August 02 2010

Hangover Hacks You Can Hang Your Hat On

By Mark Sisson
130 Comments

The hangover is an interesting beast. Like Bigfoot, Sasquatch, and any other huge, hirsute crypto-hominid, nearly every culture and every nation has an extensive literature (whether it’s entombed in writing or not) on the subject of hangovers. After all, alcohol is the universal intoxicant, and hangovers are the inevitable consequence of overindulgence.

Or are they?

Mike, a reader, recently wrote to me with the tale of the missing hangover:

I have been following the Primal Blueprint for over 2 months now. My diet, fitness, etc – has been very strict with one exception – The occasional drink.

While I don’t particularly crave alcohol, when I am around it in social settings – I will indulge in 1 to several drinks, then walk home. This past week I have had 2 occasions where I have been under extreme duress while also finding myself in social settings with people buying me ‘drinks’ – mainly bourbons.  In the past if I went on a binge I might find myself worshiping the porcelain goddess or at the minimum wake up with a headache, disoriented, and bubbly guts. I would then feel crappy for the most part of the day, and not want to eat anything.  At 38, I would think that it would only get worse.

But something has changed.

I did a tally, 9 makers mark neat and 3 ‘lite’ beers over 5 hours.  I walked home, went to bed, and woke up in plenty of time to go to work.  Ate some breakfast, and never felt the worse for it. The following nite 7 beers and 3 wines over a 4 hour time period, I polished off the nite with some organic locally grown smoked ribs from one of the local farms that does ‘drunk food’ and walked home.  This morning, no headaches, no problems.  There was a minor loose stool movement and that was it.  It’s off to work and sharp as a tack.

I have no plans of continuing this drinking trend and plan on drying out over the next week, however I am perplexed by the ‘lack’ of effect.

Is it because I more efficiently rid myself of toxins?

Is it because I have an increased metabolic rate?

Perhaps it’s how my body is burning fuel?

It is not the walk, the glass of water I have before going to bed, or the late night meat.  These are all things I did before and when I would have that occasional binge, I would pay for it. I’m curious if others have had the same reaction or if they have insight as to why the ‘hangover’ has disappeared?

Mike

What is a hangover, exactly, why do they happen, and how can we prevent their occurrence or mitigate their severity?

Well, the obvious, absolutely foolproof way to prevent hangovers is to abstain from alcohol, but that’s not the focus of this post. We can avoid drink altogether and never get a hangover, sure, just like we can avoid any of the potentially negative consequences (unplanned pregnancy, disease) that accompany sexual intercourse by abstaining from any and all sex – but where’s the fun in that? People are going to drink, even healthy, Primal people, and it doesn’t help to simply say, “Don’t drink.” People drink. Let’s figure out how to manage this fact.

Your basic, garden variety hangover manifests in several classic symptoms: headaches, dry mouth, spacey-ness, fatigue, depressed mood, physical weakness, lack of concentration, sweating, anxiety, sensitivity to light and sound, irritability, extreme thirst, extreme hunger, among others. Some only get the headache and the fatigue, while others are sidelined with the whole shebang. Either way, a hangover absolutely and unequivocally sucks. Its only benefit may lie in its capacity as negative reinforcement for the next time you decide to binge.

Diuresis and Dehydration

The presence of ethanol (alcohol) in the body induces diuresis, or an increase in urination. We’ve all noticed this. You’re having a few with friends and having to head off to the bathroom in between each drink, where you find yourself expelling more liquid than you’re taking in. What gives? Ethanol inhibits the secretion of antidiuretic hormone (ADH, or vasopressin) by the pituitary; this is the hormone that keeps you from wetting yourself, and without it, the kidneys send water straight to the bladder, bypassing absorption by the body. When you urinate from ethanol-induced diuresis, it’s mostly water (notice the color – it’s very light), along with electrolytes necessary for proper bodily function. This leads to dehydration, which in turn leads to headaches (the thirsty body draws water from the brain, constricting it), fatigue, dizziness (lack of potassium and sodium will do that to ya), and dry mouth. Sound familiar?

Toxic Acetaldehyde Build-up

Another source of hangover woes comes from acetaldehyde, which is created when an enzyme called alcohol dehydrogenase breaks down ethanol in the liver. Acetaldehyde is far more toxic than ethanol itself, so the body then releases acetaldehyde dehydrogenase and glutathione to break down the acetaldehyde. If you stick to just a few drinks and space them out accordingly, your body’s natural enzyme production can keep up. If you start binging, though, glutathione stores become overwhelmed and the liver must produce more. Meanwhile, acetaldehyde, which is between 10-30 times more toxic than ethanol, accrues in your body. Certain groups are underequipped to deal with alcohol, however. Women, for example, produce smaller amounts of acetaldehyde dehydrogenase and glutathione than men, making them more susceptible to hangovers. Many people of East Asian descent possess incredibly efficient alcohol dehydrogenase genes, thus increasing the amount of acetaldehyde produced from ethanol. Roughly half of those folks have inefficient acetaldehyde dehydrogenase genes, however, thus decreasing the amount of acetaldehyde that can be broken down. When these people drink, acetaldehyde accumulates faster and stays there longer, leading to an instant hangover.

Congeners

During fermentation and distillation, congeners – or byproducts of the processes – are produced. Congeners can include acetone, acetaldehyde, tannins, and even flavorants used to distinguish drinks. As a general rule, darker liquors contain higher levels of congeners, with brandy ranking highest. One study showed that whiskey drinkers suffered worse hangovers than vodka drinkers when both groups were given equal amounts of alcohol, with the higher levels of whiskey congeners taking the blame. Red wine, which tends to be high in tannins, is another famous hangover-inducer. The basic effect of ethanol-induced diuresis is enough to cause a hangover, but it seems that congeners can make things even worse.

Okay, so we’ve established why hangovers hurt as much as they do, but what can we do about them?

Basic Preventive Measures

There are some tried and trued methods of preventing hangovers from even occurring in the first place. Depending on your sensitivity to liquor (and, possibly, the congener levels in your drink of choice), you can usually avoid most hangover related problems by following some basic guidelines:.

  • Drink until you’re buzzed, then stop. Drink, but avoid drunkenness. Let your glutathione catch up with your acetaldehyde.
  • Drink water with your alcohol. Have a glass handy throughout the night. If you order a drink from the bartender, get a water with it and slam it down before your sip your liquor. This should help keep you hydrated. Even better – sprinkle a bit of mineral-rich sea salt in the water to provide electrolytes.
  • Eat before you drink. An empty stomach makes for a cheap drunk, yeah, but also a bad morning.
  • Eat while you drink. Something fatty, like a rich cheese, is perfect, especially with wine. An old trick in certain Mediterranean countries is to take a big spoonful of olive oil before a night of drinking.
  • Drink two large glasses of water immediately before bed. Again, add sea salt for the electrolytes. You can also drink Pedialyte or coconut water for added electrolytes. Even if you’ve overdone it with the drinks, slamming the fluids before bed can mitigate the worst of what’s to come.

