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Two and a half minutes to improve your drinking experiences
June 29, 2012 7:09 AM   Subscribe

ASAP Science presents: The Scientific Hangover Cure. [slyt] [via]
posted by quin (85 comments total) 9 users marked this as a favorite

 
To summarise: posted by zamboni at 7:21 AM on June 29, 2012 [9 favorites]


Does the fact that I've figured all this out from my own experience make me a scientist or an alcoholic?
posted by Pyrogenesis at 7:26 AM on June 29, 2012 [32 favorites]


Caffeine can also reduce the incidents of liver damage.
posted by glaucon at 7:36 AM on June 29, 2012


zamboni: "Take aspirin before bed, not acetaminophen (it's bad for your liver)"

Ugh. Acetaminophen is only toxic in very large doses (150mg per kg = 24 extra-strength pills) or pretty-large doses over a long period of time (~4000mg per day = 8 pills). Taking them with alcohol has an additive effect, but unless you're doing this every day, Tylenol is really probably fine. And if you're taking steps to avoid a hangover every day, your liver probably has problems that switching painkillers probably won't avoid. Other OTC NSAIDs have toxicity problems, too, although they're mostly kidney and GI.
posted by Plutor at 7:36 AM on June 29, 2012


*and I meant "incidences" not "incident."

Sorry, I'm hungover and using a smartphone.
posted by glaucon at 7:39 AM on June 29, 2012 [1 favorite]


I merely report, not endorse, the conclusions of the video.
posted by zamboni at 7:39 AM on June 29, 2012


Does the fact that I've figured all this out from my own experience make me a scientist or an alcoholic?

Those aren't mutually exclusive categories.
posted by cirrostratus at 7:43 AM on June 29, 2012 [13 favorites]


I swear by drinking a glass of water to match every beer I drink when out. Sure, I have to pee a lot more than usual, but at least I feel less gnarly the next day.
posted by Kitteh at 7:45 AM on June 29, 2012 [3 favorites]


I've always felt that the scientific hangover cure would eventually be a pill full of alcohol dehydrogenase and other enzymes, to break down the toxins and stop the pounding. Alcohol is such a crap drug, why did we decide to make it our cultuure's Drug of Choice again?
posted by Scientist at 7:45 AM on June 29, 2012 [2 favorites]


Vodka and club soda with lime = hangover-proof, in my experience. I can get positively shitfaced the night before and be perfectly functional the next morning.
posted by deadmessenger at 7:49 AM on June 29, 2012 [1 favorite]


I am pretty sure the scientifically proven cure is a huge greasy fry-up, plus a 1:1 water to drink ratio the night before.
posted by elizardbits at 7:53 AM on June 29, 2012 [4 favorites]


Ugh. Acetaminophen is only toxic in very large doses (150mg per kg = 24 extra-strength pills) or pretty-large doses over a long period of time (~4000mg per day = 8 pills). Taking them with alcohol has an additive effect, but unless you're doing this every day, Tylenol is really probably fine. And if you're taking steps to avoid a hangover every day, your liver probably has problems that switching painkillers probably won't avoid. Other OTC NSAIDs have toxicity problems, too, although they're mostly kidney and GI.

It still should be discouraged. A good summary:
http://www.health.harvard.edu/fhg/updates/overdoing-acetaminophen.shtml
posted by gonna get a dog at 7:55 AM on June 29, 2012 [4 favorites]


Plutor: Ugh. Acetaminophen is only toxic in very large doses (150mg per kg = 24 extra-strength pills) or pretty-large doses over a long period of time (~4000mg per day = 8 pills).

Even the famously conservative FDA doesn't agree with this casual assessment; see the second paragraph of this section of the Wikipedia article, for a summary of their changed recommendations as a result of the epidemic of acetaminophen-related liver failures.

Also, the amount you're recommending as quite safe is a a bit worrying. "Opinions vary about what constitutes a safe level. Many experts agree that a daily dose of 7,000 mg can cause severe liver damage in an adult. But about 10% of the acetaminophen-related deaths have occurred at levels between 2,000 mg and 4,000 mg." That's from this article.

It's extremely easy to overdose on acetaminophen. Its "overdose results in more calls to poison control centers in the US than overdose of any other pharmacological substance".

