‘Hangxiety’: why alcohol gives you a hangover and anxiety


A few drinks can relax you – but, says scientist David Nutt, that morning-after feeling is the booze playing tricks with your brain
Want to avoid ‘hangxiety? Then drink less
Want to avoid ‘hangxiety? Then drink less.

If you are looking forward to your first stiff drink after a dry January, be warned: it may feel bittersweet. You may feel you deserve an alcoholic beverage after toughing it out all month – but have you forgotten what it feels like to wake up haunted by worries about what you said or did the night before? These post-drinking feelings of guilt and stress have come to be known colloquially as “hangxiety”. But what causes them?

David Nutt, professor of neuropsychopharmacology at Imperial College, London, is the scientist who was fired in 2009 as the government’s chief drug adviser for saying alcohol is more dangerous than ecstasy and LSD. I tell him I have always assumed my morning-after mood was a result of my brain having shrivelled like a raisin through alcohol-induced dehydration. When Nutt explains the mechanics of how alcohol causes crippling anxiety, he paints an even more offputting picture.

Alcohol, he says, targets the Gaba (gamma-aminobutyric acid) receptor, which sends chemical messages through the brain and central nervous system to inhibit the activity of nerve cells. Put simply, it calms the brain, reducing excitement by making fewer neurons fire. “Alcohol stimulates Gaba, which is why you get relaxed and cheerful when you drink,” explains Nutt.

The first two drinks lull you into a blissful Gaba-induced state of chill. When you get to the third or fourth drink, another brain-slackening effect kicks in: you start blocking glutamate, the main excitatory transmitter in the brain. “More glutamate means more anxiety,” says Nutt. “Less glutamate means less anxiety.” This is why, he says, “when people get very drunk, they’re even less anxious than when they’re a bit drunk” – not only does alcohol reduce the chatter in your brain by stimulating Gaba, but it further reduces your anxiety by blocking glutamate. In your blissed-out state, you will probably feel that this is all good – but you will be wrong.

The body registers this new imbalance in brain chemicals and attempts to put things right. It is a little like when you eat a lot of sweets and your body goes into insulin-producing overdrive to get the blood sugar levels down to normal; as soon as the sweets have been digested, all that insulin causes your blood sugar to crash. When you are drunk, your body goes on a mission to bring Gaba levels down to normal and turn glutamate back up. When you stop drinking, therefore, you end up with unnaturally low Gaba function and a spike in glutamate – a situation that leads to anxiety, says Nutt. “It leads to seizures as well, which is why people have fits in withdrawal.”

It can take the brain a day or two to return to the status quo, which is why a hair of the dog is so enticing. “If you drank an awful lot for a long time,” says Nutt, “it might take weeks for the brain to readapt. In alcoholics, we’ve found changes in Gaba for years.”

To add to the misery, the anxiety usually kicks in while you are trying to sleep off the booze. “If you measure sleep when people are drunk, they go off to sleep fast. They go into a deeper sleep than normal, which is why they sometimes wet the bed or have night terrors. Then, after about four hours, the withdrawal kicks in – that’s when you wake up all shaky and jittery.”

Imbalances in Gaba and glutamate are not the only problem. Alcohol also causes a small rise in noradrenaline – known as the fight-or-flight hormone. “Noradrenaline suppresses stress when you first take it, and increases it in withdrawal,” says Nutt. “Severe anxiety can be considered a surge of noradrenaline in the brain.”

Another key cause of hangxiety is being unable to remember the mortifying things you are sure you must have said or done while inebriated – another result of your compromised glutamate levels. “You need glutamate to lay down memories,” says Nutt, “and once you’re on the sixth or seventh drink, the glutamate system is blocked, which is why you can’t remember things.”