More Advanced Preventive Measures

Mitigation

You can’t always avoid hangovers. For some, they are inevitable, along with death and taxes. If you’ve got a hangover, here are the basic ways to improve your situation, and I won’t mention the stuff annoying people always suggest, like “time” or “prevention” (however accurate they may be).

  • Take an aspirin. It’s a basic anti-inflammatory that’s safe and relatively effective.
  • Drink coffee, which can actually reduce the swelling of blood vessels in the head that may be causing your headache. It’s good for fatigue, too, and its reputation as a diuretic is highly exaggerated.
  • Drink bone broth, which provides electrolytes and minerals.
  • Drink something with electrolytes. Make the Primal electrolyte-enhanced beverage or drink the original: coconut water.
  • Exercise. It may be the furthest thing from your mind, but a healthy bout of sweaty, intense activity (it could be anything, really) always seemed to help me deal with the aftermath. Keep it brief and intense.
  • IV electrolyte drip. I’ve heard tales of nurses hooking themselves up to IV drips after a wild night and being right as rain after a few minutes. I’m sure it works, but how many of us have access to IV drips?
  • Eat eggs, which are high in cysteine – think NAC. Although NAC is far more effective as a preventive measure, it appears to have some efficacy after the hangover has been established, too. NAC supplementation may work here, too, but I’ve also heard that it makes the hangover worse for some people. Exercise caution and see what works for you.
  • Eat coconut, which is also high in potassium. If you’ve got a raging hangover, you’re probably low in potassium.

What Not to Do

  • Drink more. The hair of the dog is a popular treatment (even Hemingway subscribed to it), but it’s just delaying the inevitable. As soon as the alcohol has been metabolized, you’re likely to descend back into hangover hell.
  • Load up on acetaminophen, which is a painkiller than can put a ton of stress on the liver. Your liver has already experienced enough for one day. Give it a break.

To sum up, hangovers are incredibly easy to prevent, provided you plan ahead. I suspect that most people will get by just fine by leading an anti-inflammatory Primal lifestyle (diet, exercise, rest, stress, sleep, etc), keeping hydrated, eating something, and keeping the alcohol intake moderate. Anecdotal evidence seems to suggest that eating Primal or paleo improves alcohol tolerance (or at least reduces hangover incidence and severity), although some folks have had different results. If you’re more sensitive to the negative effects of liquor, and the basic preventive measures aren’t working, it’s probably worth checking out the more advanced strategies (or, you know, you could drink less).

As for Mike’s query, my best guess is that his way of eating, living, and exercising provides ample amounts of nutrients, antioxidants, minerals, and anti-inflammatory signaling, all of which contribute to his fortified hangover resistance.

Thanks for reading, everyone. Let me know what your experiences have been, drinking and leading a Primal lifestyle.

TAGS:  prevention

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130 thoughts on “Hangover Hacks You Can Hang Your Hat On”

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  1. “organic locally grown smoked ribs from one of the local farms that does ‘drunk food’ ”

    That is the sweetest drunk food I’ve ever heard of! I’m used to nasty tacos from a grease truck, White Castle burgers, or something equally nasty. Color me jealous.

    1. I usually have a fatty steak before I go out plus a couple of milk thistle tabs. I also leave a another couple of tabs next to my bed with a litre of water, which I come home to and try to down before passing out -works for me!

    2. I notice I do not get hangover on a primal diet. Especially if I am eating mostly raw salads and veggies.

  2. Before the end of a heavy night of drinking I always down an ibuprofen and any where from 32 to 64 oz of water. Always does the trick.

    1. Yes, I generally match water content with each cocktail or beer (as was mentioned, usually in social situations) and walk home too (about an hour walk) and always feel just fine in the morning as well…the walk is nice up here in the mountains of Appalachia and it’s a great relief to walk past all those police gauntlets tucked away in hidden traps all over town pulling over all those last call bar flies.

  3. I wrote a post about coconut water a couple of weeks ago and someone left a comment saying that coconut water makes for an excellent cocktail.

    I don’t drink much at all. I prefer red wine if I have alcohol. But, the occasional cocktail is always a nice treat. When someone said coconut water makes for an awesome cocktail I was all over this idea. I have not made one yet but will definitely do so soon and will ask bartenders if coconut water is available for a nice cocktail.

    Then I read this post and at the end Mark mentions that coconut will help the hangover effect because of its potassium content. Well, coconut water is LOADED with potassium! Just another reason to enjoy a coconut water cocktail!

    Has anyone here tried a coconut water cocktail? If so, do you have a recipe to recommend?

    1. Yes, actually!

      My husband, great cocktail experimenter, bought whole coconuts for a party. He put a couple of nail holes in them, and using a flask funnel added rum and creme de cacao to the water in the coconut. It was delightful and refreshing – and the coconut meat was extra tasty after the drinking was done. 🙂

      1. Not to mention there is a great drink called a “coconut toddy” which is the sap from a coconut palm that ferments in about 4 hours. 🙂

        1. lol, might as well be pink, I keep it simple at bars and at home, a little red wine, a little scotch, maybe a dark beer. I rarely mix drinks in an evening, garenteed to be sick the next day.

          Oh and Toad, I’m pretty sure that toddy will come loaded with artifical flavorings and sugars, best to make your own at home if you can.

        2. LOL! You can’t buy a coconut toddy. You literally have to have a palm tree tapped of its sap. Only a few places you can do that in the US, and then you have to find someone willing to do it. 🙂

        3. wow… really?! That sounds much cooler than what I was imagining.

    2. Coconut Water and rum or gin is very popular in the Carribean. I prefer vodka and coconut water but its tasty with rum too. Enjoy!

  4. As always, full of solid information, common sense, humor, and tolerance for regular human beings living in the real world.

  5. I was diagnosed with severe obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) about 25 years ago, and was treated with CPAP. One of the first things that I noticed after starting CPAP treatment was that I no longer had “hangovers” (and I did not drink at all), which were occasionally so severe that I was unable to work. Alcohol is known to induce OSA in susceptible persons. I suspect that alcohol causes sleep apnea even in people who don’t normally experience it — and that this the primary cause of “hangover”.

