How to Cure a Hangover (Maybe)
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How to Cure a Hangover (Maybe)

Thank you to NHTSA for paying for this video. Before we go any further, we want to remind
you to drive sober. You probably already know the risks of driving
drunk. You could cause a crash, you could hurt someone, incur a lot of legal expenses, lose your job. Don’t tell yourself it’s not a big deal,
‘cause it is. So while we’re going to be talking about how to maybe take the edge off your overindulgence, always, always drive sober — or get pulled
over. [♪ INTRO] Raw eggs, black coffee, hot sauce — I think it’s a rule somewhere that hangover
cures are 10% for the victim and 90% for the amusement
of their friends. Because, let’s be real, how could any of
this actually work? But there are things that proper doctors recommend to avoid or treat the symptoms of a hangover. Know your limits, stay hydrated, eat something
— it’s mostly about using common sense before
you start drinking. But what about those thousands of “cures”
that people seem to tout? Well designing an experiment to study hangovers is quite the challenge, but it turns out that there
are a few treatments out there with some evidence
to back them up. We all experience hangovers differently. Your age, sex, your body composition can all
affect how your body metabolizes alcohol. Genetics play a role, too. Genes seem to contribute almost half of the
variability between people when it comes to hangover symptoms. Meaning you need to start with a diverse study
population to account for all these differences. What to give to test subjects can be complicated. Ethics boards frown on asking your participants
to binge drink, for one thing. And what, if anything, you mix in with the
alcohol can also have effects. Like, maybe lab number 1 studies pure vodka, lab number 2 adds a little cranberry juice. Suddenly, the chemistry is totally different
— and that’s nothing next to what you’d
see out in the wild. This makes it hard to design a study that
can both be consistently replicated, and actually
mimics real-life drinking behavior. And don’t get us started on retrospective
studies instead of controlled trials. That would mean asking people to give accurate accounts of their drinking behavior. There’s a technical term that we’re worried
about here: it’s called “Recall bias”. All of this is to say that studying hangovers
is tricky. So even if the evidence for a given hangover
cure looks great in one study, it might not be
reproduced by different researchers with different methods. That all said, there do seem to be preventatives or treatments that could head off or treat
the worst symptoms, including some traditional tonics and everyday
foods. One small 2019 study asked hangover-sensitive
drinkers about certain nutrients in their diets. They were interested in nicotinic acid, which comes from eating a lot of whole grains
and mushrooms, and zinc, from foods like shellfish or legumes. And drinkers who reported consuming more of
those nutrients also reported less severe hangovers. But that’s not so much a treatment as a
thing that’s already in your diet. And another caveat — this was, in fact, a
recall study. And most people don’t necessarily remember how much zinc they ate yesterday. As far as actual curatives, one thing that’s gotten some attention is red ginseng. A small study from 2014 found that having
men drink red ginseng relieved hangover symptoms compared
to a placebo. A 2017 review of a handful of published studies also suggested that red ginseng could work
as a treatment. It also cited evidence for a handful of other
items like Siberian ginseng, Korean pear juice, and KSS
formula, which is a traditional Chinese treatment that
includes ginger, tangerine pith, and brown sugar. None of those treatments relieved all hangover
symptoms, but they did seem to help some. We don’t yet know for certain how all these
treatments might work — more investigation is needed. But they might reduce the oxidative stress on the liver that leads to cell damage. Or they might counteract immunological changes that may happen when drinking, like the increased production of signaling molecules
that promote inflammation. They also might affect the actual enzymes the body uses to break down alcohol, like
alcohol dehydrogenase. There’s actually some preliminary support
for that last one too. A 2019 study looked at how over 50 types of
food, including fruits, vegetables, cereals, spices,
dairy products, as well as coffee and tea, affect the activity of those enzymes in a test tube. They found that some foods, like sweet lime
juice, seemed to enhance the activity of these enzymes, while others, like starfruit, seemed to decrease
the activity. The scientists ultimately came up with a concoction
of pear, sweet lime, and coconut water that enhanced
the activity of the enzymes in the lab. Though having an effect in a test tube is
a long way from actually doing anything in your body. They ran a variety of formulas by a panel
of tasters, who liked the pear/lime/coconut combo best. In the end, though, even if a hangover “cure”
is developed, it might not affect people’s drinking behavior
much. In 2017, researchers asked a small survey
of young people about how their drinking habits would change if they had access to a cure for hangovers. The vast majority of social drinkers said
they’d use such a product, but only a relatively small group — about
13% — said they’d drink more. Most people, the authors suggest, don’t
really consider hangovers when drinking, and don’t necessarily want
to get more drunk than they already do when they drink. What’s more, a 2016 study showed that the
severity of a hangover isn’t significantly correlated
to how much someone drinks, or even their highest blood
alcohol concentration. In the end, we definitely won’t stop you
from trying lime juice. We just can’t pinky promise it’ll work. Like we said, designing a hangover study is
hard. And because the methods vary so much, it’s difficult to compare results between
papers. But while the only 100% guaranteed way to
avoid a hangover is to not drink in the first place, there do seem to be options better than your
friend’s coffee-egg-chili pepper recipe. Or at least better tasting. And also like, just have an ibuprofen. Thanks for watching this episode of SciShow, and thanks again to NHTSA for paying for this
video. Remember to always drive sober — or get pulled
over. [♪ OUTRO]

