Do we believe in hangover cures?

by Karolina Przeklas

Why are the mornings after a good night out so hard to deal with?  In an attempt to answer this question, Roam conducted a survey looking in to the best ways of dealing with ‘delirium tremens’.

Sacha Gatica

NHS Direct says that hangover cures are “generally myths”. But 70% of the people in our sample believe differently…

Drinking causes damage you can’t see

“Alcohol is a powerful nervous system depressant that is rapidly absorbed into the bloodstream,” says nutritionist Susana Montenegro. “The liver can only get rid of a small amount of it at the time, leaving any excess to cause havoc in the body.”

An old truth tells us that the best way not to have a hangover is simply not to drink alcohol at all.  As much as 50% of our sample agreed, so for the remaining half that don’t believe the old adage, could food be an answer?

Bring on the bacon

“Full-fat coke and a bacon sandwich always work for me,” says post office worker, Andy Armitage. Only 17% agreed with this opinion and answered ‘always’ when asked if greasy food always works as a hangover cure. On the other hand,  54% said “only sometimes” and 17% think that “it depends on what you have drunk the night before”.

“People mistakenly think can of sweet fizzy drink will help, the carbon dioxide actually gets the alcohol to the brain faster and the rush causes you to crash later on,” Montenegro says.

What about water? Chemist Raj Patel chemist says keeping your liquid levels high is important. “I recommend a high dose of vitamins B and C, lots of water and Milk Thistle, preferably before and after sessions.” Only 19% agreed, saying that a glass of water before bed always works as a hangover cure. What’s more, half of our interviewees said “no'” when asked if vitamin tablets relieve hangovers, and 15% don’t take vitamins at all.

Who let the dogs out?

How about the good old hair of the dog? Does like cure like? Charity fundraiser Kelly Kay often drinks after a night of drinking. “Hangover cures? Mine are Bloody Marys,” she said. Only 10% of our participants agreed, with 47% believing that the hair of the dog is not the way to cure a hangover.

Other things that could help are exercise and painkillers. We asked our participants and as many as 80% disagreed, what’s more almost 10%  admitted to not exercising at all.

In fact, sweating out the booze probably does nothing for hangovers at all. Too much exercise could do untold damage, especially if you are already dehydrated from too much drink.

Sex is best

So how about sex? Seventy percent of those surveyed said “no” when asked if sex is the best cure for a hangover, with 11% saying “yes” and 26% saying “sex is best for everything”.

Around the world in 40 remedies…

Our cultural search for hangover cures took us through some interesting and unusual remedies. Here are just a few we found:

  • In Poland, stomachs are lined with a thick chicken broth before drinking, and have a glass of pickle juice or eat sauerkraut the morning after.
  • In Germany, eating pickled herring called “rollmops” is used as a next day remedy.
  • The Scottish swear by Irn Bru,  while Bavarians have “Weisswurst Fruhstuck”, which is a sausage in pretzel followed by a beer.
  • In Chile, a glass of “pisco sour”, an alcoholic drink with line, is consumed, followed by a doughy empanada.

If the non-drinking option is not for you, we hope that Roam’s recommendations will ease your pain.

Please remember drinking can have a detrimental effect on people’s lives. There are organisations and other support groups that can help,  for example don’t let the drinks sneak up on you, part of Change for Life campaign, set up by the NHS.

drink-tracker-image

Check out other pictures and drawings created by Sacha Gatica, an artist who kindly donated the above drawing. One of our lucky readers, who completed the printed version of a crossword, had the chance to win this drawing for keeps.

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