Why Cure A Hangover When You Can Prevent It?

Given my age, many of my readers would expect a title perhaps in line with something like, “why cure a hangover when you can drink more beer?” However, I’ve been an old man for quite sometime, and an OCD oldie at that. In a world of such wonderful spontaneity, I like to feel like I have control over something. Zen says otherwise but I digress.

I’m a beer snob specializing in high ABV DIPA’S (perhaps acronyms as well), which means that it doesn’t take much for this rather light drinker to feel the sauce. Solution? Well, you’re going to have to hear about the problem first.

I could talk all about ethanol and how it causes havoc in your body. However, this has already been done. To death. Really. What I’m going to talk about is preventing the fruits of your labor: the hangover. The hangover cause hasn’t been fully elucidated but we do have evidence to contributing factors. Ethanol increases prostaglandin formation, depletes B vitamins, depletes magnesium, converts to the mildly toxic acetylaldehyde, and diverts pyruvate, causing depleted usable glucose for the brain (hence fogginess, fatigue, and shitty mood. Let’s focus on the treatable:

  • NAC: N-Acetylcysteine is a direct antioxidant that scavenges acetylhyde. As an aside, should you decide to OD on acetaminophen, this will save your ass from liver failure. Take this BEFORE you drink, as there is evidence to suggest that if you take it after it could exaserbate the effects of the alcohol.
  • Multivitamin: While a separate B-complex and folic acid would be ideal, this is the cheap, easy way to get said depleted vitamins. Take this before bed.
  • Pedialyte or Gatorade: This will replace magnesium along with other electrolytes while providing glucose for the brain, plus help to rehydrate you. If you’re really OCD (like me) you could make your own mix or buy some Endurolytes. Drink before bed.
  • Taurine: One of the nasty side effects of alcohol is fat building in the liver. Increased fat means reduced ability to break down all those nasty toxins. Taurine has been shown to reverse the fatty buildup in the liver. Of course the alcoholic Brits figured this out. Drink 2 to 3 grams before drink and before bed.

Assuming you follow the protocol, you should be right as rain in the morning. Could someone drink enough to render this ineffective? Yes, but I wasn’t intending this for the frat population. Everyone else should find these suggestions quite helpful.

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