    Things that help sleep apnea are weight loss and improved overall muscle tone. That could mean that a paleo lifestyle could reduce or prevent apnea even under the influence. In my case, even substantial weight loss (110 lbs so far) has not been enough, although my CPAP pressure is about half what it was back at my peak weight. I have about 40 lbs left to lose, so there is some hope.

    1. Keep up the great work 110 lbs that’s awesome. Your observations are really interesting; I’m finding all kinds of unexpected benefits of Primal beyond the obvious.

    1. Your tellin me… This should have been a Friday post, not Monday! 🙂

  6. be careful with the IV drip idea. A friend of mine is a paramedic and swore by this as a perfect hangover cure. Until that is he fell asleep on one particular ‘refuelling’, knocked over the drip onto the floor and awoke with a even more raging hangover and a pint of his own blood back filled into the IV bag..

  7. Listen carefully people. Mark i respect you but this hang over remedias are nothing but a symptom relief not the cure. The cure is by not abusign alcohol which this person has been doing. His body adapted to the high level of alcohol consumtion and that is why he does not feel the same hangover symtopms as before. If you drink until you feel the buzz is too late. The liver takes onver 1 hours to metabolized the full effects of alcohol in our system. I can tell you how damaging your organs and your bodies will be with these remedies. The cells dehydrate which means anda BAC highers that .25 can kill a cell. No matter how much water or pre hangover pills you take you will damaged your body even more. I am not against drinking but there is enough research that shows that even 1 drink for a girl and 2 drinks for a guy kills brain cells and damages your body. you may nto drink and drive but you are impaired. more pedestrians are dying now because they are drunk.

    1. Isnt there research stating that people who moderately drink outlive people who do not drink? I know this guy is pounding it hard but i have billions of brain cells and the fact that i only use a percentage of it… 🙂 you get my point. I’d rather live longer and enjoy life than live shorter in a cave by myself…

    2. “a BAC higher than .25 can kill a cell”?

      I don’t know what you’re basing this off of, but a .25 BAC is what I (and most) consider quite high. In the state of Arizona that’s considered a Super-Extreme DUI if you’re caught driving. Here the legal limit is .08 BAC, (and even below that you can still get a ticket for reckless driving, AZ is a zero-tolerance state) after which is a DUI up to .1499, and at .15 BAC it becomes a Extreme DUI, and at .20 BAC and above it becomes a Super-Extreme DUI.

      So think of what you’re saying here. This guy doesn’t sound like he’s getting “plowed into the dirt” every single night, he sounds like he’s having a good time on occasion and maybe having 1 too many on accident (hey, life is about balance, right?)

      I think claiming this guy needs to get to a .25 BAC just to feel a buzz is more than pushing it here

  8. you can eat healthy and excercise but if you abuse alcohol you are only damaging your body. You have the risk of becoming addicted even if you are only a ‘casual drinker”. I meet people every week struggling with addiction, killing innocent people and then sayign :we were just havign fun and drunk until we black out”.
    Alcohol is a drug and even those hangover pills do leave a stain in the liver which leads to possible chirrocis of the liver. If you are going to drink consider only 4 drinks at most per night. Here are your standard drinks 12oz beer at 5% alcohol p/vol. Winde 5 ox at 12%, and any liquor 1.5 oz at 80% proof.

    1. I find it difficult to take seriously anyone who can’t use correct grammar while professing to be an expert in a subject matter.

  9. Mark

    The saturated fat content in the primal diet is more than likely a significant contributor. And to kill a dead dog further, guess which supplement brings it again? You guesed it ALA (Lipoic version)! It turns out it is a potent saturated fat, that also helps to prevent damage from smoking.

    I got this from Dr Mercola off LRC. I really like this guy (too):

    http://www.lewrockwell.com/orig10/mercola44.1.html

    So eating some beef before retiring might help too? Certainly beforehand…

  10. I use to preach the gallon of water before bed method. I’m not so big on that now as I get a terrible nights sleep getting up and going to the bathroom every hour, then still be hung-over come morning time.

    I will be trying the coconut water though.

  11. How about a Prairie Oyster?

    It’s an old-school hangover cure, not exactly Primal, but much better than Gatorade:

    1 egg
    1 t worcestershire sauce
    3 dashes Tabasco sauce
    salt and pepper

    Add the ingredients in that order into a glass, making sure not to break the egg yolk. Take it all down in one gulp.

    1. Not to going to lie. I gagged a little just thinking about it.

    2. So all you’re doing is eating one egg. What difference does it make what order you put then in a glass and if you break the yolk or not? Either way you’ll still be hung over.

  12. that’s neat to hear some hangover reliefs–i always thought too late was too late.
    i have a great hangover preventer to add: take a shower. if you feel like you can’t stomach anything else, even water, just hop in the shower and stand there. it helps to rehydrate you, the available change in temperature can perk you up, and–if you’re anything like me–you’re likely to drink a bunch of water anyway.

  13. Primal Blueprint Rule #9: AVOID POISONOUS THINGS. Alcohol is a toxin and if you’re in need of a primal hangover cure, you’re not living primal in the first place.

    1. Oh come on now! I like black and white just as much as the next Primal person, but sometimes there’s gray.

      80/20. Or better still 90/10, but if all your friends are out sharing a bottle of wine or a couple of pints, and you’re the one spouting Primal abstinence, I reckon life isn’t going to be the fun-fun-fun-time it’s supposed to be. And you’ll be a crappy advert for Grok, too.

  14. I enjoyed this post. I used to feel hungover after my one glass of red wine, but have found that’s not always the case after being more primal. Cocoanut water is great for dehydration, whether alcohol, heat or exercise induced — very handy to have it around. My husband heard it’s great for Mojitos, though we haven’t tried it yet.

  15. I cured my hangovers forever 30 years ago…I woke up in bed with the ugliest woman I have ever seen. Haven’t had a drink since…True story.

    1. I am not sure whether to be extremely scared or to giggle w/o constraint, I’ll opt for the 2nd, Hahahahahahahaha

      (I believe you btw)

    2. I believe you too! I threw away my beer goggles after a similar night such as this–she wasn’t ugly but when I woke up, instead of Farrah Brigitte Fawcett Bardot lying there next to me, would’nt you know it, there was Sondra Locke looking back at me and that somehow gave me the creeps.

  16. Great info! As usual there were a few self-righteous folks who had to take this subject to a dark, lectury (new word) place. But, that’s ok.
    For those of us who enjoy a Primal life that includes some alcohol, we learned some good info.
    I’d love to meet some people in my area who were not only Primal, but like to have a drink. Can you imagine the great conversations we could have??

  17. I too have experienced far fewer after effects of an evening of overindulgence on alcohol. Managed to get drunk off my gourd on Saturday night, and didnt have even the slightest headache Sunday morning in spite of only getting a couple hours’ sleep. I didn’t even think of the possibility that it could be eating Primally that made the difference.