100 thoughts on “How to Cure a Hangover (Maybe)

  1. I remeber hearing alton brown say something to the effect that bad/cheap tequila cause hangovers more than good stuff. and i have also hear that pure alcohols like vodka cause less hangovers. is that true?

  2. My truck to avoid hangovers is just drinking half a bottle of water when I get home from the club. I literally haven’t felt a hangover in years but that may because I am still very young and healty

  3. Why does my entire abdomen (or intestines) feel super tender the day after I drink? It feels like I’m bruised and I can’t touch my stomach nor bend/move because it hurts! Is this normal???!! Am I the only one??

  4. Beat thing for a hangover is drink after eating, don't drink to much and drink enough water after before bed. Know your limits and don't give into peer pressure.

  5. 4:30 sweet lime juice, coconut water (&mylk?) and pears
    2:43 Ryebread, mushroom chips and crispy maize or popcorn
    And light beer in the morning and lots of water

  6. Best cure I found Out about, and Always use now: acetylcysteine.
    Dont know the Brand names in other countrys, but its in ACC Hexal (German Brand). 2 pills desolved in water before going to bed, Most people, Like me, get rid of all the Hangover Feelings, Like that poisoned Feeling in your gut. Its perfectly save and super effektive 🙂

    "The hero ingredient, per Bishop-Stall, is a “high dose” — about 1,500 milligrams — of an amino acid called N-acetylcysteine (NAC). NAC, he explains, is “sort of a magic ingredient”: It helps the body produce a powerful anti-oxidant called glutathione. Plus, it’s earned its reputation as a toxicity cure: NAC is used in hospital settings to treat Tylenol overdoses.

  7. Water from fill pickled cucumbers. Seriously. Not a joke this is what all Polish people do and it works 😀 and you can also eat something fatty like a rich broth or a lard sandwich with bacon crumbs

    Also there are pills like 2KC and they work well

  8. 4:35 Let me get this straight… put the lime in the coconut and then you'll feel better? Put the lime in the coconut and drink em both up?

  9. I don't drink often, but when I do, I tend to drink too much. But I've only had hangovers maybe 3-4 times in about three decades of drinking. Every time I had a hangover it was in hot conditions (i.e. one was during an outdoor 4th of July party), and/or in conditions when I wasn't getting enough water. Even just eating all the ice in your mixed drinks helps a lot. Keeps you cooler too. I also try to always bookend my drinking with a whole bottle of water before and one after.

  10. The only thing that cured my hangover, and it works 100% of the time, for others it may not, after having one really bad trip which caused me to cringe at the sight taste and smell of alcohol. Dont drink at all anymore. But waaaaaaaait.. THERE'S MORE. I have same thing for tobacco/nicotine. Guess ill try hard drugs since they dont make me wince. One of each in the world. cant get addicted if u only try one each of 200 thousand types. Yes… excuse good it is. MHMMM.