If this isn’t ringing any bells, it may be because hangxiety does not affect us all equally, as revealed by a study published in the journal Personality and Individual Differences. Researchers quizzed healthy young people about their levels of anxiety before, during and the morning after drinking alcohol. According to one of the authors, Celia Morgan, professor of psychopharmacology at the University of Exeter: “The people who were more shy had much higher levels of anxiety [the following day] than the people who weren’t shy.” The team also found a correlation between having bad hangxiety and the chance of having an alcohol use disorder. “Maybe it’s playing a role in keeping problematic drinking going,” says Morgan.

One theory as to why very shy people might be more at risk of hangxiety and alcoholism is the possibility that alcohol’s seesaw effect on Gaba levels is more pronounced in them. Their baseline Gaba levels may be lower to start with, says Morgan. “It could also be a psychological effect – people who are more highly anxious are more prone to rumination, going over thoughts about the night before, so that’s another potential mechanism.”

However, the study’s findings have wider implications – after all, most drinkers lean on alcohol as social lubrication to some degree.

The bad news is that there seems to be little you can do to avoid hangxiety other than to drink less, and perhaps take painkillers – they will at least ease your headache. “Theoretically, ibuprofen would be better than paracetamol,” says Nutt, “because it’s more anti-inflammatory – but we don’t know how much of the hangover is caused by inflammation. It’s something we’re working on, trying to measure that.”

Morgan suggests trying to break the cycle. “Before drinking in a social situation you feel anxious in, try fast-forwarding to the next day when you’ll have much higher anxiety levels. If you can’t ride that out without drinking, the worry is that you will get stuck in this cycle of problematic drinking where your hangxiety is building and building over time. Drinking might fix social anxiety in the short term, but in the long term it might have pretty detrimental consequences.” Exposure therapy is a common treatment for phobias, where you sit with your fear in order to help you overcome it. “By drinking alcohol, people aren’t giving themselves a chance to do that,” says Morgan.

But there might be hope for the future. Nutt is involved in a project to develop a drink that takes the good bits of alcohol and discards the damaging or detrimental effects. “Alcosynth”, as it is currently called, drowns your sorrows in the same way as alcohol, but without knocking the Gaba and glutamate out of kilter. “We’re in the second stage of fundraising to take it through to a product,” he says. “The industry knows [alcohol] is a toxic substance. If it was discovered today, it would be illegal as a foodstuff.”

Until Alcosynth reaches the market, Nutt says his “strong” message is: “Never treat hangxiety with a hair of the dog. When people start drinking in the mornings to get over their hangxiety, then they’re in the cycle of dependence. It’s a very slippery slope.”

This alcohol substitute could get you drunk without the hangover


Thanks to science, you may soon be able to get drunk without feeling the effects the next morning.

A British scientist and longtime drug researcher has developed an alcohol substitute that still gives imbibers that sought-after buzz without the unsavory side effects of a hangover the next day. More importantly, at least from a public-health perspective, the substitute could also reduce instances of alcoholism and eliminate the damage that alcohol toxins have on bodily organs.

Oh, and it doesn’t have calories.

Cheers!

Alcarelle is the brainchild of David Nutt, a neuropsychopharmacology professor at Imperial College London and former adviser on substance abuse to the British government. It’s the brand name for a pair of alcohol substitutes that contain chemical compounds, which Nutt calls “alcosynths,” that mimic the fun of alcohol without the consequences.

Alcarelle has not undergone a regulatory or scientific peer review, Nutt said.

Nutt has pursued patents for roughly 90 chemical compounds that have the effect of knocking a couple back, and two of those lab creations have already been tested in humans. They could come to a bar near you if his newly formed company, also called Alcarelle, can raise the money needed to bring it to market, he said. The substitute would be sold as a liquid and added to your favorite cocktail or nonalcoholic beverage in lieu of vodka, rum, gin or other libations.

“I’ve gone from this stage of being just me, the mad scientist, to having business partners,” Nutt said in a phone interview. “They’re the people who are hopefully going to get me the investors.”