  18. Hey wait a minute?

    Aren’t there some anti-oxidant properties in light use of alcohol as well (in the arteries)?

    I think 60 minutes did a special about 7 yrs ago citing the 3 reasons the French did not have the CHD problems we have:
    1) they drink wine with dinner,
    2) they eat very little milk but cheese instead (lower digestive mobility rate in the lymph system in mice)
    3) they eat much less processed foods (to wit raw vegetables for enzymes in the gut)

    Anyone confirm?

  19. This post has me thinking about research into the area of alcohol consumption in paleolithic communities/current H-G tribes. I wonder if there is any evidence of alcohol production/consumption in pre-agricultural communities. Some fiction writers have ventured into speculation on this front, but I have never ventured into reading any of the anthropological data on the subject. I am now curious, and will begin to do some digging.

    Excellent post. Just like 21st century primal living doesn’t (necessarily) mean wearing fur garments, going naked all summer long (I wish), spearing my own meat with stone arrowheads (I have to settle for metal for now), gathering all of my produce from my immediate environment, or eschewing make-up (love lipgloss) or computers, we have to find balance in our human interactions, which might mean drinking alcohol or even GASP! eating a dish of pasta so as not to offend well-meaning friends or family.

    If one is going to drink, as with any other behavior that can lead to bad health, just remember moderation and mitigation. Mistakes happen, but knowing how to fix them is better than letting further damage occur due to inaction.

    1. I saw a series on a very primal tribe that lives in trees with some guy named Ollie on Nat. Geo channel. They made alcoholic beverages with some sort of fruit or vegetable they had there and their own spit. The women sat around spitting into this mixture all day. The saliva caused the fermentation.
      Now THAT is going the extra mile to get your drink on!

      1. No, that doesn’t ferment it, it replaces the breakdown of starches into sugars that is done with malting for beer, an earlier stage. The fermenting is done after that in the usual way, by yeast acting on the sugars.

  20. That’s bizarre, I think the same thing happened to me a couple of weeks ago! I didn’t even think about it being my change in diet. I drank way more than I would usually and way more than would usually result in me suffering, and I was just slightly dizzy for an hour or so the next morning. No hangover. I found it very strange!!

  21. Mike, I have found the exact same experience! Prior to primal living, a few drinks would surely put me out of commission the next morning. But now, if I have a night similar to what you described, I’ll wake up 5 hours later ready to go. My theory is the increased fat intake helps with more efficient toxin removal.

  22. Good post. 🙂
    Have seen this thing on you tube where animals eat fermented fruit and get drunk and stumble around…have a search, its so funny.
    Just thought that maybe grok would have eaten similar ‘rotten’ fruit at times and may have experienced a slightly similar thing????? just a thought?

    1. I’m sure Grok liked finding those fruits too! I can see it now… gather a bunch of fermenting fruit, gather some gals around the campfire, tell some wild stores, and bow-chicka-bow-bow!

    2. I’ve seen that on TV! It’s an oasis in the Sahara, and at a certain time each year (when the fruit is fermented) they all get together and get drunk, lions and wildebeests, predator and prey. For a while it’s like they’re all off work and getting really drunk together.

      1. When I was visiting Sweden one year there was an issue of several drunken “moose” who had eaten rotting apples and stopped traffic. 🙂

  23. The exercise recommendation worked very well for me in college. It really is the last thing you’d want to do when hungover. But I immediately felt better.

    The worst thing you can do is just lay around in bed. I always felt better when I started moving around and accomplishing a bit.

    Never smoke a cigar when buzzed or drunk!!!

  24. Great Post. Mark, do you have any advice for people who are living relatively primally, but are also heavy drinkers? I know I know it’s frowned upon, but I’m talking about measures that can be taken to perhaps help mitigate liver damage and other long term negative side effects of alcohol. I’ve heard suggestions such as milk thistle in the past, any thoughts?

    1. @ Mike
      Just a quik note:

      Taking ALA (Alpha Lipoic Acid) and a strong Vitmain B complex is what I just read in some medical blogs just recently while exploring my recent overdose on ALA (herniated disc).

      Eating a lot of saturated fats (hamburger) along with cheese appears to also help enormously (did Grok eat bun-less cheeseburgers – grilled -not fried?????)

      I came across this when looking for side effects for eating too much ALA (I started on 2400 mg/day – blew my sleep cycle away – then dropped to 1200 mg/day but my stomach hurt so bad that I thought I had stomach flu)

      I am now taking a week off to see where the stomach goes.

      But to answer your question (I saw this in the ALA side effects blog), if you drink heavily, boost your body w/ BOTH Vitamin B1 (thiamin) available in most Vit B complexes and Alpha Lipoic Acid.

      If you don’t want to take the serious stuff (which is real dangerous) – eat hamburger (80/20 style). Beef it up w/ saturated fats, and then restore w/ Vit B.

      That’s what I read at least.

      My latest jaunt w/ my ALA overdose has been somewhat unsuccessful. Then it (finally) dawned on me that I was NOT trying to recover from Type II diabetes; I was trying to recover from a herniated disc (I lost muscle function below my left knee). The issues ARE different. Treatments prob’ly need to be different as well.

      I will probably continue w/ ALA after I take week break, but then the dosing amount will more than likely be around ~300mg/day.

      But don’t give up on that wonderful saturated fat in beef. Check above (on this blog page) for the benefits of saturated fats from Dr. Mercola above. I posted a web site to review from a fairly well credentialed MD.

      Hamburger be good to Grok! (especially the high fat version – James Garner was not wrong after all!!).

    2. @ Mike

      That post won’t show up until tomorrow since I gave a web site address on it.

      It has to be approved first – which means someone from Mark’s staff has to review first – to ensure that it isn’t something really crazy or bad/

      Please be patient. The Mercola article is worth everyone’s time & it is short.

      It is what sold me on beef (hamburger) and saturated fats.

      I am an idiot savant – I found that I backed into a paleo diet ENTIRELY by accident –

      `Cause this is my favorite food to eat – duh! (What else would an idiot do anyways (LOL!!!)).

      It’s real simple – good foods: cooked beef (grilled/fried) (check on saturated fats & protein), raw vegetables (who likes them cooked after all – `cept peas & pearl onions in BUTTER in the mic!), tons of cheese, olives, garbanzo beans, black beans (w/ the Mexican foods), and refried beans, then nuts of all sorts & – oh yeh bananas when I can eat the sweet stuff.

