Monday, 31 August 2015

Tuesday Food Blog - Hangover cures

I was interested to see that some university has been wasting the taxpayers money on trying to identify a hangover cure. They've come to the conclusion that there isn't one!

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I really don't believe that the administrators that allow such studies to go forward need to think before the 'yes' box is ticked. The reason I say that is because everyone is different, react in different ways to alcohol and so a single cure-all is going to be impossible.

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It could be argued that the above is true of bacterial infections and yet we have 'cures' but alcohol is not as simple a case. To try and assess why that is you have to consider what is happening when we get drunk. To put it simply alcohol is an ethanol based poison that affects the glutamate in your brain by knocking it out. Glutamate helps with judgement, decision making and pleasure seeking to name a few of its attributes. The more you drink the less glutamate you have and the greater the likelihood of your judgement is impaired which can lead to more drinking and even sillier behaviour.
The aftermath is a combination of dehydration, low blood sugar, vitamin B12 deficiency and acetaldehyde toxins left over from metabolising the alcohol. Those factors can leave one begging for death and promising 'never again'!

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So what's the cure? Well it really depends on what re floats your boat. The chances are you need water to conquer the dehydration, sugar to deal with the low blood sugar, B12, or foods that contain B12 and paracetamol to dull the pain. So what does a hangover cure look like?

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Hangover cure?

Can't face it? Well there are reasons why some of the foods on the above plate could do the trick. B12 doesn't occur in fruit and veg but does in bacon, sausage and eggs. Tomatoes, which I find beneficial are a member of the nightshade family of plants and have an interesting chemical within them which is that they act as a neurotoxin, which has anti-inflammatory and anti-viral properties. It is my belief that the anti-inflammatory properties aid in the recovery from a hangover by calming the inflamed lining of the stomach.

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So the main problem is dehydration. It will cause the headache and the nausea and is best treated with boiled water left slightly aired (warm) and sipped gently. There may be some benefit to drinking water before you go to bed but once again it depends on the individual.
My personal morning after aid is bacon egg and tomato, which does the trick for me. BUT then of course I was brought up with an old Mackem saying 'what meks you bad meks you better' and to a degree it is true but dangerous! I have often gone out on New Year's Day feeling under the weather and forced a pint of beer down my neck which has been an effort but once that has stayed inside then the following one has a positively beneficial effect. However, that is the road to alcoholism, or at least it could be.

The result of the expensive research that took place is astoundingly simple. Drink less as there is no real cure for the humble hangover.

God Bless