The various compounds that Nutt has developed work in one of two ways. Some replicate the direct effects of alcohol, specifically affecting the area of the brain that makes you feel loose but not the area that makes you fall-down drunk. Others mimic the indirect effects of alcohol, altering your serotonin or dopamine levels so that you might feel happier or more energetic.

Researchers can also engineer the chemical compounds so that their effect on the brain maxes out after so many drinks, reducing the desire to drink excessively and the risk of alcohol poisoning or blacking out, he said.

“My ambition would be for my grandchildren to never be exposed to alcohol,” Nutt said.

Tackling the harmful effects of alcohol has been Nutt’s focus since his days as a doctoral student in the 1970s. It was also part of his work during a stint in the 1980s as clinical science chief in the National Institutes of Health’s alcohol abuse and alcoholism division. The challenge, he said, is that alcohol is fundamentally toxic to the human body. Indeed, health professionals have long warned that excessive and prolonged alcohol consumption can be detrimentalto the brain, heart and liver, among other organs.

So 10 years ago, Nutt authored a paper for the British government calling for greater research into alcohol alternatives.

“Over the last couple of years, this research has come to some fruition. We now have found substances that can do what alcohol does in terms of giving people a relaxing experience and social experience, but without having the downsides of anger and aggression and addiction,” Nutt said.

What drunk looks like on YouTube

 

Play Video2:04
A University of Pittsburgh study finds 70 of the most popular videos that show people intoxicated on YouTube accounted for more than 330 million views. Researchers are now looking at the social media videos as an opportunity to teach about the dangers of alcohol.

North Korea claims to invent ‘alcohol which doesn’t give you hangover’


The drink, which is made from burnt rice, “is suave and causes no hangovers,” according to state media.

Kim Jong-Un visits a factory of the Korean People's Army, North Korea - 15 Nov 2014

Kim Jong-un claims to have invented a special blend of liquor which doesn’t give you a hangover

They already claim to have cured cancer, Aids and Ebola with a miracle drug produced from ginseng root.

Now North Korean scientists seem to have scaled new heights of greatness with their latest invention – a special blend of liquor which doesn’t give you a hangover.

According to the state-controlled newspaper Pyongyang Times, the drink also relies on ginseng root for its medicinal qualities and has been hailed as a “national scientific and technological hit.”

Helter Skelter: Kim Jong-un smiles while enjoying a ride at the Rungna People’s Pleasure Ground in Pyongyang. The North Korean leader, along with his wife Ri Sol-ju, was attending a ceremony to mark the completion of the amusement park.

The recipe replaces sugar with burnt rice, supposedly eliminating the liquor’s bitter taste along with any risks of a hangover.

The drink “is suave and causes no hangovers”, claimed the Pyongyang Times piece, which was entitled: “Liquor wins quality medal for preserving national smack.”

It is the latest in a string of outlandish claims made by North Korea’s state media, which once congratulated its supreme commander for learning to drive at the age of three.

Named Koryo liquor, it was produced at the Taedonggang Foodstuff Factory, which has devoted years to concocting the perfect alcoholic drink, according to the Pyongyang Times.

“Koryo Liquor, which is made of six-year-old Kaesong Koryo insam, known as being highest in medicinal effect, and the scorched rice, is highly appreciated by experts and lovers as it is suave and causes no hangover,” the article claims.

Korean Central News Agency also referred to the drink as “the elixir of life”.

Hangover Hacks You Can Hang Your Hat On.


Story at-a-glance

  • Drinking alcohol can cause high levels of the breakdown product acetaldehyde to accumulate in your body
  • Acetaldehyde is up to 30 times more toxic than the alcohol itself and may be responsible for many hangover symptoms
  • Taking a combination of N-acetyl cysteine (NAC), B vitamins, milk thistle, and vitamin C before you drink may help to stave off a hangover
  • Staying hydrated, drinking in moderation and only on a full stomach are also important
  • Hangover remedies to try include bone broth for minerals, coconut water for electrolytes, eggs for natural cysteine, ginger for nausea, and coconut for potassium.
  • On New Year’s Eve, Americans drink more alcohol than on any other day of the year.1 Other top contenders are Christmas, Thanksgiving, the Fourth of July, and St. Patrick’s Day… but none top New Year’s Eve, for imbibing.

