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Can you avoid the dreaded hangover?


Toasting wine at dinner table

Credit: iStock

The search for a hangover cure has been around ever since someone first noticed that fermented grains, fruits and honey produced some pretty interesting stuff. All sorts of curative claims are made from living the stomach pre-consumption to using charcoal to absorb hangover-inducing chemicals to consuming concoctions the morning after. Most of these have dubious value and in a new study researchers wanted to test two specific claims regarding hangovers; are some people immune to them and can you reduce hangovers by eating after consuming alcohol.

Alcohol consumption beyond one or two glasses has known negative consequences and will induce a hangover of some sort but some people claim to be immune to hangovers.

Alcohol consumption beyond one or two glasses has known negative consequences and will induce a hangover of some sort but some people claim to be immune to hangovers. These researchers say that 25-35 per cent of drinkers claim not to experience hangovers. In their first study they involved almost 800 people who were surveyed about their drinking in the previous month. The researchers calculated the blood alcohol concentration in those who experienced hangovers and those who did not. It emerged that 79 per cent of those who claimed not to experience hangovers actually only had a blood alcohol level less than 0.10 per cent, which is twice the safe driving limit of 0.05 per cent.

So that seems to discount the immunity theory, as the more you drink the more likely you are to have a hangover.

In a second study the researchers interviewed 826 people on their latest drinking session and asked whether they had food or drink after the alcohol consumption. The subjects rated their hangover from absent to extreme and the researchers found that hangover severity had no relationship to food or water consumption after alcohol.

In all then, these studies support the general idea that if you drink alcohol to excess you will get a hangover, no matter what you do. The only real hangover cure is moderate consumption.



 

Terry Robson

Terry Robson is the Editor-in-Chief of WellBeing and the Editor of EatWell.