Hangover cures: fact or fiction?

Ben Wolford

Aspirin is the hangover medicine of choice for many people who wake up with heavy heads and upset stomachs from too much drinking. GAVIN JACKSON | DAILY KENT STATER

Credit: Dan Kloock

Put down your raw eggs and stop guzzling pickle juice. It’s not going to work.

Disgusting beverages are to hangovers what saying the ABCs are to hiccups — neither does much more than preoccupy the mind.

After a night of drunken revelry, it’s possible that some alcohol may still be seeping into the bloodstream, depending on the person and the amount of alcohol consumed, according to the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism Web site.

The beer pong champion of last night may not feel drunk, but he or she may still feel the effects of the alcohol in the form of a hangover.

Freshman math major Dave Zach suggested the consumption of raw eggs might be helpful, and as appetizing as that does sound, Scott Olds, professor of health education, said the old wives’ tale remedies don’t work.

“The way to respond after having consumed too much alcohol is nothing other than time. And so when someone talks about lying in bed all day, time is really what’s working for them,” he said.

Olds refers to a blood alcohol concentration trajectory that occurs when a person has consumed alcohol. Though a person may have stopped drinking, the alcohol is still working its way through the digestive system and the liver and eventually into the blood, increasing a person’s blood alcohol content.

So the only thing a person can do to stop the effects of alcohol is to wait for it to leave the body.

Nick Woodliff, freshman music education major, pointed to exercise and drinking lots of water as a potential remedy.

Olds has heard them all.

“People talk about cold showers, drinking coffee,” but none of that works, he said. “If you’ve had too much, it’s a matter of time before the body oxidizes that alcohol. You can’t expedite that, you can’t minimize it. Once the alcohol’s in, it’s in.”

The National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism cautions that “driving abilities may even be impaired the next day, when any alcohol remaining in the system . contributes to general feelings of sluggishness.”

Olds emphasizes an often overlooked sidestep to the dreariness and nausea of a hangover.

“Don’t drink so much that you have a hangover,” he said.

Contact features reporter Ben Wolford

at [email protected].