Recent research has shown that those who alternate water or food with alcoholic drinks fail to prevent hangovers.
The experiment included two studies, which were led by Dutch and Canadian scientists. Its findings were presented at the European College of Neuropsychopharmocology (ECNP) conference in Amsterdam.
The first study was conducted upon 826 students from Netherlands, who drank water or consumed fatty foods after significant amounts of alcohol. 54% of the subjects ingested fatty meals that night or the following day, at brunch. In the other group, more than two thirds had glasses of water between their alcoholic beverages, and more than half drank water before bed.
Researchers measured the blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of those who experienced hangovers and those who didn’t. They took into account factors such as drinking time frame, number of drinks, age, weight and gender. The results of the study showed that four-fifths of the participants who hadn’t suffered the effects of a hangover had an estimated BAC of less than 0.1%. Respondents who had alternated water with alcohol were only slightly less hungover than those who drank just alcohol, but the difference was so negligible that it couldn’t be determined if water had indeed been a contributing factor.
Basically, experts agreed that drinking water may diminish dehydration associated with alcohol ingestion, but it `won’t take away the misery, the headache and the nausea’, as Dr. Joris Verster from Utretch University pointed out.
On the other hand, eating high-fat foods tends to lower the digestion rate, causing a reduction in alcohol absorption speed. Thus, having snacks like peanuts may allow people to drink more without reaching high alcohol concentrations, lowering therefore the severity of hangovers. However, the study has provided inconclusive results regarding this theory.
The other research took place in Canada, where scientists studied the monthly drinking habits of 789 students. It was determined that those who had claimed they were immune to hangovers had drunk too little to cause such symptoms. This supports the view the only proven way to actually prevent headaches is complete abstinence from alcohol.
‘From what we know from the surveys so far, the only practical way to avoid a hangover is to drink less alcohol’, explained Dr.Verster.
There is currently no scientific proof to support the theory that drinking a glass of water between alcoholic drinks or eating food can result in preventing negative side-effects the following day. However, it is still advisable to continue to find a way to avoid or even cure hangovers. After all, it can’t be denied that productivity is greatly diminished when people work while experiencing debilitating headaches or other symptoms caused by alcohol intake.
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