It's safe in small amounts, if true... but only when followed by so many qualifications and buts as to well advise one to be very cautious.
posted by gilrain at 7:59 AM on June 29, 2012 [1 favorite]


The only thing that soothes a hangover for me is tea brewed from my wife's angry tears.
posted by Fritz Langwedge at 8:04 AM on June 29, 2012 [7 favorites]


Plutor: And if you're taking steps to avoid a hangover every day, your liver probably has problems that switching painkillers probably won't avoid.

Also, this is sort of insulting. You're basically advising the very people most likely to suffer liver toxicity from acetaminophen to ignore the risk because, hey, they're probably alcoholics anyway so whatever. Is that about right? NSAIDs have side effects too, yes, but they are much less risky than taking acetaminophen with alcohol. You're offering very dangerous advice.

You almost sound on board with the "better dead than an addict" school of thought which led to acetaminophen in all opioids in the US... whereas every other country combines them with something like ibuprofen, so as to PREVENT deadly overdose.
posted by gilrain at 8:07 AM on June 29, 2012 [4 favorites]


Did not see the acetaminophen derail coming. Can we go back to swapping hangover cures or something? Personally if I've got a really bad one I find my stomach can't really handle a big breakfast. I find that some miso soup really helps cure what ails me, though. That and copious amounts of water followed by a big, ugly dump.
posted by Scientist at 8:15 AM on June 29, 2012 [2 favorites]


Vodka and club soda with lime = hangover-proof, in my experience.

It's such a depressingly tasteless drink though. :(
posted by sevenyearlurk at 8:16 AM on June 29, 2012 [3 favorites]


Okay that's a little bit of a mischaracterization of what I said. But, yes, if you're taking Tylenol every day to avoid hangovers, switching to Advil isn't going to reduce your risk of liver toxicity appreciably. I also think it's not fair to say ibuprofen is totally awesome and safe and Europe got it totally right you damn American idiots.

Compare:

"More than 30,000 cases per year of acetaminophen overdose are reported to the American Association of Poison Control Centers" (Bartlett D 2004).

versus:

"Acute deterioration of kidney function occurs in 0.5–1 percent of patients who regularly take NSAIDs" and "The widespread intake of NSAIDs results in approximately 107,000 hospitalizations annually for gastrointestinal complications" (Peura DA 2002).
posted by Plutor at 8:18 AM on June 29, 2012


Scientist: Did not see the acetaminophen derail coming. Can we go back to swapping hangover cures or something?

Yeah, sorry about that... just wanted to at least offer a counterpoint to what I view as dangerous misinformation. I can let it go, now.

I've researched hangover cures a few times before, and have come away convinced that there is no such thing. Unless you count requesting to be left alone, sitting in a dark room, and bleakly reading Metafilter until it passes as a hangover cure. In which case, that.
posted by gilrain at 8:21 AM on June 29, 2012 [1 favorite]


I would much rather just drink less than get shitfaced on carbonated ethanol in water aka vodka club soda.
posted by Scientist at 8:22 AM on June 29, 2012 [1 favorite]


The #1 solution: don't get old. I swear that my hangovers have gotten three times worse since I've left my early 20s.
posted by codacorolla at 8:22 AM on June 29, 2012 [11 favorites]


gilrain: "I've researched hangover cures a few times before, and have come away convinced that there is no such thing."

This I can agree with. My own best success has come from following points 1 and 2 to avoid a hangover in the first place.
posted by Plutor at 8:24 AM on June 29, 2012


Yeah, codacorolla, that is definitely the best tip. I used to be surprised and proud that I never got hangovers, no matter what. That was, oh, my early twenties. In contrast to most of aging, that part changes fast. It seems like one morning, I thought, "Hey, isn't this horrible feeling... a hangover!?" And then I got a hangover every time I drank heavily, just like that. That was, hm... 26 or 27.
posted by gilrain at 8:25 AM on June 29, 2012 [2 favorites]


I really want to eat after drinking. I want to eat EVERYTHING. Two egg sandwiches with four eggs total? Great! Two pieces of cheese on each of the sandwiches? Okay! Three glasses of OJ? Yep. Bacon? MOAR!!!!

Then, 15 minutes later, I feel a million times worse as the sodium draws all available water away from my liver and the blood vessels in my brain constrict and turn into vices. Now I'm chugging water to catch up but it's a long, long time before I do.

