Going out tonight? Try this scientifically proven hangover cure.
We all have our hangover routine—chug Pedialyte, eat greasy food, take some Advil, drink some more alcohol ... Well, now it seems that we can ditch those homegrown methods for something scientifically proven.
A group of researchers from the University of Helsinki and the University of Eastern Finland studied 19 men who spent their Friday nights in a hotel conference room drinking a combination of cranberry juice and grain alcohol called Koskenkorva. The researchers gave each participant a concoction of alcohol based on his body weight (i.e., A 165-lb. man was given nine servings of alcohol) and made sure they were “clearly intoxicated people, but no one was falling down drunk.”
The participants were also given a placebo, a pill with 600 mg of the amino acid L-cysteine, or a pill with 1,200 mg of L-cysteine. They were then asked to report their hangover symptoms the next day.
According to the results, participants in the group that received the 1,200 mg of L-cysteine reported fewer headaches and felt less nauseated, and those that took the 600 mg pill reported feeling less anxious.
“L-cysteine would reduce the need of drinking the next day with no or less hangover symptoms: nausea, headache, stress and anxiety," the study found. "Altogether, these effects of L-cysteine are unique and seem to have a future in preventing or alleviating these harmful symptoms as well as reducing the risk of alcohol addiction."
The study did have some flaws, though. It had a small sample size, and the researchers stated that this is because some of the study’s original participants became so unwell that they couldn’t complete their sessions, while some were such pro drinkers that they never got drunk enough to get a hangover.
"Some subjects, on the other hand, did not have the patience to stop drinking when the study's official drink sessions came to an end, but instead continued to drink more at the hotel bar," University of Helsinki researcher Markus Metsälä said. "They also had to be excluded from the study."
It is also important to note that the study was partially underwritten by Catapult Cat Oy, a Finnish company that sells L-cysteine tablets. The scientific community will have to do some more tests and research to see if they can create the same results as this study.
But What Is L-Cysteine?
L-cysteine is an amino acid naturally found in our bodies. It can be found in many protein-rich foods and is also sold as a dietary supplement. The amino acid provides many health benefits and is a natural treatment for cardiovascular diseases, chronic bronchitis, diabetes, flu, inflammation, inflammatory bowel disease, and osteoarthritis. It can also prevent colon cancer, increase sports performance, and stimulate detox.
You can find L-cysteine in several foods including dairy, meat, eggs, nuts, seeds, and vegetables. Some foods that are particularly high in cysteine are pork chops, beef, chicken breast, tuna, lentils, oatmeal, eggs, low-fat yogurt, sunflower seeds, and swiss cheese.
So, what do you think? Have you eaten some of these foods and felt less hungover? Let us know about your experiences in the comments!