      Yeh, I know, it ain’t total primal, but it’s gettin’ close. Just wish I could eat real cheese (like in France as a kid) that had all the GOOD bacteria in it! Good GUT = Good immune system!!!

      Dang it!!! You eat the cheese NOT for the fat, but for the BUGS!!! (+ it is delicious!)

      The French sure got one up on us – dude@! They have a natural Camembert that will literally BITE you back (grin).

  25. I’ve only been on a “Primal” diet for a month and a half now but I too have not experience a hangover after the occasional “night out”. Similarly to the situations Mike described, over here in Japan there’s some social pressure to have a few drinks when out with friends. After turning 30, those social outings were becoming more and more difficult to recover from, regardless of what hangover remedy I tried. I just figured this was due to having recently bid farewell to my youthful 20’s. It appears I was wrong. Going Primal truly is the best thing I’ve ever done for myself.

  26. I have not had a single hangover since I went primal/paleo.

    Not one.

  27. Thanks, Mark, was discussing this with my husband on the weekend.

    I love one or two glasses of red wine (esp with a steak – yum) but had stopped altogether because I would be awake all night – impossible to sleep after just 1 glass.

    Since ‘going primal’ (yay!!), I have not had this problem once. VERY happy to forget the grains and sugar if I get to keep the red wine 🙂

  28. I have the same experience that Mike has. My hangover is usually just dehydration which gives my abs great definition in the morning! A couple cups of coffee and a few glasses of water and I’m as good as I can be. Pre-paleo a hangover would keep me in my recliner all day in a horrible death like zombie state.

  29. Hi Mark. I am also experiencing this. I gave up my red wine for a while because I seemed to suffer from bigger hangovers the older I became. Since being on the primal diet I have been able to tolerate my red wine again. One interesting thing though is that I am still unable to tolerate white wine. It gives me a mild headache in the morning which usually goes away after a coffee. I wonder what it is in the red wine that stops this from happening? I thought perhaps something in the grape skins?

  30. I have never been a drinker, but I have experience sugar hangovers so many times – never when I was younger, but since I was about 25, increasingly more so over the years … “headaches, dry mouth, spacey-ness, fatigue, depressed mood, physical weakness, lack of concentration, sweating, anxiety, sensitivity to light and sound, irritability, extreme thirst, extreme hunger, among others” describes them exactly.

    I assumed all the symptoms were from the refined sugar. Is it possible alcohol hangover symptoms are, in part, from the natural (& unnatural, in cocktails) sugars?

  31. Oops. Make that “experienced.” And to clarify, the sugar hangovers came from food, no alcohol involved in my case at all.

  32. I had a similar experience on my birthday. I rarely drink, but that night I drank everyone under the table (with whiskey). This was my first time getting drunk since going Primal.

    I couldn’t figure out why all the more experienced drinkers were passing out and I was still going, until someone said “You must have an iron liver.” And I realized, yes, I do, thanks to Primal.

  33. just this weekend i tried to convince some friends that i have a less severe hangover if i drink sugar-free red bull and vodka than i do when i drink just beer. yes, sugar-free red bull is basically liquid poison, but it soundds like the taurine might be mitigating some of my symptoms.

    interesting post.

    1. There was an episode of Myth Busters where they compared hangovers from just beer, to shots (I think that’s how it went..)
      anyhoo, worse hangovers from just beer was the conclusion.

      I have been primal for over a year & I have found that I want less alcohol than I used to & mostly just red wine. (is that why I had too much sangria last wknd?) Beer is too bloaty & grainy now.

  34. Good article, thanks for the suggestions. Could have used some of this advice a few weeks ago before my bachelor party, haha.

  35. I almost don’t drink at all (occasional beer here and there) and I never get drunk, but I read that coconut water is excellent for curing hangovers!

    1. its great to have your own coconut tree if thats the case. lol. but yeah, coconut water is really effective. it rehydrates your body. i wasnt really familiar in giving cure to hangovers since i dont drink that much. but in case i will be drunk as hell, then i surely know what to do. i might plant a coconut tree in my yard, hahahaha.. kidding though

  36. If I drink even 3 or 4 sips of wine my arms go numb, the top of my head feels dizzy and my balance goes all wonky. As a result I have never been drunk as I am only able to take a sip now and then.

    I count it as a gift because it probably has kept me out of who knows what kind of trouble. And no hangovers, another plus.

    My only question is…where is all the money I have saved being a non-drinker?

    1. Of course, you wouldn’t save much at fast food joints.

      But going out at nicer establishments, non-drinkers save a lot of money. The alcohol drinks is where the state/city/dining establishment rake in the money by overcharging patrons.

      I live in a state that doesn’t give out many alcohol licenses and as a result, many restaurants have a bring your own alcohol policy. I’ve noticed such places are more expensive. That suggests that alcoholic drinks subsidize the rest of the menu.

  37. So what was your worst hangover?

    Mine: high school
    stolen bottle of red wine + near a quart of tequila = pink projectile sickness the next day… oh man. Just the thought….

  38. Has anyone heard of Activated Charcoal for a hangover? I am not even sure what it is, but a friend of mine said that if you take it before and after you drink it will ward off the symptoms?

  39. Thanks Mark for addressing my question!

    I’d like to add a few tiny things bases on some things people said. I don’t binge drink all the time, weekly, or even monthly. I did 2 nites in a row, but it was probably the first time all year. I do consume alcoholic beverages regulary but in moderation for the most part sticking to wine, sake, and bourbon. The circumstances described above was the first of 2 nites of ‘over saturation’ because an old friend was in from out of town and one thing lead to another and well .. I was really perplexed and surprised.

    As to the local organic pork ribs/sausages at 2:30am – What can I say, I live in a special place – here is a link to the farm – http://www.ecofarmnc.com/

    1. Gatorade works for me too, but now that I am primal I find it to be too sweet to drink. Same with coconut water.

  40. NAC supplements? Never heard of them. Is there an example of one of these?

  41. Whoa! I think you want to say, “DON’T load up on acetaminophen.” (Which is paracetamol in some parts of the world.) Alcohol and acetaminophen are, as you say, very liver toxic.

    I used to like vitamin C for these problems. The Emergen-C packets have C and electrolytes and a little of some other minerals and vitamins.

  42. Let’s face facts…go back and read this man’s letter…he has a SERIOUS drinking problem…the promise to “dry out” next week is the typical, hollow promise that people with serious drinking problems always make…I was married to an alcoholic…an airline pilot…alcohol is a wall…put up to keep one from being authentic and honest with others around you. Period. Get help, buddy…now.

  43. yeah – help would be good. Someone who is so dedicated to health as to do PB, but can’t get the drinking under control – alarm bells are ringing. You don’t have to do it alone. Getting help doesn’t mean you are helpless, it means you are serious about change and a human being.

