Here’s What Experts Think About Your Favorite ‘Hangover Cures’

by Jonathan Howard

Over the past weekend, the world shared in a booze fest and celebration that lasted no fewer than 48 hours. Now, on Monday after, we look for our hangover cures.

“Hangover cures” are important for someone that has had a long night, or a long weekend. The next day, it feels like you need Gatorade, some good food, and a little extra rest. There are so many cures out there from downhome remedies to plain old aspirin. Everyone swears that their cure is the cure that works. But what does science say?

Well, some British scientists have gotten together to study almost two dozen trials. These trials all consist of attempting to use various hangover cures and measuring the effects. The results? Well, not so great for the cure believers.

“Our study has found that evidence on these hangover remedies is of very low quality and there is a need to provide more rigorous assessment,” Dr. Emmert Roberts, lead author of the article said. “For now, the surest way of preventing hangover symptoms is to abstain from alcohol or drink in moderation.” Now, that isn’t any fun, is it?

Now, don’t despair too much, yet.

Hangover Cures Not Studied Well Enough

Now, these findings aren’t saying that hangover cures don’t exist. What they do say is that the current studies available on the matter aren’t conclusive enough. 21 controlled, randomized trials were studied by these British scientists. Ginseng, pear juice, and a lot of other potential cures were tested in those trials.

What the British researchers saw was disheartening. Basically, the evidence was low quality, and not really there. That is entirely due to the fact that the trials were limited in the methods measures that they used. The type of alcohol was all over the place, the timing of drinking, there was no real way to know if they were given food before or after, and in eight of the studies, only men were tested.

So, what this sounds like to me is bad science up to this point in time.

How Hard Could It Be To Test?

One of the issues with testing out these hangover cures has a lot to do with all of the variables at play. It is hard to put together a solid study without issues, to be honest. For those of you out there that believe a Big Mac Meal with a large coke and extra Mac Sauce heals you from a heavy night of drinking, don’t worry. You might be right after all.

I don’t know who decided to start poking holes in humanity’s most important placebos, but I don’t like it. When I get a giant burger or burrito at 10 in the morning after a college football Saturday, I do so expecting it to make me feel better. Make me human again. I don’t need science getting in the way of that!

Remember, the hangover cure science just hasn’t been tested out well enough. At least, that’s what I’m going to keep telling myself.