Ah, what fun.
posted by glaucon at 8:30 AM on June 29, 2012


Classic Hollywood taught me it's to sit in an armchair wearing a dressing gown with one those ice bag things on your head whilst drinking about a gallon of black coffee. And groaning.
posted by fearfulsymmetry at 8:37 AM on June 29, 2012 [8 favorites]


So, I'm off to a binge-drinking bachelor party soon. Since we're on the topic, does anyone have decent links to reports of liquor store "hangover cures" working or not working (or anecdotes regarding the same)? You know, the patches or pills, "take this before bed and you'll be cured!" sorts of things.
posted by craven_morhead at 8:38 AM on June 29, 2012


don't get old

Hangovers have gotten unbearable in the last couple of years, to the point where I can't even have 3 or 4 moderately-paced pints (with water back) without feeling at least a little rotten the next day. And yet beer remains delicious.
posted by uncleozzy at 8:38 AM on June 29, 2012


I was in the US recently, and only there did I find out that I now have to go on living as an alcoholic without hangover morning Pho soup...
posted by Pyrogenesis at 8:38 AM on June 29, 2012


Vitamin B-12
posted by rossmeissl at 8:41 AM on June 29, 2012


They failed in the first 30 seconds.

Eat more to slow down alcohol absorbtion? Not if the point is to get drunk ... which any "hangover" cure would realize.

No, the real hangover cure is pretty simple.

1. *While* you are drinking (or before you go to sleep)Drink a pint of water for every pint of beer (or equivalent amount of alcohol) - this step is the hardest one, but it certainly helps

2. *Don't* eat as much as normal, and *do* reduce the amount of total alcohol you intake. This is also a hard step, when you are wasted at 3am and grilled cheese with ham, egg, avocado, and tomato calls your cell phone.

3. When you wake up in the morning, eat two slices of very burnt, dry toast (mmm, carcinogenic), wait 20 minutes, then drink a pint or two of water (depending on your size/intake). Then lie down again (or poop) for a stretch.

4. Smoke a large bowl of weed and take a long shower or bath

5. Drink two shots of whiskey

Done.
posted by mrgrimm at 8:53 AM on June 29, 2012 [4 favorites]


While living in Japan, I discovered the wonders of "Ukon no Chikara" which is basically a little bottle filled with Turmeric. It's thought to support liver function (although I couldn't find any scientific evidence to corroborate this). Worked like gangbusters every time. I also second the miso soup for damage control the morning after.
posted by qio at 9:03 AM on June 29, 2012 [1 favorite]


Has anyone tried these new drinks said to prevent hangovers? I've seen NOHO touted by a comedian I follow on twitter and I saw Last Call on a TV show. I've heard the active ingredient is mainly vitamin B, backing up rossmeissl's comment.
posted by Brodiggitty at 9:11 AM on June 29, 2012


I drink like a fish, partly for pleasure and partly for professional/avocational reasons, and I haven't had a single hangover in 20 years. The secrets are pretty easy: eat before, drink copious water and snack during, eat after, and before bed drink all the water you can hold and take a multivitamin.
posted by slkinsey at 9:11 AM on June 29, 2012


In my 40's I was somewhat of a bon vivant (said with a smidgeon of irony) and both-ends-of-the-candle burner. I could not drink a Slav under the table, mind you, but I drank quite a bit quite regularly, and also enjoyed my red wine with meals. When I hit 50 or so, I rapidly got to the point where I got almost instant "hangovers", which is really not the right word, since I now frequently get headaches in the middle of a drink. Bummer, but at least it saves me money...

Anybody out there having this experience? Solutions?

One thought I've had is that this transition may not be only age related, since I also converted over from being semi-vegetarian to completely vegetarian (not vegan) around that time.
posted by mondo dentro at 9:14 AM on June 29, 2012


These things can be related to blood pressure, not only to baseline but also motility.
posted by slkinsey at 9:17 AM on June 29, 2012


Is that a common pronunciation of "congener" in the US? I'm more used to this.
posted by bonehead at 9:18 AM on June 29, 2012


I find if I don't go to sleep, I don't wake up with a hangover.

That sounds like a joke, but actually I do stay awake until I'm sober (drinking plenty of water). That means when I have a lot to drink, I may be really tired the next day, but not hungover.

And I scoff at tiredness. Pffft!
posted by aubilenon at 9:29 AM on June 29, 2012 [1 favorite]


In my college days, a 32 oz bottle of Gatorade before bed was my go-to hangover preventative. Apparently drinking less beer never occurred to me at that age.

Also, in my homebrewing days I would swear that I never got hungover on homebrew, no matter how much I drank.

