Hair of the Dog
Hangover remedies to get you into the New Year (relatively) unscathed.
December 23, 2013
There is really only one sure-fire way to guarantee you won’t get a hangover: don’t drink. But since that’s very likely not happening this holiday season, here are a few recommendations from a certified booze-slinger to help out if you make a little too merry, Mary.
Oh, to be the guinea pig at this beta test. Well aware that most remedies are modern-day snake-oil concoctions with more flash that substance, the folks at Forgiven proved their claims by filling up a room with volunteers and getting every last one completely shitfaced.
“Taking Forgiven helped the participants in this study to metabolize alcohol at a significantly faster rate than would normally be expected,” said Dr. Tari D. Topolski, who was involved in the study. “Additionally, overall, participants experienced significantly fewer hangover symptoms when they took it.”
Forgiven works by speeding up the metabolism of alcohol. Test subjects had their blood alcohol levels compared after three to four hours and saw positive results and many in the study group reported feeling far better than they thought they would after consuming alcohol. The kicker? To have any effect, take Forgiven either while drinking or just after, and long before going to sleep. Even science has its limits.
The science: When alcohol is metabolized, the result is acetaldehyde, a carcinogen. To combat the negative effects of the chemical, the liver releases a dynamic duo, acetaldehyde dehydrogenase and glutathione, which pummel acetaldehyde into nontoxic compounds.
The downside: The liver only has so much glutathione and uses it up fast. While it makes more and you keep drinking, acetaldehyde accumulates.
The result: You wake up with a wicked headache. So combat one chemical with a slew of others: the ingredients in Resqwater—prickly pear fruit extract, organic cane sugar—bind to acetaldehyde, converting it to harmless acetic acid.
“You want to drink Resqwater while you are drinking and as your last drink of the night,” a Resqwater spokesperson explains. But no amount of chemical warfare helps if you tip back a tanker of champagne on an empty stomach. “If you drink responsibly and add Resqwater to your routine when out on the town and before bed, you will enjoy your next day just a bit more.” Wise words.
A good cup of joe cures neither a hangover nor a stupor; coffee only guarantees you will be wide awake. So to that end, Mercy Hangover Prevention skips the caffeine buzz and packs in B and C vitamins, amino acids, herbs and glutathione boosters.
“Some brands will tout their product based on the effectiveness of a single ingredient,” says David Racicot, CEO of Mercy Nutraceuticals. “Mercy takes a holistic approach to efficacy and is committed to producing products that have observable results.”
Translation? This is another company into clinical trials. After giving Mercy to their sloshed subjects, eggheads at Medicus Research listed an impressive array of statistics: 106-percent improvement in executive function, 122-percent improvement in processing speed and 122-percent improvement in reaction time. These numbers are “statistically significant,” meaning none of them could have happened by chance.
But—there’s a pattern here—you have to take Mercy while drinking.