Could a product for babies be the world’s best hangover cure?
Conversation at a pre-holiday party in Great Bend turned to hangover cures. One reveller recommended Pedialyte, a commercial “oral rehydration” remedy for children that is readily available at retail stores. It fact, it is growing in popularity with adults across the nation for that purpose.
The product also gets a good review from HangoverSchool.com, a website that rates remedies. However, the staff at HangoverSchool, as well as this reporter, are not doctors and recommend consulting with a doctor if seeking medical advice.
Pedialyte was created to get rid of dehydration, which is one of the symptoms of a hangover. It was originally meant to replace fluid and electrolytes lost during diarrhea and vomiting. According to HangoverSchool.com, “To use the hangover cure, simply open a packet and add it to 8 fluid ounces of water then drink it down. Pedialyte tastes better if it is served cold and should only be consumed every 1 to 4 hours.”
However, to the best of my recollection, my friend suggested using the fruit-flavored liquid version of the product.
Gatorade is a tried and true hangover soother that also replaces fluid and electrolytes. HangoverSchool.com gives its highest rating of 10 to Gatorade, and vitamin water is a close second with a 9 rating. A slam of vitamin water with an Advil or two is suggested.
“Puking before you go to bed” also gets a 9 from the website. No explanation for why this works, although apparently a hangover isn’t really gone until the alcohol is expelled from the body.
For a more authoritative opinion and the possibility of avoiding a hangover altogether, I checked the website of the Mayo Clinic. It was no surprise really to read that the only guaranteed way to prevent a hangover is to avoid alcohol.
“If you choose to drink, do so in moderation,” the Mayo Clinic advised. “The less alcohol you drink, the less likely you are to have a hangover.”
And so, the Mayo Clinic advises it may help to eat something before drinking alcohol, because alcohol is absorbed more quickly on an empty stomach. After that, try to pace yourself, consuming just one drink or less each hour and drinking a full glass of water after each alcoholic beverage.
“Choose carefully,” the Mayo Clinic suggests. “Beverages with fewer congeners — such as light-colored beers and wine — are slightly less likely to cause hangovers than are beverages with more congeners — such as brandy, whiskey, dark beers and red wine.”
Note: According to iCohol, “the intoxicating online magazine,” that does not mean that consuming clear liquors, dark liquors or mixing the two will get you drunk faster. “Alcohol is simply alcohol. What dictates the level of intoxication from alcohol in a person is the absorption rate of that person. Absorption factors include body weight, amount of alcohol, metabolism, gender, etc.”
Above all, know your limits.
As for over-the-counter pain relievers, such as aspirin or ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin IB, others), the Mayo Clinic also notes that some people find these helpful, “but ask your doctor if this is safe for you and what dosage is best for you. These medications may interact with other medications, and acetaminophen (Tylenol, others) may cause liver damage if too much alcohol is consumed.”
There are other commercial and “natural” alternatives, including fried eggs or chicken, Dr Pepper, orange juice and ginko biloba. There are even claims that Sprite or soda water have been “scientifically proven” to help. Most sites note that these provide symptom relief but do not claim to be an actual cure. And just because a remedy is natural does not mean it is safe. Did I mention I’m not a doctor?