    What that means is that New Year’s Day, may be the day of the year when you’re most likely to suffer from a hangover, which is the conglomeration of symptoms – fatigue, nausea, stomach pain, headaches, shakiness, vomiting, dizziness, and more – that occurs when you’ve had too much to drink.

    The best way to prevent a hangover, of course, is to avoid drinking, or have only one or two cocktails at the most (but be aware that even a single drink can trigger a hangover in some people).

    But let’s say you tend to get caught up in your celebrations and suspect you might have a few more than you normally do. There are some natural remedies that may help you to avoid hangover symptoms altogether, but the time to take action is now, before you drink.

    What Causes a Hangover? 7 Major Biochemical Reactions to Alcohol

    Alcohol, and too much of it specifically, triggers a cascade of reactions in your body that contribute to the symptoms known as a hangover. This includes:

    1. Increased Urination

    Alcohol inhibits the secretion of vasopressin, an antidiuretic hormone that keeps you from urinating unintentionally. When this enzyme is suppressed, water is sent right to your bladder (along with electrolytes) to be excreted, causing you to urinate more often.

    2. Dehydration

    The increased urination can lead you to become quickly dehydrated, and as your body draws water from your brain to function, it may leave you feeling fatigued or dizzy.

    3. Acetaldehyde Build-Up

    When alcohol reaches your liver, an enzyme called alcohol dehydrogenase breaks it down into acetaldehyde. Acetaldehyde is far more toxic than alcohol (by up to 30-fold!2).

    So your body again attempts to break it down with the enzyme acetaldehyde dehydrogenase and glutathione, a powerful antioxidant that is crucial for liver detoxification (glutathione contains high levels of cysteine, which is why taking this in supplement form may help prevent hangovers… more on this below).

    Together, this powerful detox duo can break down the acetaldehyde into harmless acetate (which is similar to vinegar).

    However, when you drink too much alcohol, your stores of glutathione become depleted, which allows acetaldehyde to build up in your body, causing the toxic hangover effect.

    It should be noted that women have less acetaldehyde dehydrogenase and glutathione than men, which is why women may have a more severe reaction to drinking the same amount of alcohol as a man of similar weight.

    4. Congeners

    Congeners are ingredients produced as byproducts of fermentation and distillation. They include acetone, acetaldehyde, tannins, and some flavorants in different alcoholic beverages. Congeners are thought to make the effects of a hangover worse and are found in higher amounts in darker liquors (such as brandy, whiskey, and red wine) than clear liquors like vodka or gin.

    5. Glutamine Rebound

    Alcohol inhibits glutamine, a natural stimulant in your body. This is partly why alcohol has a depressive effect that may make you fall asleep easily… at first. After you’ve stopped drinking, your body will work overtime increasing glutamine levels, which is why you’ll ultimately wake up more often and have a more fitful night’s sleep after you drink.

    This glutamine rebound may contribute to the fatigue, tremors, anxiety, restlessness, and even increased blood pressure that are often felt during a hangover.3

    6. Disruptions to Your Stomach Lining, Blood Vessels, and Blood Sugar

    Alcohol is irritating to your stomach lining and leads to an increased production of stomach acid. This can cause nausea, vomiting, and stomach pain. Alcohol can also lead to dips in your blood sugar level, which can lead to shakiness, mood swings, fatigue, and seizures. Also, alcohol may cause your blood vessels to expand, which may trigger headaches.

    7. Inflammatory Response

    Finally, alcohol also provokes an inflammatory response in your body in which your immune system may trigger agents that provoke hangover symptoms including memory problems, decreased appetite, and trouble concentrating.4

    Hangover ‘Pre-Tox’: Do This Before You Drink

    A great example confirming the validity of this approach that you might relate to is if you ever took vitamin C prior to going to the dentist who gave you a local anesthetic to numb your tooth before dental work. You would most likely have noted that the anesthetic did not work at all, took a much larger dose, or wore off quickly. This is because vitamin C accelerates your liver’s ability to detoxify it.