  11. My hangover cure
    Stomach: candied ginger
    Head: fruit juice and water (if it's summer maybe add a sports drink too for electrolytes that went away with sweat)
    Will to live: coffee (also helps the head)

    When you feel better, some light exercise followed by a shower and you're as good as new

    If it doesn't work… Just start drinking again

  12. They've been trying to "cure" hangovers for hundreds of years. Fun fact: Jägermeister was originally marketed as a cure for a hangover

  13. I take two aspirin and a Dramamine then I go back to sleep. When I wake up again, I feel good enough to at least get a shower or make it downstairs for breakfast. That doesn't usually make it go away completely but it makes it good enough to push through until the hangover goes away.

    But I have to take the tiniest sip of water to get the meds down or else I'll vomit immediately.

  14. Odd that some of the supplements actually out there didn't get more of a mention. Although the pear, lime, and coconut mixture does sound appealing, it's not like there isn't a marketplace full of things that have found repeat users.

    Personally, I can vouch for L-Cysteine (and, to a lesser extent, NAC) as providing a significant reduction in hangover symptoms when taken before, during, and after drinking. Combined with a B Complex, a multi-vitamin, possibly a C pill at some point, along with reasonable hydration steps and perhaps a side of fries to start the night, you can go a long way toward surviving without regretting it too much in the morning.

    This was courtesy of a post almost 20 years ago at the mostly defunct SoYouWanna site which recently got re-archived (specifically, ). It would be nice to have a follow-up video with a few more practical steps that could be taken.

  15. "While the only 100% guaranteed way to prevent a hangover is to not drink in the first place"
    Laughs in migraine
    You haven't lived until you've had a hangover from a migraine.

  16. Just drink so heavily every day that your body just goes "well, I guess this is going to become a regular thing. Might as well be good at it"

  17. Hangover is a punishment for stopping drinking. Therefore, if you never stop, you'll never get a hangover. Either that, or just drink some more when you're hangover. Works like a charm, every time.

  18. As a military veteran, my answer is: suck it up, hydrate, it’s time for physical training.

    As an ER nurse, my answer is: if you don’t like needles, you can look away now.

  19. 2 paracetamol with 2 pints of water before you go to bed after a heavy night of drinking has worked for me for years, kill the hangover before you even get it..
    It's seems to work better if you don't mix you drinks.

  20. Instead of wasting tax dollars spreading the obvious and empty platitude of "don't drive drunk," why not invest in public transit and other infrastructure so people have other options and no longer feel the need to even try to drive drunk? It seems to me that that would have a much greater effect.

  21. I do believe Woody Boyd from 'Cheers' gave us the cure/prevention:

    – Put your pajamas on
    – Take an aspirin with cold water
    – Vomit 'til your nose bleeds and heave 'til you see the angels

  22. the only cure to hangover was popping a couple vicodin or oxys but that can cause a worse problem if done too often.. withdrawals and addiction

  23. Just don't drink. Some people need alcohol to lose their inhibitions and have a good time, but these are things you can learn to do without alcohol

  24. CORRECTION to title of video

    'How to cure an alcohol hangover'

    I have cured my alcohol hangovers (because alcohol causes 99 percent of all hangovers). It is a sure thing.

    Metabolism is key. (thyroid)

    Oxygen is needed. (fresh air)

    Water too. (has oxygen and liquid – what the body needs) I drink a glass of water before I start drinking alcohol and add 1/3 water to every drink while consuming alcohol. Ice cubes do NOT count.

    There is a supplement that can help (and is my cure that can help everyone) . . . immensely. It is 100% natural and needed by your body and can only be gotten by consuming certain foods.

    The target of the supplement is (after conversion in the liver) . . . Nitric Oxide. NOT Nitrous Oxide (Laughing Gas) that is used in cars to make them go faster. heehee

    This supplement is converted in the liver to Nitric Oxide so that your metabolism can use it to dilate your blood vessels so that your blood can flow more smoothly.

    It has cured the migraine headaches I have suffered (they would put me in the hospital) since birth into this world and all headaches to include the hangover kind as long as I continue to take this supplement until I die (I currently have a 20 year supply). If I stop, I could suffer a life-threatening migraine, heart attack or even or both a stroke.

