causes it, it's very unlikely we'll find an effective cure."
While hangovers aren’t a priority in the medical community, they remain a point of interest, especially in connection to other immune related ailments. Alcohol has been linked as an aggressor in a number of medical conditions, diseases, and disorders.
These recent reports may disappoint those who rely on their homemade remedies, but it also offers insight as to why some people feel better after a big fried breakfast and others can’t even get out of bed after a night of one too many beers.
Students And Drinking
The younger crowd is known to overindulge more than their adult counterparts, and although food and water may not offer relief from the pain that comes the morning after, researchers promote eating before imbibing. Whether it’s a pizza slice from the shop on the corner, or peanuts from the bowl at the bar, drinking on an empty stomach can increase your level of intoxication, which could in turn promote a greater chance of a hangover. NHS.uk reports; “Don't drink on an empty stomach. Before you go out, have a meal that includes carbohydrates (such as pasta or rice) or fats. The food will help slow down the body's absorption of alcohol.”
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