Thursday, 29 December 2011

Top 10

i have found another website for the 'top ten' hangover cures, lets see how they match up to the earlier one I found...

Here are some of the more regular and well known tips for curing a hangover, such as lots of water and hair of the dog. However the soups and prickly pear seem strange to me... they also seem like a lot of effort and involves going out of your way to get it... and who can be bothered to do anything on a hangover!

Top 10

  1. Sleep. Rest is your best friend at this point to give your body a recover. It is best to stay in bed so call in to work if you have to, tell them you have the stomach flu. You will sound so horrible on the phone they may believe you (unless they saw you at the bar, not a good idea then).
  2. Replenish your body with fruit juice and water.
  3. Avoid caffeine. A weak cup of coffee may be okay but a lot of caffeine will continue to dehydrate you, the opposite of what you want right now.
  4. Drink orange juice for Vitamin C.
  5. Drink a sports drink like Gatorade or Powerade.
  6. Eat mineral rich food like pickles or canned fish.
  7. In Poland, drinking pickle juice is a common remedy. Barbara Rolek, Guide to Eastern European Food, has more hangover food suggestions from this region.
  8. Drink a Bloody Mary. While the popular phrase “hair of the dog that bit you” may sound logical with a shot of whiskey left in the bottle next to your bed, it’s only temporary. Try a Bloody Mary instead, while your blood is dealing with the new alcohol it is ignoring the old and in the mean time tomato juice and celery are full of vitamins. If you drank the last of the vodka make a Virgin Mary. Another spicy morning after drink option is hair of the dog, in which gin and hot sauce are sure to bite your hangover back. 
  9. Take a shower, switching between cold and hot water.
  10. In Ireland it was said that the cure for a hangover is to bury the ailing person up to the neck in moist river sand.
  11. Try Alka Seltzer Morning Relief. One reader says that it's all that he and his wife have found that really works for them. He stumbled across this "cure" while his wife was still suffering after two days, within 15 minutes after taking the Alka Seltzer she was fine.
  12. Get some exercise. Another reader suggests doing some sort of physical activity. He writes, "In the rare case of having hangover I usually drink about 1-2 liters of water and go outside to do some exercise like mountain climbing, swimming, cycling or just about anything that keeps me sweating." It takes willpower to move like that when standing seems like a challenge, but it is a good theory.
  13. The side effects of aspirin, Tylenol and ibuprofen can be magnified when alcohol is in your system, so it is best (even though it may be the first thing you reach for) to avoid them to kill the hangover pain. Aspirin is a blood thinner, just like alcohol, and can intensify its effects and Tylenol (or acetaminophen) can cause more damage to your liver. Ibuprofen can also cause stomach bleeding. So be cautious when going for the quick relief.
  14. Watch the video: Hangover Remedies. Jonathan Stewart demonstrates how to make a blended hangover remedy. There are a more than a few ingredients so you may want to have everything organized prior to overindulging.
  15. As an antidote, one reader takes a little extra multi B vitamin and drinks a lot of water before going to sleep.

Wednesday, 28 December 2011

Top 10

What is a hangover and why do we get one?

A hangover is the experience of various unpleasant physiological effects following heavy consumption of alcoholic beverages. The most commonly reported characteristics of a hangover include headachenauseasensitivity to light and noiselethargy,dysphoriadiarrhoea and thirst, typically after the intoxicating effect of the alcohol begins to wear off. While a hangover can be experienced at any time, generally speaking a hangover is experienced the morning after a night of heavy drinking. In addition to the physical symptoms, a hangover may also induce psychological symptoms including heightened feelings of depression and anxiety.

Hypoglycaemiadehydrationacetaldehyde intoxication, and glutamine rebound are all theorized causes of hangover symptoms. Hangover symptoms may persist for several days after alcohol was last consumed. Approximately 25-30% of drinkers may be resistant to hangover symptoms. Some aspects of a hangover are viewed as symptoms of acute ethanol withdrawal, similar to the longer-duration effects of withdrawal from alcoholism, as determined by studying the increases in brain reward thresholds in rats (the amount of current required to receive from two electrodes implanted in the lateral hypothalamus) following ethanol injection. Dehydration is caused by alcohol's ability to inhibit the effect of anti-diuretic hormone on kidney tubules, which leads to a hyperosmolar state, which in turn causes shrinking of (by loss of water) the brain cells which causes hangover.


An alcohol hangover is associated with a variety of symptoms that may include dehydrationfatigueheadache, body aches, vomitingdiarrhoeaflatulenceweakness, elevated body temperature and heart ratehypersalivation, difficulty concentrating, sweating, anxietydysphoriairritability, sensitivity to light and noise, erratic motor functions (including tremor), trouble sleeping, severe hunger, halitosis, and lack of depth perception. Many people will also be repulsed by the thought, taste or smell of alcohol during a hangover. The symptoms vary significantly from person to person, and it is not clear whether hangovers directly affect cognitive abilities.


Ethanol has a dehydrating effect by causing increased urine production (diuresis), which causes headaches, dry mouth, and lethargy. Dehydration also causes fluids in the brain to be less plentiful. This can be mitigated by drinking water before, during and after consumption of alcohol. Alcohol's effect on the stomach lining can account for nausea.

Alcohol consumption can result in depletion of the liver's supply of glutathione and other reductive detoxification agents, reducing its ability to effectively remove acetaldehyde and other toxins from the bloodstream. Additionally, alcohol induces the CYP2E1 enzyme, which itself can produce additional toxins and free radicals.