    Alcohol is a different animal, though, and since it impacts your body on such a wide scale, the more steps you take to circumvent the ill effects, the better. If you know you’ll be having a few drinks, take this natural protocol beforehandto help ‘pre-tox’ your body:

    1. N-acetyl cysteine (NAC)

    NAC is a form of the amino acid cysteine. It is known to help increase glutathione and reduce the acetaldehyde toxicity5 that causes many hangover symptoms. Try taking NAC (at least 200 milligrams) 30 minutes before you drink to help lessen the alcohol’s toxic effects.

    If you’re wondering just how powerful NAC can be, consider that, like alcohol, one way that Tylenol causes damage to your liver is by depleting glutathione. If you keep your glutathione levels up, the damage from the acetaminophen may be largely preventable. This is why anyone who overdoses on Tylenol receives large doses of NAC in the emergency room — to increase glutathione.

    2. B Vitamins

    NAC is thought to work even better when combined with thiamine, or vitamin B1.6 Vitamin B6 may also help to lessen hangover symptoms. Since alcohol depletes B vitamin in your body and they’re required to help eliminate it from your body, a B-vitamin supplement taken beforehand, as well as the next day, may help.

    3. Milk Thistle

    Milk thistle contains silymarin and silybin, antioxidants that are known to help protect the liver from toxins, including the effects of alcohol. Not only has silymarin been found to increase glutathione, but it also may help to regenerate liver cells.7 A milk thistle supplement may be most useful when taken throughout the entire holiday season if you know you’ll be having cocktails on more than one occasion.

    4. Vitamin C

    Alcohol may deplete your body of vitamin C, which is important for reducing alcohol-induced oxidative stress in your liver. Interestingly, one animal study showed that vitamin C was even more protective to the liver than silymarin (milk thistle) after exposure to alcohol.8 Just as with a dental anesthetic, vitamin C will also help detoxify alcohol, so make sure you’re getting enough vitamin C, either via supplements or food, before indulging in alcoholic beverages.

    5. Magnesium

    Magnesium is another nutrient depleted by alcohol, and it’s one that many are already deficient in. Plus, magnesium has anti-inflammatory properties that may help to reduce some hangover symptoms. If you don’t eat a lot of magnesium-rich foods, taking a magnesium supplement before an evening involving drinking may be helpful.

    Practical Tips to Avoid a Hangover

    The pre-tox measures above are important for supplying your body with the vitamins, antioxidants, and other nutrients to protect your liver and assist in the breakdown and removal of alcohol from your system. Other practical measures that may help include:

    • Stay Hydrated: Drink a glass of water along with each alcoholic beverage to help prevent dehydration. At bedtime, drink another large glass of water or two to help stave off hangover symptoms in the morning.
    • Eat Beforehand and During: If your stomach is empty, it will speed the alcohol’s rate of absorption into your body. It may also cause more severe stomach irritation. Make it a point to eat a meal before you drink alcohol and nibble on satisfying snacks (such as cheese) while you drink. At the very least, try this old piece of wisdom from the Mediterranean region — take a spoonful of olive oil before drinking alcohol to help prevent a hangover.9
    • Replenish Electrolytes: Try drinking coconut water before you go to bed to help reduce hangover symptoms in the morning.
    • Stick with Clear Alcohol: Generally, clear liquors (vodka, gin, white wine) will contain fewer congeners than darker varieties (brandy, whiskey).
    • Stop Drinking When You’re Buzzed: When you feel buzzed, it’s a sign that your body’s detoxification pathways are becoming overwhelmed. Take a break from drinking, or quit for the day entirely, to allow your body to metabolize the alcohol effectively.

    You’re Hung Over… Now What?