    I discovered it accidentally while trying to help myself with an ailment that the stupid doctors of the united states of the americas refuse to be smart enough to help me with.

    So, trying to get my kidneys to function better, which they now do, had a good side effect of curing my headaches. ALL of them.

    Life is waaaaay better without headaches. And, other aches and pains.

    This supplement can help your whole body. Wherever your blood flows and other liquids your body uses it will make it all run smoother. I even poop better. heehee

    It can be purchased cheap at WALMART and even cheaper if bought in bulk. I use it in capsule form. It can be cheaper in bulk powder form.

    I am not a doctor of medicine but have been told by doctors that I could pass the test easily. I know quite a bit about the physiological processes of the human body.

    WARNING: It is NOT a quick fix. It takes time to develop a level in the body. An extra one can be taken if needed on top of regular regimen. Prophylaxis.

    Too much can cause harm.

    Take this test: A key medical issue for women.

    Women produce a small amount of testosterone. Fact!

    What gland produces it? Clue, it is not the ovary (gonad).

    What is it specifically used for in their body?

    Clue (for both of the above questions), estrogen DOES NOT convert to testosterone . . . EVER!

    Women should be tested for testosterone levels starting at age 41 for the above answers.

    To prevent what?

    3 questions -Good luck.

  25. I only get hangovers from sugary drinks, beer and sweet wines. Dry wines and plain spirits don't give me one. But I also don't get one if I just chug water at the end of the night

  26. I never get hangovers only cause i figured drinking a glass of water after every 2 or so drinks whether it be beer or liquor

  27. Drinking some water in between dranks usually helps but ill still get a hangover just not as severe.
    Too bad there wont be a cure while im young :/

  28. Whats with road safety and rhyming" drive sober or get pulled over" ? In India as well road accident warning & safe driving warning always represented in rhymes.

  29. I drink a Surge before going to bed, no hangover, ex-wife did it and worked, current girlfriend does it and it works, so more people should try it and give me an answer, then isolate whatever is in Surge

  30. Hangovers in my experience seem to vary most based on what I drank even more so than age. My worst hangover was when I was 20 and I went on a primarily amaretto binge, but I also mixed my alcohols. Don't do that.
    Even now though if I have vodka as the main alcohol I'm usually pretty good the next day. Conjurers are tricky bastards.
    I don't really drink and never did drink that heavily but I have some friends that like to party like rock stars… I may have to suggest some lime juice and track their drinks on new years.

  31. The thing i learned is that don't mix too much! Stay to one or two types of drinks. Drink plenty of water during the evening and eat something salty. That should reduce the hangover symptoms. If you get hungover, go out and order pizza and a soda. That cures the hangover for me every time!

  32. Just drink water before you get in bed. And know your limits.
    Avoiding a hangover is more practice more than anything else.

  33. There is a very simple ingredients to prevent hangovers from forming in the first place number one don't drink number two if you do take two aspirin before you go out and drink and that will prevent you from having a hangover in the first place!!!

  34. For this reason, driving is set at 18 and drinking at 16.
    So that ppl get drunk with their friends who are withing walking/cycling distance and get their drunk arses home before giving them a license to drive (and hope they keep up the drinking with friends in walking/crawling distance).

  35. what the hell does "drive sober or get pulled over" mean? like pick one of the two a) drive sober or b) drive absolutely shitfaced so that it's clear that there's a drunk person conducting the car so that you will get pulled over.
    i mean i'm sure that's not what they mean but it sounds like it. like as if you would have to make yourself get pulled over.
    anyhow it's a bad slogan i think, it should be just "drive sober" because driving drunk just isn't an option. never. you don't do that.

  36. Cure: ibuprofen, red bull, large greasy fry-up with Bloody Mary, swim in the sea, pint of lager.

    In that order, never fails.

  37. the only cure for a hangover is preventative

    the 1 in 4 rule every 4th drink have should be glass of water, wont solve the sick feeling but you will never get a headache again

  38. I avoid hangovers after a heavy night of drinking by downing 2 or 3 bottles of water before going to sleep. Seems to work every time unless I way overdrink (And I'm a heavy drinker).

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