Science / Tackling The Friday Morning Enemy: The Hangover

Tackling The Friday Morning Enemy: The Hangover

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Autor:  anton  29 November 2010
Tags:  Tackling,  Friday,  Morning,  Hangover
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Tackling the Friday Morning Enemy: The Hangover

Almost every college student is bound to wake up feeling awful after a long night of drinking. Veisalgia, the more formal name for a hangover, (Perry) consists of many symptoms that resemble the flu. (Minocha) The most common symptom is a headache, but many people will also experience dehydration. (Zick) Other common symptoms of a hangover include nausea, diarrhea, fatigue, loss of appetite, anxiety, difficulty sleeping, weakness, poor sense of your own well-being, sensitivity to light and sound, increased heart rate and blood pressure, trouble concentrating and trembling, and according to Perry it is most likely that you would experience a headache, dehydration and fatigue. More than likely you would not experience trembling. For most people it is true that the more alcohol you consume the worse your hangover will be. (Perry) There is not actually a way to prevent a hangover for sure except not drink, but there are a few things that help to prevent and a few that will help cover the symptoms the next day.

Hangovers can be caused by impurities in the alcohol. Brain Zick a chemist who did research pertaining to hangovers said that it is very less likely for a person to get drunk if they were somehow able to drink 100% pure alcohol. (Zick) These impurities are called congeners. Different alcohols have different congeners so when you mix them you end up with an even bigger hangover. Dark liquor is more likely to cause a hangover than clear. (Perry) A study showed that a in a group of drinkers that consumed the same amount of alcohol, 33% of the people who drank bourbon got a hangover as opposed to the vodka drinkers where only 3% got hangovers. (Minocha) But how do we prevent these symptoms from happening?

There is only one way to absolutely be sure that you will not get a hangover. That is of course not drink alcohol. (Minocha) Our liver’s has three enzymes that breaks down the alcohol that we drink. The more you drink, the more time the body needs to use its enzymes to get the alcohol out of the body and if there is still alcohol there is still the chance of a hangover. Men have more of these enzymes than women. (Perry) This is a reason that men and women should never compete to see who can drink more. Men are more capable of breaking down the alcohol faster. If you have food in your stomach before drinking, it will prevent the alcohol from absorbing as quickly into the body. As mentioned earlier, drink clear alcohols rather than dark to prevent hangovers. Before you go to bed for the night, remember to drink lots of water or something else that will keep you hydrated until morning. (Minocha)

If you forget to do these things and wake up in the morning feeling pretty awful, there are still some things that you can do to help cure your hangover. First I’m going to mention some common myths about curing hangovers that don’t actually work.

The burnt toast remedy does not work. The carbon found on burnt toast is not the same as the carbon that you would find in other things used to cure poisoning. (Zick) This is treated carbon and is not currently used as a cure in alcohol poisoning. The over-the-conter pills that you can buy that have carbon in them have the treated carbon not the type found on a slice of burnt toast. (Perry)

In my opinion, coffee might go both ways, but according to Perry it is not a useful way to cure a hangover. There is lots of caffeine in coffee. This might help to fight fatigue caused by a hangover, but only for a while. Caffeine also makes your blood vessels smaller which is a reverse of alcohol which makes them expand. On the down side, coffee will make you even more dyhydreated, which will make the hangover even worse.

“Do not drink more to reverse a hangover. It will only make matters worse.” (Minocha) “Whatever you do, don’t drink more in the morning to try to cure a hangover.” (Zick) The “hair of the dog that bit you” remedy is false. This common misconception will only help for a little while, if it helps at all. All it is doing is delaying the results of your drinking and probably making them worse. (Perry)

Fatty foods are not a good remedy, as some people may think. It may, however, be an okay way to help prevent a hangover. The fat will stick to your stomach giving the alcohol a hard time soaking in, and giving the body more time to get the alcohol out of the system and in turn preventing a hangover. (Perry)

A better cure is to eat healthy foods the next day. They will help the body restore the things that it lost when it was dehydrated. (Minocha) Cystein is something that helps that helps the liver break down the congeners in alcohol. There is a high amount of cysteine in eggs which makes them good to eat when you are trying to cure a hangover. Likewise, eating bananas and kiwi, which are high in potassium, will help to refuel the body after heavy drinking. (Perry)

Don’t use saunas. They raise your blood pressure and heart rate which will make your hangover worse. (Minocha) It is very important to drink a lot of fluids. Water is good to rehydrate yourself, but it might be useful to add some sugar or salt to it. You will have lost a lot of these from the night before. Fruit juices are almost the same. They have a lot of water in them, but also contain many vitamins that your body needs to regain energy. It is also worthwhile to drink one glass of water or juice to every alcoholic drink that you have in order to give the body more time to clean the alcohol out of its system and keep yourself hydrated.

Most people who drink alcohol get hangovers. It varies how often, but a quarter of college students have them weekly. Even the bible talks about getting hangovers. “Woe unto them that rise up early in the morning, that they may follow strong drink (Isaiah 5:11)” Drinking alcohol has many effects on different individuals. It makes you unable to concentrate, impairs judgement, and can even bring on depression. (Perry) Please remember that it is unsafe to operate vehicles or machinery when you have been drinking. (Minocha) Alcoholism is a very severe condition. People who suffer from it drink more than they want to, suffer memory loss while drinking, wish people would leave them alone when they are drinking, have problems at home, miss work or school because of it, and other symptoms. If you or someone you know is suffering from it, please seek assistance. (Alcoholics)

Works Cited

Freudenrich, Craig C. Ph.D. “How Alcohol Works.” How Stuff Works. 9 March. 2006.

Minocha, Anil M.D. “Alcohol Hangover.” Diagnosis Health. 9 March. 2006.

Perry, Lacy. “How Hangovers Work.” How Stuff Works. 9 March. 2006.

“Twelve Questions Only You Can Answer.” Alcoholics Anonymous. 16 March 2006.

Zick, Brian. Personal Interview. 10 March. 2006.

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