One of the many things I was blindsided by in adulthood was the ever-expanding awfulness of hangovers as life goes on. If I binge drink for back-to-back nights, I leave a note for my mother telling her I love her in case I don’t make it. I find some solace in knowing that I am not alone, as there’s a scientific explanation for why hangovers become more debilitating.
- You don’t have as many liver enzymes to rid the body of the toxic element of alcohol.
- The recovery process of your body is weaker, no thanks to metabolism and neuroplasticity.
- Your meds exacerbate the problem.
- Everything else sucks as you age, so why should hangovers be any different!
Everyone has their own hangover routine to soften the blow. The late, great Anthony Bourdain prefers aspirin, a Coca-Cola, a joint, and spicy Szechuan food. No one, however, has yet found a cure.
Toronto-based writing professor and former bar owner Shaughnessy Bishop-Stall has spent nearly a decade studying hangovers in hopes of making them a thing of the past, even writing a book titled “Hungover: The Morning After and One Man’s Quest for the Cure.”
“We seem to be so adept at progressing scientifically . . . except when it comes to this strange little phenomenon,” the 44-year-old told the New York Post.
In order to find the cure, Bishop-Stall subjected himself to countless nights of relentless drinking and recorded everything he drank and the severity of his symptoms. He then tried hundreds of cures, from old “cures” like eels and pickled sheep’s eyes to the high-end nutrient IV. After extensive research, here is his big takeaway.
Thankfully, it’s not pickled animal parts, but a handful of easily obtainable over-the-counter supplements, taken between “your last drink and before you pass out.”
The hero ingredient, per Bishop-Stall, is a “high dose” — about 1,500 milligrams — of an amino acid called N-acetylcysteine (NAC). NAC, he explains, is “sort of a magic ingredient”: It helps the body produce a powerful anti-oxidant called glutathione. Plus, it’s earned its reputation as a toxicity cure: NAC is used in hospital settings to treat Tylenol overdoses.
Along with NAC, Bishop-Stall recommends taking vitamins B1, B6 and B12, which purportedly make NAC more effective, along with boswellia (frankincense), a supposed anti-inflammatory, and milk thistle, an herb that contains even more glutathione.
Bishop-Stall goes on to stress that timing is everything. If you’ve done nothing to prevent a hangover while drinking, by the morning you have a huge mountain to climb.
[h/t New York Post]