A recent Dutch research suggests that drinking water does not prevent a hangover the next day.
Instead, the study concluded, the only way to prevent a hangover is to drink less alcohol.
More than 800 students were asked how they tried to relieve hangover symptoms, but neither food nor water was found to have any positive effect.
The findings are being presented at a conference in Amsterdam.
A team of international researchers from the Netherlands and Canada surveyed students’ drinking habits to find out whether hangovers could be eased or if some people were immune to them.
Among 826 Dutch students, 54% ate food after drinking alcohol, including fatty food and heavy breakfasts, in the hope of staving off a hangover.
With the same aim, more than two-thirds drank water while drinking alcohol and more than half drank water before going to bed.
Although these groups showed a slight improvement in how they felt compared with those who hadn’t drunk water, there was no real difference in the severity of their hangovers.
Previous research suggests that about 25% of drinkers claim never to get hangovers.
So the researchers questioned 789 Canadian students about their drinking in the previous month and the hangovers they experienced, finding that those who didn’t get a hangover simply consumed “too little alcohol to develop a hangover in the first place”.
Of those students who drank heavily, with an estimated blood alcohol concentration of more than 0.2%, almost no-one was immune to hangovers.
According to lead author Dr. Joris Verster, from Utrecht University, the relationship was pretty straightforward.
“The more you drink, the more likely you are to get a hangover.
“Drinking water may help against thirst and a dry mouth, but it will not take away the misery, the headache and the nausea.”
Dr. Joris Verster said part of the problem was that scientists still do not know what causes a hangover.
“Research has concluded that it’s not simply dehydration – we know the immune system is involved, but before we know what causes it, it’s very unlikely we’ll find an effective cure.”
He said the next step was to carry out more controlled trials on hangovers.
The paper is presented at the European College of Neuropsychopharmacology conference.
Christmas revellers have been offered a helping hand to get them through the season of excess as a hangover “cure” is unveiled that claims to be second only to an “intravenous stuck in your arm”.
The Bytox Hangover Prevention Patch, invented by the U.S. plastic and reconstructive surgeon Dr. Leonard Grossman, has gone on sale in the UK following its launch in New York late last year.
According to the packaging, the patch replenishes the vitamins and acids lost when consuming alcohol – in the same way that the intravenous “party drip” vitamin injections made famous by Rihanna earlier this year – Cole although it has not received any official medical backing either here or in the U.S.
It has, however, received glowing reviews from consumers who have posted on websites, with one writing: “I tried it twice. Both times after nine or 10 martinis. I can only account for myself. It works great.”
Users are instructed to attach the patch – which is similar in appearance and design to a nicotine patch – 45 minutes before drinking and leave it on until the next day or about eight hours after they finish drinking.
The Bytox Hangover Prevention Patch, invented by plastic and reconstructive surgeon Dr Leonard Grossman replenishes the vitamins and acids lost when consuming alcohol
Dr. Leonard Grossman has claimed that the ingredients – B vitamins, acai berry, vitamins A, D, E and K and folic – are delivered continuously to the bloodstream as opposed to those from a pill which are excreted relatively quickly.
Firebox, which is selling the patch in the UK, says on its website: “The rationale for this <<game changing>> body patch is to stop hangovers before they start.
“Easily applied, it is infused with a powerful blend of vitamins, nutrients and antioxidants which are absorbed whilst imbibing, meaning a faster recovery time. American inventor Dr. Leonard Grossman claims <<only an intravenous stuck in your arm while drinking could be more effective than a Bytox patch>>.”
It adds: “It won’t, however, prevent you getting drunk and definitely won’t prevent embarrassing and/or regrettable behavior.”
Ben Redhead, product manager at Firebox, said: “Look, we’d never usually encourage excess partying but the Firebox team, armed with the Bytox Hangover Prevention Patch, are definitely intending to take it up a level this Christmas.
“And if the patch means more productivity at work the next day then bingo, we’re not only helping cure hangovers but we’re helping the economy too.”
The UCLA researchers have found that a chemical from an ancient herbal remedy, seeds from the tree Hovenia Dulcis, makes rats almost immune to the effects of alcohol.
According to researchers, the rats who’ve consumed the drug can consume vast quantities of alcohol without passing out, show few signs of a hangover – and don’t become alcoholics, even after weeks of solid drinking.
The chemical is extracted from an ancient Asian remedy – a seed first used as a hangover cure in the year 659.
Researchers say that rats respond to alcohol in a very similar way to humans.
They now aim to find out if the compound will work in humans.
The Asian seeds from the tree Hovenia Dulcis were first used as a hangover cure in the year 659, according to ScienceDaily.
The researchers began their study by looking at herbal compounds that supposedly had “anti alcohol” effects.
They rapidly homed in on the Asian seed and tested one ingredient – called dihydromyricetin (DHM) in the rats.
The rats were given the equivalent of 15 to 20 bottled beers in two hours.
Most animals passed out, and remained motionless when flipped over.
When given DHM, the rats could “handle” their drink better. They took longer to get drunk, and seemed to sober up in about 15 minutes.
The compound seemed to help rats dealing with hangover anxiety, too.
Rats recovering from a binge seemed to perk up when given the compound.
Perhaps most importantly for medical professionals, the chemical seems to stop rats wanting to drink.
Although rats on DHM can drink more, they don’t.
“When you drink alcohol with DHM, you never become addicted,” says the lead researcher, Jing Liang in research published in Journal of Neuroscience.
The drug appears to work by blocking a brain receptor. Other promising anti-alcohol drugs have targeted the same receptor – but also caused seizures.
Blowfish, the “hangover cure” from Rally Labs comes in two dissoluble tablets and will be available across U.S. store shelves.
Blowfish, the newly approved remedy by the Food and Drug Administration is the first specifically hangover targeted product, not containing an entirely new ingredient, but pain-relieving concoction.
Rally Labs founder Brenne Haysom explains on the product’s webpage:
“After some research, I found a combination that did the trick, fast.
“I started sharing it with my friends, and they kept asking for more.”
The “Alka-Seltzer”-like tablet is different from most other products on the market in that you dissolve and administer the brew the morning after a heavy night’s drinking, in comparison to other remedy’s that advise it to be taken before or between each glass.
“Out of personal experience, the worst hangover is the one you didn’t expect on a morning you have to do stuff,” Brenne Haysom told ABC News.
“It really came out of my own experience of wanting to go out but having to work really hard the next morning,” she explained.
Blowfish, the “hangover cure” from Rally Labs comes in two dissoluble tablets and will available across U.S. store shelves
While Blowfish’s active ingredients are aspirin and caffeine – two basic and wildly known remedies though usually taken and offered separately – the product is considered a new drug by the FDA because of its packaged combination.
Because of this, a product of similar nature must undergo FDA review before it can be stamped with their approval, according to the FDA’s website.
With 500 mg of aspirin and 60 mg of caffeine, Blowfish claims its combination “helps restore mental alertness or wakefulness when experiencing fatigue or drowsiness associated with a hangover”.
A similar product by Bayer called Bayer AM, however, advertises itself as “Asprin and Alertness air tablets”, containing the same amounts of aspirin and caffeine, however, it doesn’t offer the packaging devoted to fighting the morning buzz or Blowfish’s same guarantee.
Let them “make it up to you”, the company offers customers if they feel slighted or dissatisfied.
Rally Labs’ website invites users to give them call or email, once better, as well as share competing remedies that may have worked better.
Though if your hangover is severe enough to cause continuous vomiting, diarrhea and severe fatigue, this still may not be the “fast” or “guaranteed” cure for you.