Don’t bounce back like you used to? Sometimes it only takes a few, other times you get what you deserve (three bottles in three hours? What were you thinking?), but the fact is, hangovers seem to feel worse as you get older. Maybe it’s because your Sunday to-do list is a lot longer than what it was in your early twenties, or because you’re responsible for keeping a few small humans alive.
If you’re used to battling a hangover that feels like it’s trying to kill you, give these heaven-sent remedies (backed by science) a go, and get your weekend back on track before Monday rolls around.
Asian pear juice
The CSIRO published findings that 220ml of Asian pear juice before alcohol consumption will lessen the effects of a hangover. “It appears that the factors in Korean pears act on the key enzymes involved in alcohol metabolism, alcohol dehydrogenase and aldehyde dehydrogenase, to speed up alcohol metabolism and elimination or inhibition of alcohol absorption,” says head researcher Manny Noakes.
Honey on toast
Research from Britain’s Royal Society of Chemistry concludes the sodium, potassium and fructose in honey on toast can lessen hangover symptoms, thanks to the ingredients breaking down acetaldehyde. Dr John Emsley says, “The happiness comes from alcohol; the hangover comes from acetaldehyde. This is the toxic chemical into which alcohol is converted by the body and it causes a throbbing headache, nausea and maybe even vomiting. The hangover disappears as the acetaldehyde is slowly converted to less toxic chemicals. That’s the science.”
According to a study on PubMed, red ginseng (a slow-growing, antioxidant-rich herb) has been shown to relieve the effects of heavy drinking and subsequent hangovers in healthy men. A random study of 25 healthy men revealed that red ginseng showed positive effects on the metabolism of alcohol and “reduced plasma alcohol levels, expiratory concentrations and hangover severity”. It, therefore, concluded that “red ginseng relieves the symptoms of alcohol hangover”. Pick it up from your local pharmacy.
It’s not exactly what you want to hear, and although you might feel like throwing up halfway through that spin class, exercise is a scientifically proven way to cure a hangover. Studies presented at the annual meeting of the US Society of Neuroscience stated that exercise can significantly reduce the effects. Just be sure to drink plenty of water before, during and after.
This story originally appeared in Fernwood Magazine.