At my age now, the third beer puts me to sleep, so hangovers are never an issue.
posted by COD at 9:36 AM on June 29, 2012 [1 favorite]


Giant bowl of pho and literally all the sriracha you can handle is the best hangover cure in the entire universe and I will accept no debate on this matter.
posted by nathancaswell at 9:39 AM on June 29, 2012 [7 favorites]


Prognosis pho hangover solidarity! It is the fucking best!!!!!
posted by nathancaswell at 9:40 AM on June 29, 2012 [2 favorites]


Whoops pyogenesis autocorrect.
posted by nathancaswell at 9:41 AM on June 29, 2012


COD, supposedly the yeast in that homebrew is full of vitamin B. So it is its own hangover cure.
posted by makeitso at 9:44 AM on June 29, 2012


DIY oral rehydration therapy, 2 spoonfuls of sugar, 1 of salt in half a cup of water before bed gets rid of the headache mostly. The killer is fatigue if you've been up late and have to work the next day. Load up on Solpadeine Max. If you an office type, book some fake meetings and go somewhere and nap.
posted by Damienmce at 9:47 AM on June 29, 2012


I learned to drink as a young man from some Russians, who put it simply: stick to clear hard liquor, take a shot (smaller than US shots, more like about half an oz), take a bite of something to go with it. Repeat until you're done for the evening, then drink as much water as you feel comfortable with just before bed, and take an asprin or two. The food and alcohol, they claimed, would mix and hold onto one another, and without the dilution of water, would just stay in the stomach until you're ready. Then, water, asprin, and bed, the alcohol gets absorbed and digested with the food, so by the time you wake up, any hangover is done with. It seemed to work while drinking with them, but I've not kept up my drinking regime, and no longer drink to get drunk, so I can't say for sure how well it works if you no longer have the stamina of youth.
posted by Blackanvil at 9:48 AM on June 29, 2012 [1 favorite]


"If you would drink this, sir," he said, with a kind of bedside manner, rather like the royal doctor shooting the bracer into the sick prince. "It is a little preparation of my own invention. It is the Worcester sauce that gives it its colour. The raw egg makes it nutritious. The red pepper gives it its bite. Gentlemen have told me they find it extremely invigorating after a late evening."

I would have clutched at anything that looked like a life-line that morning. I swallowed the stuff. For a moment I felt as if somebody had touched off a bomb inside the old bean and was strolling down my throat with a lighted torch, and then everything seemed suddenly to get all right. The sun shone in through the window; birds twittered in the tree-tops; and, generally speaking, hope dawned once more.
-- The Inimitable Jeeves, P. G. Wodehouse
posted by ZsigE at 9:51 AM on June 29, 2012 [6 favorites]


Smoking pot is a way better hangover cure than anything in that video. No problems with liver or kidney toxicity and it will make you really hungry for the recommended carb heavy breakfast. Also, for the morning after, Gatorade is your friend.
posted by doctor_negative at 10:02 AM on June 29, 2012 [1 favorite]


Anyone who hasn't discovered the joys of MiO Energy and vodka is not living.

It is also pretty great for not producing hangovers.
posted by OnTheLastCastle at 10:07 AM on June 29, 2012


Yeah, after a few recent drunken sunday afternoons I discovered that if you just stay awake long enough to feel somewhat more sober (soberer), you will not be hungover the next day at all. (Obvsly you have to stop drinking for this to work. Life is full of difficult choices.)
posted by elizardbits at 10:07 AM on June 29, 2012


MiO Energy

mmm, propylene glycol and sucralose! just what i want with my alcohol!
posted by elizardbits at 10:09 AM on June 29, 2012 [1 favorite]



The only thing that soothes a hangover for me is tea brewed from my wife's angry tears.


Tearsane?
posted by lalochezia at 10:09 AM on June 29, 2012


I suffer from very bad hangovers, always have, (Cosette on the other hand doesn't really get them) and have learned a few things similar to the article:

1. Get on "The Program", which is what we call following each cocktail with 8oz of water.

2. Food, I know this is obvious but yeah it does really help.

3. Codeine. I understand this can be hard for our American friends to get their paws on, which is a shame as WOW does it speed the recovery process.