  44. I got drunk — once — when I was 21, to see what it was like. It was indescribably awful. I do not understand why anyone would want to do that deliberately more than once. I guess I live in a different world than some of the other posters here.

    It would seem that I’m not susceptible to alcoholism, which is a good thing. Too bad I can’t say the same thing about sugar addiction.

  45. or you can just drink Guinness. No wheat. Low alcohol. Low calories. Lots of iron, you’ll notice your nails become hard. really.

  46. It’s actually amusing to read the comments that insist that the letter-writer has a “drinking problem” when his point was that alcohol consumption is *not* adversely affecting his ability to function.

    I’ve noticed similar effects to the original writer now that I’ve been otherwise primal for three months. In a twelve-hour period on a weekend last month, I went through nineteen or twenty beers, showed and felt little signs of drunkenness, and woke up perfectly fine for a hearty breakfast the next day – and have gone without alcohol for almost three weeks since then except for one bottle of dark beer I thought would pair well with a steak I grilled the other night.

    Am I going to be accused of having a “serious drinking problem” as well? Because it sure doesn’t feel like it. I have no cravings, I’ve got a few bottles of beer in my fridge that I have certainly not been staring at wistfully, and I’ve had no gnawing urges to head down to the local bar.

    Seems to me that some people are falling into the “conventional wisdom” trap: “Consuming more than X drinks in Y hours is PROOF of alcoholism!” Actually I remember somewhere reading an article about animals and their attraction to alcohol-containing fermented fruits: the writer observed that often the animals who would consume the most of this fruit were the healthy and fit ones, speculating their bodies were best equipped to enjoy the pleasureable effects while minimizing the negative effects.

    And aren’t we presuming all along that going primal makes us more healthy and fit than the rest of the population?

    1. People who don’t have a problem with alcohol don’t count “3 weeks without booze – except for that one beer” among their accomplishments. I’m just saying! Da’ Nile ain’t just a river in Egypt. 😉

      1. Who says I’m claiming it as an “accomplishment”? It was simply to point out that I consume alcohol when and where *I* feel like it and when it is appropriate, not due to some biological or psychological need.

        Seems to me that despite not knowing me or my situation, you’ve already made your conclusion, and will simply label me “in denial” if I disagree. Sorry, but that’s passive-aggressive crap.

        1. You’re so right!! Drinking nazis are even worse than smoking nazis! If I go 30 days without sugar, and I’m keeping track of the days, does that mean I’m a diabetic? Fixedgear sounds like a puritan and you know what the definition of “puritan” is, dontcha? – a person with the haunting fear that somebody somewhere is having fun.

  47. Good article, I used to subscribe to the chug as much water as possible + a multi vitamin which does help a ton.

    But the other day I had an interesting experience. It was a weeknight, got some bad news and decided to get bombed, this was after a really intense workout.

    I used to be a supplement junkie so had a couple bins of taurine and glutamine and creatine lying around. I took this before boozing for post workout benefits. Proceeded to drink 12 bud heavy’s and then made my favorite concoction of bacon, ground beef fried in the fat and then egg fried in that fat. Topped with premium real cheese, some philly cream cheese, mustard and hot sauce. All in a lettuce wrap.

    The next day was the best I felt all week and on only 6 hours of sleep. I’m thinking it was the taurine mostly but maybe some stuff in my awesome (mostly) primal meal.

    1. That sounds like a totally awesome meal. I’m gonna have to try it out real soon now. (Well, the food at least. I’ll skip the 12 beers.)

      1. Ya, I eat that meal at least twice a week, i’m more addicted to that than I used to be to doritos =)

  48. Hit submit accidentally before I meant to,

    That was last week.

    Just last night we had a work happy hour, it was an IF day for me, so at 5pm the fast was over.

    All I had were some almonds at my desk before going to the happy hour, so I had a handful to help soak up some booze.

    I had a total of six beers last night, same kind – half of what I had the previous week. With the impaired judgement I proceeded to eat 4 slices of thin crust pizza before bed, got 7.5 hours of sleep.

    Woke up this morning feeling like absolute hell, couldn’t get out of bed, headache, and groggy, tired and cranky all day

    Kind of crazy

  49. Cucumbers contain most of the vitamins you need every day, just one cucumber contains Vitamin B1, Vitamin B2, Vitamin B3, Vitamin B5, Vitamin B6, Folic Acid, Vitamin C, Calcium, Iron, Magnesium, Phosphorus, Potassium and Zinc.

    2. Feeling tired in the afternoon, put down the caffeinated soda and pick up a cucumber. Cucumbers are a good source of B Vitamins and Carbohydrates that can provide that quick pick-me-up that can last for hours.
    Want to avoid a hangover or terrible headache? Eat a few cucumber slices before going to bed and wake up refreshed and headache free. Cucumbers contain enough sugar, B vitamins and electrolytes to replenish essential nutrients the body lost, keeping everything in equilibrium, avoiding both a hangover and headache!!

  50. This post makes me curious for a post on marijuana use and the effects of THC on immune function and other things. However, based on the fact that some readers are up in arms over a post on alcohol use, I can only imagine the reaction to a post on pot smoking…

  51. Hi Emily, I would also find such a post interesting. Unfortunately, the stuff is totally illegal where I am, so even if there were any benefits I would not be able to try it. I am very interested in knowing exactly why marijuana is supposed to be so bad for us when there are medical articles on the internet talking about its benefits. I am also pro-hemp items and and do not understand why our country (OZ) is so negative on people growing hemp crops for clothes, ropes etc (and the fibres are so useful for so many things) when hemp contains very little or no THC.

  52. This Pretoxx supplement Mark mentions, which is made in Newport Beach, according to its website…any affiliation with MDA? Just asking.

  53. Eveneing Primrose Oil – take 8 capsules prior to drinking – works a charm everytime.

  54. B Complex. You’re liver needs vitamin B to metabolize alcohol. Just like a lack of vitamin B alone can cause headaches, when your liver runs out of the stuff, guess what?

    Home brewers know of the advantage of a natural alcohol beverage that already has the anecdote in the form of B-rich brewers yeast already in the beverage.

    Was Grok a homebrewer? Maybe so…… 😀

  55. We’ve all been lied to thinking you HAVE TO drink to have a good time in social situations. It’s total BS. What about children?? You ever watch kids at a birthday party? Like 8 or 10 year olds… They all show up nervous and inhibited at first. But after a half hour or so they start to loosen up and enjoy socializing. And all without ever having a drink. Or what about the 8th grade dance?? An age that most teens weren’t drinking yet. At first everyone shows up socially inhibited, boys staying on one side of the room, girls on the other. But sure enough after an hour or so everyone is socializing and dancing, boys are mustering up the courage to talk to girls, etc. And all WITHOUT alcohol.