    Ideally, the steps above will help you to avoid a hangover, but keep in mind that if you drink excessively, there is virtually no foolproof way to prevent all the ill effects. If you find yourself feeling hung over after too many drinks, don’t try the “hair of the dog” remedy of drinking more alcohol – this will only prolong your reaction. Also avoid taking acetaminophen (Tylenol), which will only further tax your liver. Instead, try these hangover remedies to feel better faster:10

    • Exercise: If you can manage it, a short bout of high-intensity exercise may help you to sweat out some of the toxins. Be sure to drink plenty of water to avoid becoming even more dehydrated.
    • Replenish your body: Try bone broth for minerals, coconut water for electrolytes, eggs for natural cysteine, and coconut for potassium.
    • Ginger: If you’re feeling nauseated, steep a piece of fresh ginger root in hot water for a natural stomach-settling tea.
    • Try a cup of black coffee: It may reduce swelling in your blood vessels, helping to relieve headache.

    If You Drink Alcohol, Keep It in Moderation

    If you’re using the hangover pre-tox or remedies above, hopefully it is only for the very occasional use. While an infrequent drink here and there is not likely to cause too much damage, especially in combination with a healthful lifestyle, it’s important to realize that alcohol is a neurotoxin that can poison your brain and disrupt your hormonal balance.

    When it comes to alcohol, remember that using it in moderation is key and excessive use is virtually guaranteed to damage your health. I generally define “moderate” alcohol intake (which is allowed in the beginner phase of my nutrition plan) as a 5-ounce glass of wine, a 12-ounce beer, or 1 ounce of hard liquor with a meal, per day. As you progress further into reaching higher levels of health, I do recommend eliminating all forms of alcohol.

After reading this, you’ll never look at a Banana in the same way again.


Bananas contain three natural sugars – sucrose, fructose and glucose combined with fiber. A banana gives an instant, sustained and substantial boost of energy. 
Research has proven that just two bananas provide enough energy for a strenuous 90-minute workout. No wonder the banana is the number one fruit with the world’s leading athletes.


  
But energy isn’t the only way a banana can help us keep fit. It can also help overcome or prevent a substantial number of illnesses and conditions, making it a must to add to our daily diet.
  
DEPRESSION:

According to a recent survey undertaken by MIND amongst people suffering from depression, many felt much better after eating a banana. This is because bananas contain tryptophan, a type of protein that the body converts into serotonin, known to make you relax, improve your mood and generally make you feel happier.

  
PMS:

Forget the pills – eat a banana. The vitamin B6 it contains regulates blood glucose levels, which can affect your mood.

  
ANEMIA:

High in iron, bananas can stimulate the production of hemoglobin in the blood and so helps in cases of anemia.

  
BLOOD PRESSURE:

This unique tropical fruit is extremely high in potassium yet low in salt, making it perfect to beat blood pressure So much so, the US Food and Drug Administration has just allowed the banana industry to make official claims for the fruit’s ability to reduce the risk of blood pressure and stroke.

  
BRAIN POWER:

200 students at a Twickenham school ( England ) were helped through their exams this year by eating bananas at breakfast, break, and lunch in a bid to boost their brain power. Research has shown that the potassium-packed fruit can assist learning by making pupils more alert.

  
CONSTIPATION:

High in fiber, including bananas in the diet can help restore normal bowel action, helping to overcome the problem without resorting to laxatives.

  
HANGOVERS:

One of the quickest ways of curing a hangover is to make a banana milkshake, sweetened with honey. The banana calms the stomach and, with the help of the honey, builds up depleted blood sugar levels, while the milk soothes and re-hydrates your system.

  
HEARTBURN:

Bananas have a natural antacid effect in the body, so if you suffer from heartburn, try eating a banana for soothing relief.

  
MORNING SICKNESS:

Snacking on bananas between meals helps to keep blood sugar levels up and avoid morning sickness.