I can't find the link now but Slate.com did a test of the current crop of hangover cures and found that they do work if you follow the instructions. I am trying NOHO for a party tonight, we'll see how it goes.
posted by Cosine at 10:19 AM on June 29, 2012


I've only had a real bad ass hangover 2x in my life. Once on the 4th of July before my 21st bday. It was brutal, in fact it was the first, and honestly I probably poisoned myself. I think I had... Oh... I think we figured 14 shots worth of vodka? Yeah. All I remember is crying while listening to the cure, and the next day with this weird sort of feeling in my head and body. Mostly it felt like my head was humming to the tune of the high pitch of an old CRT monitor that you hear when you walk in a room. Only it was a feeling and not a sound. And it felt like that all over my head.

Then another time I had a real bad hangover it wasn't quite that bad, but it wasn't fun.

Most of my "hangovers" are just me feeling dull and stupid and not productive. Maybe it's because I'm stupidly obese and it takes a LOT of alcohol to get me that drunk? I dunno.

Meh.

Fuckin' Alcohol.
posted by symbioid at 10:23 AM on June 29, 2012


The best hangover cure is, after 2 or 3 beers, smoke some pot, realize being more than moderately intoxicated on alcohol is dulling and unpleasant, stop drinking beer, start chugging water and snacking
posted by crayz at 10:25 AM on June 29, 2012 [1 favorite]


Water one-for-one with your booze is really the best advice here. It's kept me from making a complete arse of myself on a number of occasions. I've also developed a bit of a reputation for being a total bar tank at work-related piss-ups, and I'm still employed so there's that.

Also medicinal vegemite on that charred toast is a godsend, and when chugged back with coffee and a pineapple juice will keep me alive on very little sleep as well as all the gin at the bar.
posted by Jilder at 10:33 AM on June 29, 2012 [1 favorite]


Metafilter: where the dull, unproductive, and stupidly obese drunks hang out. This is precisely why I come here.
posted by graphicwizard at 10:33 AM on June 29, 2012


The rules of a hangover
posted by quiet coyote at 10:39 AM on June 29, 2012


So what happens if you guys ever drink a real amount of booze?
posted by Artw at 11:02 AM on June 29, 2012


Is 18 vodka and sodas over 15 hours a "real amount of booze"? Because that ended with me puking on a fake cactus and then eating a lot of popsicles.
posted by elizardbits at 11:18 AM on June 29, 2012


stick to clear hard liquor

Clear alcohols are for rich women on diets.
posted by mrgrimm at 11:22 AM on June 29, 2012 [1 favorite]


Huh, weird. I used to get absolutely debilitating hangovers when I was in college, and now the worst I get is waking up feeling slightly crummy.

But I'll suggest something that will likely sound awful to anyone who has never tried it, but I can assure you is a delicious anytime treat which is perfect for those mornings when you feel like you can't get anything down.

Ice cream float - but with neapolitan ice cream and ginger ale.

Just trust me on this one. I am not pranking you. It is amazing and stomach-settling.
posted by Navelgazer at 11:29 AM on June 29, 2012


The video gets it right. If you fail to follow the water regiment (which of course you will), the things that will help you the day after are cysteine and potassium. My go-to is an egg, cheese and avocado omelette. Because, you know, fuck bananas.
posted by team lowkey at 11:31 AM on June 29, 2012 [1 favorite]


I was quite surprised to discover at the age of 28 that by far the biggest contributing factor to my hangover was the pack of cigarettes I would smoke with my alcohol.

Also pedialyte is good, pedialyte ice pops are best.
posted by rcdc at 12:06 PM on June 29, 2012


Usually a swig or two of pseudoscience does it for me. I see I'm not alone.
posted by odinsdream at 12:54 PM on June 29, 2012 [3 favorites]


Water intoxication is no laughing matter, folks. Know your limit.
posted by Fritz Langwedge at 1:10 PM on June 29, 2012


There is this nice taco place in a small town on the coast of Jalisco that opens at midnight and closes at sunrise. It caters to drunks and taxi drivers.

If you order "El Combo Borracho" you get about a pound of meat, a kilo of tortillas, half a pint of very hot sauce, 6 sliced limes, some salt packets, a cold 1 liter bottle of oral electrolytes (Pedialyte most of the time) and two aspirins. No one can finish the food, so they pack it to go, adding another two aspirins and a second bottle of Pedialyte.

