Do These Hangover Cures Work
Many alcohol hangover food have become somewhat of old wives tales with cures that include drinking more alcohol to battle hangovers other methods. So which methods have an element of truth in them and do any of them actually work?
Hair of the Dog - Drinking more alcohol the next morning to fight hangovers is a bad idea. The liver is still processing the alcohol toxins left over from the night before and to add on to that burden worsens the situation.
Burnt Toast - The belief that carbon in charred bread acts like a filter in the body is a misconception. While a treated form of carbon is used to treat some types of poisoning, it is not used to treat alcohol poisoning. Besides, alcohol poisoning is something different and far more serious than a hangover.
This myth is also perpetuated by some over the counter hangover cures that claim carbon as their active ingredient that absorbs congeners. Carbon found on burnt toast is not the same as activated carbon and therefore does not help cure hangovers.
Black Coffee - Although coffee helps with reducing headaches because caffeine is a vasoconstrictor - it reduces the size of blood vessels - it is also a diuretic, just like alcohol. A diuretic makes a person lose water by causing frequent needs to go to the bathroom. So caffeine makes a person become more dehydrated than before and increases the severity of a hangover.
Fried or Fatty Foods - Eating fried or fatty food before and after drinking is believed to help prevent hangovers. This is because fatty foods stick to the stomach lining longer and slow down alcohol absorption into the bloodstream. That gives the body more time to process alcohol toxins and reduces hangovers the next morning.
Eating dairy such as having a fruit smoothie provides energy and alleviates some symptoms by replenishing the nutrients lost.
Eggs - Hangovers contain the toxin acetaldehyde in the liver's easily depleted glutathione and this is broken down by cysteine found in large quantities in eggs. So eggs not only provide energy, they absorb leftover toxins from drinking.
Bananas - Rich in potassium, bananas replenishes the potassium lost as a results of alcohol's diuretic effect. Other potassium-rich foods that replace lost electrolytes include the kiwi fruit or sports drinks.
Water - As the body is depleted of its water after a night of drinking, drinking lots of water not only replenishes fluids and re-hydrates the body, water dilutes the toxins left in the stomach and flushes them from the body. Sodium and glycogen lost can be replaced by adding salt and sugar to water - this effect is similar to caffeine-free and non-carbonated sports drinks.
Reduce body dehydration by drinking several glasses of water to help the body break down toxins from alcohol. Since the body can only process three quarters of an ounce of alcohol in an hour, drinking a glass of water for every alcoholic drink helps to slow down drinking and gives the body more time to process the alcohol.
Fruit Juice - Rich in vitamins and nutrients to nourish the body, fruit juice also contains fructose that naturally helps to increase the level of energy by helping the body get rid of alcoholic toxins faster. Because of alcohol's diuretic effect that causes the body to lose its fluids, drinking fruit juices in the morning is an ideal way to replenish lost body nutrients. You can also take supplements that are high in vitamin C and B.
As you can see, although some hangover remedies are merely myths, there are many that actually help you with hangovers.