Hangovers still plague society to this day.
Even with the internet and a slew of helpful information and medical facts – it seems that the big, bad, hangover from drinking alcohol is not curable.
Or is it?
Hangover – Article at a glance:
Don’t have time to scan all the text? Here is an article overview – along with links. We do recommend you read the whole thing and watch our video, though.
1. Introduction: Making strides
2. Typical hangover remedies never work, right?
3. Gatorade is a start, but never good enough. Why?
4. Looking into electrolytes
5. Are depleted electrolytes the problem?
6. Sidenote: Are “recommended daily allowances” of vitamins too low?
7. Our experiment with electrolyte supplementation
8. Sidenote 2: Sodium / Salt – not the “bad guy” you thought!
9. Self-experimentation trumps what you might read
10. Which is why you should doubt everything until you try
11. Conclusion: We think it’s the electrolytes, and will fine-tune
12. Have you had similar experiences? Please share!
1. Intro: We have made HUGE strides at almost preventing hangovers!
In today’s NJroute22.com VLOG – we share some information regarding our own personal “lab experiments.”
This article does not constitute medical advice, it is just our own individual experience. Seek the consultation of your own providers for that kind of information. This is just for “entertainment purposes only.”
In a nutshell, we believe that the “advice” that has been exchanged over the decades has been only partially correct. Let’s just say it’s all about the electrolytes. In particular the right amount of electrolytes!
2. Common advice for hangovers include…
We’ve heard countless advice ourselves over the years, including, but not limited to:
- Hydration. Drink lots of water!
- Water in-between drinks
- Food “soaks up” the alcohol
- Vitamins, Gatorade, etc.
We feel that the common advice always given is “sort of” right. The actions are okay – but we’ve found they’re FAR from being sufficient enough.
In other words – they fall far short of alleviating the suffering.
Or another way of saying is, “the dosage is TOO LOW.”
Let me explain further.
3. Gatorade is a clue
A lot of people I’ve known used Gatorade or other sports drinks as their self-proclaimed cure for a hangover. But it never really worked.
That doesn’t mean that augmenting depleted electrolytes isn’t important.
Just because Gatorade never solved your hangover, doesn’t mean you should abandon that path. It was a good start, but hardly mustered a dent in the hangover pain.
One, two, or even FIVE Gatorades before bed and upon waking don’t do enough. Each Gatorade has only 1% of the RDA for the two electrolytes (sodium, potassium) it includes.
4. We started looking more into proper electrolytes
We’ve enjoyed our adult beverages regularly a few days a week for many years.
Some mornings were worse than others, as you’d expect. Depending on the quantity of alcohol as well as the basic remedy of hydration (water). If you “pass out” or fail to consume at least some other fluids, your next morning will be much worse.
But say you hydrated prolifically – and yet still woke up with a massive hangover? Or why some days are worse than others, with no real change in your habits?
Something is missing from the puzzle, no?
So we had this idea recently, especially regarding electrolytes.
We began experimenting by supplementing most of the basic electrolytes either during our evening drinks – or right before bed.
There are other electrolytes, including phosphate (phosphorus) and chloride – which we have not experimented with, nor researched extensively at this point. A recent check led us to believe that they weren’t necessary based on our food consumption and physical status. But we may change our mind as we learn more.
5. Our Theory – depleted electrolytes IS the hangover
Before we continue – I’m beginning to believe that it’s the electrolytes, or rather the LACK of a store of electrolytes in your body that cause most uneasy feelings.
In other words – an electrolyte deficiency or imbalance that causes the body to feel “out of whack.” The “Hangover” that everyone dreads.
We just didn’t know (and still aren’t 100% sure) what deficiency or imbalance was causing the icky feelings. So that is why the experiment was in order.
But before we share our observations…
6. Sidenote: Are “RDA’s” (recommended daily allowances) grossly understated?
We’re fascinated by the supplement world. It’s a multi-billion-dollar industry.
A “pill for every woe” almost!
But everyone is still sick, limping, and otherwise miserable, right?
Don’t get me started about the pharmaceutical industry and their “pill for every symptom” situation as well.
We’ve stumbled upon countless instances of doctors, professionals, and many end-users who’ve suggested that most recommended doses of anything “good,” is profoundly WAY TOO LOW.
This includes popular supplements like Vitamin D, for instance. Which has been touted as one of the most miraculous ones out there. You get tons of Vitamin D from the sun, but almost all commercially-available sunscreen blocks out almost all of it! And while the suggested daily dosage is 400 IU, many alternative health practitioners suggest 10,000 IU or even much higher, as high as 50,000 IU a day! Why the disparity?
Same goes with many other supplements – along with dire warnings and scary conditions if you take too much. Such as Potassium – which most pills are “capped” at 99mg. Because of some so-called bad thing that can happen if you take too much. Meanwhile, one measly avocado has nearly 1500mg of potassium. You don’t see the FDA issuing warnings at Mexican restaurants do you? Something smells fishy – as if they don’t want people to be up on their Potassium intake.
