The fall semester of 2016 is almost upon us, and with it comes a fresh batch of eighteen-year-olds eager to leave their home, have awkward sex in their twin extra longs, and get drunkity drunk drunk with (almost) no repercussions. And while they toss back sex on the beaches and Mike’s Hards to their hearts’ content, they aren’t prepared for what’s waiting for them the next morning (or that night, if they guzzled enough sugary excuse for alcohol).
The painful, brutal, “I drank without any regard for my body or soul” hangover. Recently the Washington Post released an article outlining everything you could want to know about the not-so-fun side effects of drinking. And so for all of the new collegians (and the returning ones who could use a refresher) here are the all of the details about hangovers, how to avoid them, and what to do when you feel like your body turned on you after one too many shots of Fireball. Welcome to the big leagues.
- The only way to actually prevent a hangover is not to drink.
Thanks for the heads up, Mom.
- Ethanol is the ingredient that makes alcohol so damn great.
I’d like a glass of ethanol, thx.
- But it also suppresses the hormone that helps your body retain water.
This is why “breaking the seal” is such a big deal.
- In fact, for every ounce of alcohol you drink, you’ll have to pee eight times that amount.
Which also results in the start of many drunken girl best friendships.
- And peeing so much makes you dehydrated which makes you feel like shit the next morning.
It’s all starting to make sense.
- Ethanol also speeds up the ole digestive system.
If you feel weird shitting at a guy’s house, make sure to leave before morning, just sayin’.
- Plus, it makes you want to vomit.
Oh, Ethanol. Why do I love you so much when all you do is hurt me?
- Your liver breaks down ethanol into a compound called acetaldehyde. And acetaldehyde? It’s toxic AF.
Fuck you, acetaldehyde.
- It’s so toxic, in fact, that the International Agency for Research on Cancer says acetaldehyde should be classified a carcinogen. You know, something that causes cancer.
Acetaldehyde is the guy at the party who becomes an asshole when he’s drunk and then texts you the next day saying you deserve better and you’re like “yeah I know” but you keep going back to him anyway.
- High acetaldehyde levels lead to hot skin, elevated heart rate, a flushed face, low blood pressure, dry mouth, nausea, and a pounding headache.
Welp, I’ve definitely had high acetaldehyde levels every day of my sophomore year so…
- If you drink too fast, the enzymes that break down all of the bad shit won’t be able to keep up.
Get your shit together, enzymes.
- Alternating alcohol with water actually does help, though.
Your dorky RA was right on this one. Go figure.
- Scientists still aren’t actually sure what *exactly* causes hangovers.
You had one job, science. One job.
- But there is a group at Brown University called the international Alcohol Hangover Research Group that is studying all of this.
So is there room to join the club or…?
- Congeners (the extra shit that results from fermentation) make each alcohol distinctive, but they can also make hangovers worse.
Go home, congeners. You’re drunk.
- Dark alcohols have more congeners and therefore give you worse hangovers.
Looking at you, red wine.
- And yes, mixing alcohols (and congeners) make the hangover that much worse.
Anything before liquor, you’ve never been sicker (except every other Thirsty Thursday night).
- 25 percent of the population, doesn’t get hangovers. Like at all.
“I’ll take, Go Fuck Yourselves for $1000, Alex.”
- It’s harder for people from East Asia to break down acetaldehyde so their hangovers are much worse.
And you thought you had it bad.
- Hangovers cost $224 billion in lost productivity each year in the good ole US of A.
That’s a lot of Pedialyte.
- There are a lot of “cures” but none of them actually work.
Eggs, coffee, and cold showers can’t help you now.
- And the “hair of the dog” absolutely doesn’t help, no matter what you think.
You’re just making it worse. More fun, but worse.
- Once you have a hangover, nothing but time can cure it.
And complaining. Lots and lots of complaining.
When it all comes down to it, drink water, know your limit, and never ever schedule a class before 9 a.m. And mayyyyybe stock up on Ibuprofen. Between tailgates, Halloween, and socials, we’re all in for a rough semester..
[via Washington Post]
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