Next morning you wake up and find out you are clutching a strange greasy take take out box you can't remember ever seeing before. After inspecting the contents, you swallow the aspirins and use the electrolytes to slowly and painfully wash down small pieces of tortilla dipped in lime juice and salt. After a few minutes you start adding some hot sauce and pieces of meat. You continue until you are crying from the hot sauce and the box is empty. An epic shit and a long cold shower after that you are feeling like new.

The mail must really suck in Sweden, I write in every year, and these guys still have not gotten a medicine Nobel prize.
posted by Ayn Rand and God at 1:17 PM on June 29, 2012 [5 favorites]


"Learn to appreciate hangovers. If it was all good times every jackass would be doing it."
posted by MrBadExample at 1:27 PM on June 29, 2012 [1 favorite]


Brawndo. It's got electrolytes; it's what hangovers crave.

Seriously, though, hydration is the answer.
posted by Dark Messiah at 1:27 PM on June 29, 2012


Burnt toast. French fries. Bong hit. Netflix/XBOX/book. Done.
posted by zardoz at 1:34 PM on June 29, 2012


I swear by drinking a glass of water to match every beer I drink when out.

Likewise— I attribute my basically hangover-free 20s to this. I follow the same rule when swilling caffeine during the day. Not being dehydrated: it's awesome! (But I think I must get dehydrated easily or something.)

Eventually, though, my tastes (and finances) turned to peaty smoky whisky and things, and though I might not get a hangover they do give me a migraine. It's good to know that drinkers' karma has found its way to me after all.
posted by hattifattener at 2:36 PM on June 29, 2012 [1 favorite]


It is worth a warning: take aspirin before you sleep, but not *immediately* before you lie down. If you take aspirin immediately before you lay in a reclining position, it can lodge in your stomach lining and cause ulceration and bleeding.
posted by charlie don't surf at 3:43 PM on June 29, 2012


I've always felt that the scientific hangover cure would eventually be a pill full of alcohol dehydrogenase and other enzymes, to break down the toxins and stop the pounding...

The alcohol dehydrogenase alone would probably make the hangover worse by increasing the concentration of acetaldehyde:
In the liver, the enzyme alcohol dehydrogenase oxidizes ethanol into acetaldehyde, which is then further converted into the harmless acetic acid (vinegar) by acetaldehyde dehydrogenase. Acetaldehyde is more toxic than alcohol and is responsible for many hangover symptoms. N-acetylcysteine (NAC) is known to assist in processing acetaldehyde in the body and therefore can help to relieve hangover symptoms.
...
The drug disulfiram (Antabuse) prevents the oxidation of acetaldehyde to acetic acid and is used in the treatment of alcoholism. ALDH1 is strongly inhibited by disulfiram, while ALDH2 is resistant to its effect. The cysteine residue at 302 in ALDH1 and 200 in ALDH2 is implicated as a disulfiram binding site on the enzyme and serves as a disfulfiram sensitive thiol site.[10] Covalent binding of disulfiram to the thiol blocks the binding of one of the cysteine residues with iodoacetamide, thereby inactivating the enzyme and significantly lowering catalytic activity. Activity can be recovered by treatment with 2-mercaptoethanol, although not with glutathione.[11]
The most crucial enzyme would seem to be acetaldehyde dehydrogenase, and people with 'Asian flush syndrome' apparently have low levels of acetaldehyde dehydrogenase activity.

In connection with the "beer before liquor, never sicker" assertion of quin's link, disulfiram's ability to prevent acetaldehyde from being converted to acetic acid is interesting, because sulfites, which are often present in beer at high levels, prevent wine from turning into acetic acid (vinegar):
Without sulfites, grape juice would turn to vinegar.[2]
Also note that disulfiram blocks acetaldehyde dehydrogenase by binding to a cysteine residue, which could explain "Eat eggs (cysteine)..." because additional cysteine might help make more acetaldehyde dehydrogenase.

Enzyme disabled by disulfiram can be reactivated by 2-mercaptoethanol, which could account for the popularity of asafoetida as a hangover cure, because asafoetida smells strongly of mercaptans (skunk-like, in other words).
posted by jamjam at 4:30 PM on June 29, 2012 [3 favorites]


I don't suffer much from any physical hangover symptoms, but what do I do to avoid the depressed, anxious, suffering-mind effects?
posted by orme at 5:17 PM on June 29, 2012 [1 favorite]


I don't suffer much from any physical hangover symptoms, but what do I do to avoid the depressed, anxious, suffering-mind effects?