A 2009 study provided evidence that darker-coloured liquors, such as bourbon, cause worse hangovers than lighter-coloured liquors, such as vodka. The higher amount of congeners found in darker liquors compared to lighter ones was indicated as the cause.

In a 2006 study, an average of 14 standard drinks (330 ml bottles) of beer was needed to produce a hangover, compared with only 7 to 8 drinks of wine or liquor. 

It is often said that hangovers grow worse as one ages; this is thought to be caused by declining supplies of alcohol dehydrogenase, the enzyme involved in metabolising alcohol.

It is a common thought that mixing drinks leads to a worse hangover. Empirical evidence tends to suggest otherwise.


Hangovers are poorly understood from a medical point of view. Health care professionals prefer to study alcohol abuse from a standpoint of treatment and prevention, and there is a view that the hangover provides a useful, natural and intrinsic disincentive to excessive drinking.

Within the limited amount of serious study on the subject, there is debate about whether a hangover might be prevented or at least mitigated; additionally, there is a vast body of folk medicine and simple quackery. There is currently no empirically proven mechanism for prevention except reducing the amount of ethanol consumed, or for making oneself sober other than waiting for the body to metabolize ingested alcohol, which occurs via oxidation through the liver before alcohol leaves the body. A four-page literature review in the British Medical Journal concludes: "No compelling evidence exists to suggest that any conventional or complementary intervention is effective for preventing or treating alcohol hangover. The most effective way to avoid the symptoms of alcohol induced hangover is to avoid drinking."

  • Rehydration
  • VitamiB6 (pyritinol)
  • Hair of the dog... although I have previously found out that this simply delays the hangover rather than cures it!
  • Yeast-based extracts
  • Food and water
  • Oxygen

Friday, 23 December 2011

Top 10

I think a good place to start for finding the top ten most effective hangover cures is what causes a hangover in the first place and what effects alcohol has on our bodies. Here is what I have found so far.

So what is a hangover?

One of the major side effects of alcohol is a hangover. It is an extremely unpleasant feeling and can leave you with symptoms such as headaches, extreme thirst, nausea and sensitivity to light and noise. This phase can last up to hours at a time as the body is still trying to get rid of the alcohol you drank. The only way in which to lower the effect of a hangover is to drink plenty of water before you sleep in order to replace your bodily fluids. Alcohol is a diuretic, which means it will cause you to urinate more as you drink, and if you don’t rehydrate your body, you are much more likely to suffer the effects of a hangover.

You can prevent the effects of a hangover by eating a meal before you start drinking. Many people believe that food absorbs the alcohol before it gets into your system. Of course this is not really the case.  The truth is that the valve in your stomach closes to start the digestion process and this lengthens the time it takes for the alcohol to get into your bloodstream. Drinking without eating beforehand allows the alcohol to work its way into your system without any hold ups from the digesting process, think of it like a queue jump pass. The best foods to eat to slow the absorption of alcohol into the body are fatty foods as they remain on the stomach lining for a longer time. If you are in the process of digesting a steak your body has more time to process the alcohol and its by-products which will decrease the chances of a hangover.

Hair of the dog- Drinking more alcohol will not cure your hangover, all it does it put it off until later whilst boosting the existing toxicity of the alcohol already in your body.
Beer before liquor -never sicker- It’s the amount you drink not the order of your drinks that cause a hangover.
Taking aspirin or Ibuprofen- If taken before drinking aspirin has been shown to increase the levels of alcohol in your blood by 26%. Taking Ibuprofen while drinking may increase the chance of side effects such as bleeding in your stomach or intestine. 

This website that I have been looking at takes a very serious tone to alcohol consumption and tackles it more as a serious problem as opposed to something that can be enjoyed. Although there is some really useful information on how our bodies react to alcohol and what causes a hangover, it delivers the message far too seriously. I'm thinking that I want my title sequence to be more light hearted and to remind the audience that alcohol, in moderation is something to be enjoyed.
I also found some really good, in depth information on alcohol and hangovers on the FRANK website. Again although it is useful and accurate information, the tone is too serious.
What is alcohol?
Although it is legal for those aged 18 and over to buy and drink alcohol, that doesn’t mean it’s any less powerful than other drugs.
Alcohol is a depressant, which means it slows down your body's responses in all kinds of ways. Just enough can make you feel sociable; too much and you’ll have a hangover the next day, and may not even remember what you got up to; and way too much alcohol in a single session could put you in a coma or even kill you.
Effects of alcohol can include:
  • Reduced feelings of anxiety and inhibitions, making you feel more sociable.
  • Some exaggeration of whatever mood you're in when you start drinking.
  • Causing a wide range of physical health problems, either as a result of binge drinking or from drinking most days of the week over recommended levels. The problems caused by alcohol include cancers, heart problems, high blood pressure, stroke, liver disease, and falls and other accidents.
Official guidelines:
For young people – it is recommended that you don’t drink at all if under 15, as this can be especially harmful. The best advice is not to drink alcohol until you’re 18. If you do choose to drink before then, remember to make sure you’re with a responsible adult who will stop you doing anything that could be dangerous;
  • Never drink more than once a week – and on that one day young men are advised not to drink more than 3-4 units, and young women not to drink more than 2-3 units.
  • For adults – it is recommended men shouldn’t regularly drink more than 3-4 units a day and women shouldn’t regularly drink more than 2-3 units a day (regularly is drinking at this sort of level every day or most days of the week). After a night of heavy drinking, you shouldn’t drink for 48 hours to allow the body to recover.