    You’re believing a LIE if you think you need booze to “have fun”. It’s so SAD that 90% of the adult population believes this. If NEEDING drink was the only consequence it would be bad enough. But do you not see the INSANITY of a post on a “healthy diet and lifestyle” blog telling you how to avoid hangovers that isn’t just – don’t drink?? I mean come on! It’s ridiculous isn’t it?? It’s the most unhealthy, un-primal UNNATURAL thing. There’s no ‘alcohol tree’ in nature. I mean if you’re going to abstain from grains because they are unfit for your body then SURELY you would abstain from booze, right?? “People drink. Let’s figure out how to manage this fact.” Bullshit. You’ve given up. By that logic then “People eat processed carbs. Let’s figure out how to manage this fact.” Know what I’m saying”?! This post is insanity.

    The “conventional wisdom” is wrong on this one. You DON’T need to drink to have a good time. You really don’t. I don’t say that as a bible-thumping goody-2-shoes who doesn’t have a good time. I say that as someone who was a former HEAVY drinker who now has a BETTER time “going out” but doing it all sober. I still go to bars, socialize with my friends, I meet girls, I dance I act like a fool! And I do it all sober. You don’t need it. Don’t believe the lie.

    If what I’m saying rings true read Allen Carr’s book “The easy way to stop drinking”. It’s not AA or rehab, it’s ENLIGHTENMENT. You won’t WANT to keep getting drunk after you finish the book. Even if that thought seems IMPOSSIBLE to you now. I’m telling you I went from 4 nights a week sloppy, near blackout drunk to totally sober. I’m not a teetotaler telling you you don’t need it, I’m a former believer of the lie who sees things differently now and KNOWS you don’t need it. At one point you thought you NEEDED “healthy whole grains” right?? It’s the same incorrect BELIEF that keeps you drinking. Change that belief and you won’t drink anymore. Read that book.

    1. Fixedgear, more power to you for battling alcohol and winning, but speak for yourself when you say people don’t need booze to have fun. Have you ever been to a Baptist wedding (i.e., no booze)? Horrible! Awkward! Boring! etc. etc. The ugly truth is – alcohol greases the skids and makes even the most objectionable bore tolerable. I quit drinking years ago (for various reasons), but I still miss it terribly. I no longer go to bars, parties, etc because it is NOT enjoyable without alcohol. As for the 8th grade dances – don’t know where you went to school, but when I was in 8th grade, somebody always had a flask, even at that age. There’s a REASON why alcohol is served at social gatherings. Millions of people agree with me that alcohol DOES greatly enhance social gatherings – which is why it’s such a huge industry.

  56. fixed gear: I don’t see anyone claiming that they “HAVE TO” drink. Some people choose to drink, whether for the enjoyable effects, or for the taste (alcohol is known in culinary circles as a “flavor facilitator”). By constantly repeating “need to drink”, you are buying in to another lie, that everyone who consumes alcohol considers it a “need”.

    One of my hobbies is homebrewing. I enjoy the craft of creating a beer just as some people enjoy creating a delicious meal. Am I simply perpetuating my and my friends’ “need” for alcohol? Doesn’t seem like it to me.

    As for there being “no ‘alcohol tree’ in nature”, you’re wrong. There is ample evidence that fallen fruit combined with yeast in the wild yields fermented fruits (with alcohol!) which animals readily consume. Did you read my comment about that at all?

    And as for “healthy diet and lifestyle”, I’ll quote another blog: “Moderate alcohol consumption improves insulin sensitivity, lowers triglyceride concentrations and improves glycemic control. Not only in healthy folks, but also in type 2 diabetics….
    studies have consistently shown that moderate drinkers live longer than non-drinkers. This can be mainly attributed to a lowered risk of cardiovascular disease. However, alcohol also contributes to a healthier and disease-free life by protecting against Alzheimer’s disease, metabolic syndrome, rheumatoid arthritis, the common cold, different types of cancers, depression and many other Western diseases.”

    It’s often said that the most loud and annoying anti-smoking people are former smokers; apparently former drinkers have an equivalent.

  57. Hi fixed gear. I have no “need” to drink as you put it. In fact, I only have about 1/2 glass of red wine on the odd occasion. I do it because I enjoy it. Because I enjoy it I can also find it relaxing. I also, like Ed, believe there are certain health benefits to a little red wine occasionally.
    My theory is that whether or not someone is prone to becoming dependent upon alcohol depends on the individual. Some people seem more susceptible to dependency than others. Almost like a dependency gene. I have also observed that it appears to be slightly genetic. I know people who have this problem whose one or more parents also had this problem. Not everyone has this problem. So not everyone who chooses to have a drink of alcohol actually feels “a need to drink alcohol”. Only a few people do.

  58. Avoid sugar while drinking. Anything like coke as a mixer is lethal. Jack Daniels and Coke may be popular but way too much sugar.

  59. I haven’t had a hangover in over a decade. I stopped drinking in Y2K. Best decision I ever made.

  60. Oops..

    I can’t believe no one has mentioned saunas! In college we would take a gallon of water into a really hot sauna and not come out until it was gone. Worked perfectly every time.

    I also used to drink a lot of water and a big glass of pickle juice with a multivitamin and some aspirin right before going to bed, and that seemed to work wonders as well.

    1. …I don’t wanna pickle, I just wanna ride on my motorsickle…

      I couldn’t imagine punishing myself in a sauna the next day. I think that when I was younger it was the dancing that used to help. When I went out I used to dance all night. I must have sweat all the alcohol out that way before I even went home to sleep. In those days I never had a hangover the next morning.

  61. Is anyone else having the OPPOSITE effect? I am in my mid-/late-20s now and, okay, did a TON of drinking and eating poorly in my early 20s. Now, with a super-cleaned up, I can enjoy a couple drinks, but I get buzzed much faster, like after two drinks (I’m a female, but not with a particularly low BMI or anything). Also, if I have more than two or three over the span of the occasional long night, I get a terrible hangover, worse than I used to get. I wonder if it’s diet/lifestyle-related — now I just feel the effects of junk more — or age?

  62. Speaking of ‘prickly pear,’ what’s the verdict there? Opuntia is being billed as a weight loss aid, because of its anti-inflammatory properties. Is there anything in that?

  63. this reminds me of a hangover potion i have; Faust’s potions. among the ingredients are N-Acetyl Cystine, Milk Thistle Extract, Griffonia Seed Extract, KCl, CaCl, Thiamine Hydrochloride,Cyanacobalamin, Pyroxidine Hydrochloride

    Familiar,no?