It’s as if they want to make their billions while giving you good things, but so little of them – that they have almost a negligible effect.
Something to ponder as you pop your pills every day with little to no impact on your life.
7. How we made our discovery regarding proper electrolytes
So for the longest time – we were quite prolific regarding our “fluid intake” (i.e., water) every night we consumed alcohol.
But it didn’t seem to have any long-term effect regarding the next day. It was hit or miss. So that led us to believe that something was missing. Water was not the end-all, be-all solution to preventing hangovers.
So a few weeks ago, while pouring another drink – I decided to start “doubling up” on my daily electrolyte supplements. While drinking, and/or right before sleep. This included the additional water throughout the night.
I did this a few times over the previous several weeks. And we noticed something interesting.
The mornings after I consciously added additional electrolytes – we really didn’t get a hangover. In fact, we felt quite chipper and in good spirits and health. Clear minded as well. There was no denying that our change had a noticeable effect.
That’s when the trend started making itself more clear.
The electrolyte supplementation had to be working. So we are continuing our experimentation to find cause/effect – or at the very least – a strong correlation – and eventually causation.
Our little experiment leads us to believe we’re onto something.
For now – we’re leaning towards Sodium and Potassium being the primary helpers, with Magnesium right behind. (Note that there is a lot of confusion regarding magnesium – how it’s chelated (bonded), and effectiveness (i.e., body absorption). Magnesium deficiency seems to be a big problem in America – and it’s something we’re working on understanding better (via reading as well as more self-experimentation – i.e., “lab rat” personal trials).
8. Sidenote 2: Sodium has a bad rap
As another side – we’ve mentioned the negative association with sodium – and a book called salt your way to health. Its primary focus was on the profound differences between ordinary “table salt” and unrefined sea salt. How they’re distinctly different – while “tasting” the same. It’s amazing. One is acidic, while the other is alkaline. One is devoid of any nutritional value, while the other is packed with over 80 trace minerals.
And most commercially-available food has the “ordinary” salt – which is literally bad for you.
Some foods do specifically contain sea salt instead – and you should pay attention to the labels.
But we have been regularly just putting a small lump of sea salt in our palm and licking it a couple of times a day. You can tell your body just feels better. The fear and hype about salt and sodium (an essential electrolyte) are off-base.
Read that salt book if you want to learn more. It’s rather thin and repetitive – but it sort of has to be – in order to drive the point home.
9. Self-experimentation is key
One important takeaway from this, which is applicable to almost anything else in life:
Check the results yourself. In other words – experiment and replicate if you can. Confirm or debunk. Just don’t forget to have patience, and ensure a quality trial.
Reading something that makes claims is never enough. Especially since there are millions of “claims,” and equal numbers of claims to the contrary!
Just recall the “Food Pyramid.” Look at all the obese people around who followed that advice. That is why we are suspicious of the RDA guidelines as well. Just because it was some kind of so-called “official” doctrine – NEVER means it’s 100% true. Or even 1% true.
About the only thing that is true about any claim or official rules – is that someone benefits. Cui bono?
10. Always doubt what you read – or even what your friends, family, and acquaintances say!
Lastly – there are countless sources of “information” online. Some of them are well-written, as well as truly compelling. They make believers out of a lot of people.
In fact – it seems that more and more people I encounter, believe most of what they see online, because of the simple fact it existed online.
As a result – you get a LOT of “know-it-alls” who think because they read some article or “study” (more on that in the future) that claims or states one thing or another – that it has to be the truth.
All while never even trying to confirm or dispute it.
Before you trust or parrot ANYTHING you read online – test their information first, if you can.
Think of all the “get rich quick schemes,” or “quick weight-loss plans” that have come and gone over the decades. Or more realistic – the BS they peddle on garbage TV stations and other mainstream media outlets. The only people getting rich are those peddling nonsense. Everyone else is just getting fatter, sicker, and dumber.
11. Conclusion: We believe it’s the electrolytes – will fine-tune our results
We really believe we figured it out. It’s electrolytes – but MUCH MORE of them than anyone has previously suggested.
We’re going to work this theory out over the next six to 12 months. See if we can hone in on a plan or system that is as close to fool-proof as possible.
It may take longer, who knows. I may work on isolating individual electrolytes to see what the effect is. Try my hardest to keep the experimental conditions as similar as possible. But we’re onto something – if we can purposely improve our overall feeling the day after drinking.
12. Similar experiences?
If anyone has had similar experiences or can share their tips – please let us know. Also – there is no doubt in our mind that we haven’t even scratched the surface in terms of the “research” we can still do on this – and what other people (both ordinary as well as professional scientists) have said.
However – we strive to use our N=1 model (ourselves). And once we can replicate our results – we’ll share more, and hope that we find N=2, N-3, N=10, N=1000 and so on.
Enjoy your beverages carefully!