Speaking from experience.... Don't drink half a 750 of rum in roughly two hours and then make off-colour jokes at 100 decibels in a room full of people who don't know you.

Your mileage may vary.
posted by Dark Messiah at 6:03 PM on June 29, 2012


The smell of mercaptoethanol while hungover would be enough for me to lose whatever food I would have managed to struggle down that morning. Our lab tech spilled it once and I lost a day's work from being unable to enter the lab for the gagging, sans hangover.
posted by ltracey at 6:08 PM on June 29, 2012


An admittedly impractical, but effective hangover remedy: get on the biggest, nastiest, most violent rollercoaster you can find. Ride once. It will knock the hangover right out of you. This has worked for me, in any case.

First time was a trip with co-workers to King's Dominion many years ago. Our shift at the restaurant ended; we immediately road tripped to a motel near the park; drank and drank and drank until dawn; napped a couple of hours; then got up in time for the park opening. Hangover: raging. First ride: the Shockwave. Ride ended and I felt GREAT.
posted by fikri at 7:40 PM on June 29, 2012


Ride ended and I felt GREAT.

I dare say the people behind you weren't as happy. BLLeeeEEEUURRRGHHHH!!!!
posted by ninazer0 at 8:04 PM on June 29, 2012


Oh hangover stories...

My worst was working on a fishing boat. It was one of the crew's birthday, so we drank the bottle of Johnny Walker the ship owner had given him. Then we drank the handle of Jim Beam another crewman had been hiding. The captain was pushing me to drink more and more and more, out of Vietnamese politeness.

The next morning, MeFites... Have you ever woken up and felt like the room was spinning? Try that on the open sea where the room is in actual fact heaving about randomly. I drank tea and nibbled on disgusting stale bread until throwing up. Then I lay on the galley bench and felt the waves knead my skeleton through my flesh.
posted by eurypteris at 8:31 PM on June 29, 2012


I was quite surprised to discover at the age of 28 that by far the biggest contributing factor to my hangover was the pack of cigarettes I would smoke with my alcohol.

YES! This is absolutely true in my experience.
posted by gjc at 10:03 PM on June 29, 2012


I was drunk on science for a long time. Never once had a hangover though. I do however still suffer from student loans.
posted by srboisvert at 5:44 AM on June 30, 2012


I hate to even mention it, as it's really kind of a foul drug, but ephedrine will bring you back from the brink of death in 30 minutes or less. When I was younger and dumber, we used this solution many times to great effect. Of course, you'll feel speedy and all the side effects, but it sure beat a hangover.
posted by readyfreddy at 6:18 AM on June 30, 2012 [1 favorite]


I can now report back on the NOHO cure... yeah... not so much... ouch my head.
posted by Cosine at 5:49 PM on June 30, 2012


pho plus vietnamese coffee is the ONLY true hangover cure
posted by 200burritos at 9:18 PM on June 30, 2012


Will you people stop talking so loudly, some of us drank way too much brandy last night.
posted by Hello, I'm David McGahan at 12:22 AM on July 1, 2012


oh and all these hangover cures are trumped by 15 seconds in the ocean
posted by nathancaswell at 6:36 AM on July 1, 2012


"N-acetylcysteine (NAC) is known to assist in processing acetaldehyde in the body and therefore can help to relieve hangover symptoms."

It's worth noting that you can buy N-Acetylcysteine, which is also a great supplement for smokers. Drinking enough water the night before, B vitamins, and a quick puff in the AM help.

I don't generally have much of a hangover, though, unless I have a serious hangover. First time that happened was in college during a keg race out on a beach on Lake Superior (yes we cleaned everything up) where I was welcomed to a 30-minute drive through dirt roads navigable only in 4x4s in the morning. Somehow I managed to make it through that but ended up puking at least 3 times on the rest of the drive back and I couldn't take in food, gatorade or water (tried in that order) until 3pm the next day.

This was almost a decade ago, and I'd almost forgotten just how terrible it felt. It all came back to me this year, though, when a friend of mine brought over a 1.75L of Bulleit. I only remember the first couple hours and woke up feeling terrible and somewhat confused as to how I had gotten that drunk. Yet again I could not keep down even a single sip of water until the next afternoon. After piecing it together, apparently he kept filling my glass up and I kept drinking it, but I was still a little surprised to only find about a pint left in the bottle. Thank god it didn't ruin the taste; they make some good whiskey.
posted by nTeleKy at 12:13 PM on July 2, 2012


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