  
MOSQUITO BITES:

Before reaching for the insect bite cream, try rubbing the affected area with the inside of a banana skin. Many people find it amazingly successful at reducing swelling and irritation.

  
NERVES:

Bananas are high in B vitamins that help calm the nervous system..
 
Overweight and at work? Studies at the Institute of Psychology in Austria found pressure at work leads to gorging on comfort food like chocolate and chips. Looking at 5,000 hospital patients, researchers found the most obese were more likely to be in high-pressure jobs. The report concluded that, to avoid panic-induced food cravings, we need to control our blood sugar levels by snacking on high carbohydrate foods every two hours to keep levels steady.
  
ULCERS:

The banana is used as the dietary food against intestinal disorders because of its soft texture and smoothness. It is the only raw fruit that can be eaten without distress in over-chroniclercases. It also neutralizes over-acidity and reduces irritation by coating the lining of the stomach.

  
TEMPERATURE CONTROL:

Many other cultures see bananas as a ‘cooling’ fruit that can lower both the physical and emotional temperature of expectant mothers. In Thailand , for example, pregnant women eat bananas to ensure their baby is born with a cool temperature.

  
So, a banana really is a natural remedy for many ills. When you compare it to an apple, it has FOUR TIMES the protein, TWICE the carbohydrate, THREE TIMES the phosphorus, five times the vitamin A and iron, and twice the other vitamins and minerals.. It is also rich in potassium and is one of the best value foods around So maybe its time to change that well-known phrase so that we say, ‘A BANANA a day keeps the doctor away.

Is Sprite the cure for your hangover woes?


Hungover? New research suggests you may want to reach for a can of Sprite.
A study published in the September 2013 issue of Food and Function showed that chemicals in the non-caffeinated beverage can halt that awful next-day feeling.
6 Photos “Hangover Heaven” bus rolls out in Las Vegas View the Full Gallery » While drinking too much alcohol could certainly lead to a hangover, the booze itself isn’t the culprit — it’s how it’s broken down. The authors point out that when the liver processes alcohol (also known as ethanol) it creates several chemical byproducts. One is called acetaldehyde,which causes the feelings of a hangover. Acetaldehyde eventually turns into acetate, which does not cause hangover symptoms and can provide some benefits like extra energy.
The Mayo Clinic cites additional reasons that alcohol can cause hangovers, including the beverage’s ability to cause your body to produce more urine — which in turn makes you dehydrated — and to trigger an inflammatory response from your immune system. Alcohol is also known to irritate the lining of your stomach, cause blood sugar to fall and expand blood vessels, leading to headaches. It also makes people sleepy and reduces their quality of sleep. There’s also the possibility that ingredients in alcohol that give it flavor called congeners, also add to that hangover.
The researchers focused on how to stop acetaldehyde from lingering in the body for too long. They believed that if they manipulated alcohol dehydrogenase (ADH), an enzyme that turns ethanol into acetaldehyde, and aldehyde dehydrogenase (ALDH, which turns acetaldehyde into acetate), they could shorten the time it took acetaldehyde to turn into acetate, essentially cutting the time the person was hungover.
5 Photos Hangover “cures” View the Full Gallery » The researchers tested 57 different beverages including Huo ma ren(a hemp-seed based beverage), various teas and different carbonated drinks.
Herbal teas were observed to slow down the process. However, Sprite and soda water were shown to speed up ALDH activity, which would theoretically curb the hangover.
Edzard Ernst, a medical expert at the University of Exeter in the U.K., told Chemistry World that the study was intriguing, but cautioned that people shouldn’t start stocking up on Sprite if they are going out on the town.
“These results are a reminder that herbal and other supplements can have pharmacological activities that can both harm and benefit our health,” Ernst said.
This isn’t the first scientific analysis of a hangover cure reported this year. Dr. Alyson E. Mitchell, a food chemist at the University of California at Davis, looked closely at the New Orleans-based hangover cure, Yak-a-mein soup. She found, for example, eggs in the soup help clear acetaldehyde from the body.