You can’t escape a hangover if you consume alcohol excessively, researchers have revealed in a new study presented at the ECNP conference in Amsterdam.
Immunity and prevention against hangovers are a figment of imagination say researchers as they reveal that there is no such thing as immunity against hangovers. Researchers have also denied that eating or drinking water after heavy drinking prevents a hangover.
An international group of scientists from Canada and Netherlands surveyed drinking habits of hundreds of students in a bid to better understand hangovers.
789 Canadian students took part in the study where they were asked to reveal details about their drinking in the previous month. They were asked to jot down the number of drinks the consumed, the timeframe in which the consumed those said number of drinks and the severity of their hangover.
The researchers, based on the information they had captured, calculated the estimated Blood Alcohol Concentration in those who experienced hangovers and those who didn’t. They found that four-fifths (79 per cent) of students who claimed that they didn’t experience hangovers had an estimated blood alcohol level of less than 0.10 per cent.
On this finding, lead author Dr Joris Verster, Utrecht University, said that there is a direct relationship between the amount of alcohol consumed and the likeliness of a hangover. So, if you drink more alcohol, the chances of you getting a hangover are more. Verster said that majority of students who had reported of never having a hangover were found to be drinking less, perhaps less than they themselves thought would lead to a hangover.
Researchers further refined their findings to look at a possible relationship between eating or drinking water after a heavy alcohol session and the possibility of evading a hangover. For this they questioned 826 Dutch students to find out about their latest heavy drinking session, and whether they had food or water after the alcohol.
449 students (54.4 per cent) who said they ate after drinking were asked to rate their their hangover (from absent to extreme) and based on the information collected, researchers found that hangover severity in this group was not very different from those who didn’t eat.
On this Verster said that though people who had food or drank plenty water after a heavy alcohol session showed a slight statistical improvement on how severe a hangover they had, the improvement isn’t significant enough to translate into a meaningful difference.
Verster said that from their findings, the best way to avoid a hangover is to drink less alcohol.
Researchers caution that their methodology of study was questionnaire-based and this means that their findings do not necessarily reflect the accurate picture; however, they do provide indicative results of the actual situation.
To eliminate the limitations of a questionnaire-based approach, researchers are looking to proceed with more controlled trials.