Monday, May 18, 2015

Activated Charcoal to Prevent Hangover

"Simply take 2-4 pills of charcoal after a night of drinking to prevent a hangover!" 

I ordered a bottle of charcoal for another pinterest project to test out, but when looking things up online I found there are actually many different remedies that call for charcoal. One was to use it to prevent hangovers. Sound enough idea, if it's good enough to use in a hospital for absorbing chemicals, surely it'll work on alcohol too right?

So I decided to take one for the team this past Saturday and test it out. One bottle of wine later, I took 3 charcoal pills and went to bed. Come morning, I was hungover. In fact I was SUPER hungover. Far worse than I would normally be after having a bottle of wine.

So what went wrong? Well research actually shows this isn't a good remedy to prevent a hangover. There's a great write up done on this by Mark Rucker, who wrote about the science behind why this doesn't work. The short of it is that charcoal seems to have ZERO affect on the blood level of alcohol in your system, so it won't really prevent a hangover.

The best way to prevent a hangover is still the old standby of not drinking too much, and making sure you are staying hydrated; try having a glass of water for each alcoholic drink you have.

And if you DO find yourself with a hangover, the best remedy in treating it is hydration, and eggs. Not only is the protein in eggs helpful, they contain a large amount of cysteine, which helps break down the hangover causing toxin called acetaldehyde.


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