  64. Great information, especially as I prepare to attend a Thanksgiving day feast, my first since my own primal diet switch. I’ve also found that I don’t get hangovers the way I used to and have wondered how much I can attribute to a healthier liver. I don’t drink daily anymore but only socially. I drink a lot of homemade kombucha and make sure I get a big glass before and after an evening when I intend to be consuming alcohol. I was told it helps. Seems to.

  65. Huh. And here I’ve always thought hangovers were part of the fun.

    A minor inconvenience as compared to the old where’s my shoe/car/wallet/teeth trick.

  66. DRINK COFFEE????? Man, if you can keep down a cup of coffee, then you do NOT have a hangover. And you’re WRONG about the “hair of the dog.” That is the ONLY thing that will actually work, but only if you’re not
    at the point where you can keep NOTHING down. The trick is to drink the hair of the dog very, very slowly and then when you’re starting to feel human again, stop drinking.

  67. Interesting comments.

    I’ve been kind of primal for awhile now. Some days more than others.

    Somewhat recently I took a B12 before going to bed after drinking quite a bit. Downed with beer and sometimes water.

    So far, after numerous tries, no hang overs. [Funny thing is, Mrs. Paleo didn’t drink with me, yet she feels like she wakes with a hangover. Ha. Go figure?]

    Prior to this, while partially primal, if no B12, it was hangover city.

    The comments from some commentators about how alcohol was toxic and such were kind of funny. I mean, the former world’s oldest man (110?) said the secret to his longevity was due to cigarettes, wild wild women, and whiskey.

    I think he drank like a quart a day or something. So much for “toxic”, eh?

    I’ve heard lots of similar tales from very old People. You know, the ones who out lived the doctors that told them to cut down on drinking, smoking and eating cheese. I think of these People whenever some know-it-all-do-gooder on a high horse tries to browbeat me about drinking and smoking.

    Anyway, Thanks Mark, Primal is fantastic. If it wasn’t for you and Karen and Lew I’d never have avoided last Winter’s weight gain.

    Also, here’s a partially primal present for certain People who read this old post, seeing as how I can’t figure out how to make any money from it:
    Switching from drinking, to stinking socks, is a big stretch, but I’ll try not to gross anyone out. I’ve found that my skin reacts to the substances which make up the insoles of modern shoes and the result is a stand back and gag odor.

    Lots of People have this problem and try All kinds of gizmos, powders and other “replacement” insoles with no relief.

    A salesman convinced me (pre-primal) to try leather insoles,… it worked… for like three years now. Now my toes no longer repel People. Pulling my socks off is no different than taking off any other item of clothing.

    So until those finger toe shoes have leather insoles, I’m not trying them.

    I know there’s a ton of teenagers could use this advise as I was one once. And of course, adults too.

    I think a lot of People are picking up on this as I’ve seen a big uptick in the number of shoes offered for sale in my area which are all leather.

    Not to plug these guys or anything, but the insole that works for me is made by Ecco. I’d give about everything to have had these as a teenager. YMMV.

    One other thing, have you ever written about bad breath?

    I know someone with Perfect teeth, and even they get bad breath, even after brushing their teeth. What’s the best thing to eat to head that off?
    I wonder… when the Person with Perfect teeth tried the Atkins diet it was almost constant bad breath… there’s a connection? Again, I am so thankful for you all in the Primal movement. It really is like a breath of fresh air.

    1. Dr. Mercola advises against taking NAC as it could interfere with mercury toxicity, esp. if you still have mercury fillings. But perhaps not a problem with occasional NAC…

  68. I found it interesting that this article mentions the body’s inflammatory processes as the likely cause of hangover symptoms. I’d guess that since you’re primal, the lack of grain intake has reduced the baseline amount of inflammation that your body has to deal with, so it has an increased ability to deal with the inflammation caused by the process of breaking down ethanol.

  69. In my 20s I could basically swim in alcohol and have no noticeable day after side effect other than a parched mouth and need to clean it out with a Caesar. A tangy Bloody Mary for those south of the border. In my mid 30’s I noticed my tolerance to alcohol started to diminish. I’d get drunk perhaps a bit faster, and started getting headaches and hangover like symptoms the day after. My 40s and early 50’s have been a case of paying the piper the next day if I go full throttle the night before. I mean, I am basically incapacitated for 24 hours after a decent night of drinks. For me, that’s 10-15 pints of typically dark or red beers. Rarely hard liquor.

    I consider myself to be an infrequent drinker. Perhaps once every month or two will I have a decent night of drinking. Compared to 2-3 times a weekend in my youth.

    That’s said, i get pretty wasted if I drink too fast, and the next day I am just about zombie. Unable to get out of bes, eat, and can’t really sleep either. Essentially waiting to 5-6 pm to surface.

    I came across articles like this one on NAC about a year ago, almost to the day. I figured what the hell. I bought a cocktail of 600 mg NAC, vit C, vit B, and milk thistle supplements on Amazon. Cost me around $30 for what will likely last me a year. Well, I still have supply now. My first test was my neice’ wedding in Ontario last October. I knew I’d be drinking, so I put NAC to the test. I took one of each tablet about an hour before I went out. I took with me a supply of 3-4 more ‘hits’ take throughout the night. I simply took the same tablets every couple of hours throughout the night. I drank fairly liberally. Mostly red ale draft beers, but pretty sure I had a couple of shooters. Perhaps 12 drinks. Maybe more.

    To say I was pleased with my results the next day is an understatement. Typically I’d have been pretty much incapacitated as described above. Not this time. I still had a bit of a dull headache but nothing like as severe as before. Mouth was dry, and my body felt like I had put it to the test. Otherwise, I was functional, able to chit chat, get some food, and live my life. For me, a massive improvement from the alternative of laying in bed till 5 pm with the wife grumbling.

    My results in the past year have been more or less on par. I can’t recall the last time I had a monster hangover. Pretty sure there has been one, all the same, even with the NAC regimen. But otherwise NAC has worked well. My suggestion is that if your drink a moderate amount of beer like i do for a good time, then taking 3-4 NAC wiTh perhaps vit C and B will help curtail some if not all the hangover symptoms.

    I had a meal last night (Nov 25). I drank a moderate amount of beer. Not a lot, but enough that, in the past, would easily give me a decent headache and ruin my day after. I took my NAC pill regimen, and this morning I am going for a run and looking forward to breakfast. I know I had a night of drinks, and still a bit dehydrated, but otherwise, looking forward to the day with the wife.

    This is not bull, and I haven’t been paid to take the last hour of my life to write this. Simply me posture experience with NAC.