Is There a Hangover Cure?
Folk remedies abound, but the search is still on for a hangover cure.
Nausea. Headache. Diarrhea. Decreased cognitive performance. Impaired memory and visual-spatial skills. Increased risk of strokes. When its symptoms are spelled out, the alcohol hangover looks like more than just a morning nuisance.
In addition, alcohol consumption costs businesses in the United States between $12 billion and $30 billion dollars per year in lost productivity (some estimates, though criticized for being inflated, run up to $148 billion).
Unfortunately, there is no accepted remedy for the hangover other than tried-and-true temperance. But this fact hasn't stopped the widespread use of folk remedies. Common things said to work (by people who are arguably impaired, anyway) include fresh air, coffee or a morning bloody Mary. However, these curatives are more placebo than panacea.
A 2005 review in the British Medical Journal reported on eight studies that assessed eight different hangover interventions. The review found no compelling evidence in favor of any treatment for preventing or treating a hangover. The researchers also commented on the unfortunate dearth of randomized tests of proposed cures and studies investigating the biological nature of the hangover. But after reading the list of effects above, one imagines having a tough time finding willing test subjects.
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