Is this our most obvious, useless headline yet? Might be, but don’t hate the messenger. I’m just reiterating the findings of Canadian and Dutch researchers who performed two distinct studies to see what’s the best relief against hangovers. Their conclusions are stark: there is no proven remedy against hangovers. If you want to avoid feeling like train wreck in the morning you should simply drink less.

Image: Hangover School

Image: Hangover School


The researchers at Utrecht University surveyed 826 Dutch students about both their drinking habits and hangover coping mechanisms. They found that neither drinking water or eating food did much to help. Drinking water right after you get up in the morning with the hangover seems to help a bit, but it only solves one part of the problem: dehydration. It does little to curb headaches, dizziness and other foul bodily sensations. “The more you drink, the more likely you are to get a hangover,” the researchers say.

Another group in Canada echoed these findings. They set out to study the drinking habits of 789 students after they noticed some students seemed to suffer less from hangovers than others. By the end of the study, they found these said students weren’t simply drinking enough to get a hangover. Had they, they’d still feel like a train wreck – just like the rest of us.

“The majority of those who in fact reported never having a hangover tended to drink less, perhaps less than they themselves thought would lead to a hangover,” said  Dr Joris Verster, the study’s lead author of Utrecht University in the Netherlands.

Once you go pass 0.2% alcohol in your bloodstream, there’s nothing that can cure the hangover.

Despite it’s a worldwide problem affecting millions every Sunday morning, little progress has been made in the fight against hangover. That’s because we’ve yet to understand what triggers it. We know that the immune system is somehow involved, as well as the key enzymes that break down the alcohol, but the mechanism are blurry.

There is one particular food you might want to try to help curb your hangovers – if you drink just a bit to get woozy, nothing too overblown. According to a group from Australia, eating a pear before having a drink can significantly improve your chance of not having a hangover since it affects the alcohol dehydrogenase (ADH) and aldehyde dehydrogenase (ALDH). These are the alcohol metabolizing enzymes I mentioned earlier.

For all you otherwise fine folks googling “hangover cures” in a rotten morning, I’m sorry to break it to you. You’re all stuck.


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