The Science Behind Hangovers Is Terrible

The Science Behind Hangovers Is Terrible


Everyone has their own hacks for relieving the symptoms of a hangover, but there’s still no single hangover cure that’s proven to work.

Sure, people have asked tons of questions about what causes morning hangovers and how we can alleviate that pounding head, I-want-to-puke feeling, but apparently we just don’t have very good answers.

“The science behind hangovers is terrible,” Adam Rogers, a Wired editor and author of a new book “Proof: The Science Behind Booze, said in a “Top Line”television interview with ABC’s David Kerley and Yahoo’s Oliver Knox. “Most of the stuff that you got told the first day before your first night at college about how to avoid a hangover is just wrong or at least not proven.”

This includes the misconception that brown liquor is worse than clear liquor, Rogers said, as well as other things about how ethanol affects the brain.

An article from The Telegraph written last year had a similar conclusion: “Plenty of research has been done on what a hangover is, what causes it and what you can do about it, and the answers are pretty inconclusive. Studies of hormone levels, levels of dehydration, blood glucose, toxins etc, all seem to point in different directions.”

A hangover is “an inflammatory response,” Rogers said, and that can prompt some flu-like symptoms. But in the case of a hangover, the primary culprit is alcohol, not a virus.

In the interview, Rogers also talks about the popular hair-of-the-dog approach, where one consumes alcohol to help after a night of drinking too much alcohol. You’re probably already familiar with a class of drinks that he calls pick-me-ups, which were specially created at one point to cure a morning hangover. These elixirs include the bloody Mary, the mimosa, and something called a Corpse Reviver #2, a mix of gin, cointreau, lemon juice, and perond.

These drinks may be delicious and distracting, but Rogers doesn’t recommend downing them purely as way to help your hangover.


About bambooinnovator
Kee Koon Boon (“KB”) is the co-founder and director of HERO Investment Management which provides specialized fund management and investment advisory services to the ARCHEA Asia HERO Innovators Fund (, the only Asian SMID-cap tech-focused fund in the industry. KB is an internationally featured investor rooted in the principles of value investing for over a decade as a fund manager and analyst in the Asian capital markets who started his career at a boutique hedge fund in Singapore where he was with the firm since 2002 and was also part of the core investment committee in significantly outperforming the index in the 10-year-plus-old flagship Asian fund. He was also the portfolio manager for Asia-Pacific equities at Korea’s largest mutual fund company. Prior to setting up the H.E.R.O. Innovators Fund, KB was the Chief Investment Officer & CEO of a Singapore Registered Fund Management Company (RFMC) where he is responsible for listed Asian equity investments. KB had taught accounting at the Singapore Management University (SMU) as a faculty member and also pioneered the 15-week course on Accounting Fraud in Asia as an official module at SMU. KB remains grateful and honored to be invited by Singapore’s financial regulator Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) to present to their top management team about implementing a world’s first fact-based forward-looking fraud detection framework to bring about benefits for the capital markets in Singapore and for the public and investment community. KB also served the community in sharing his insights in writing articles about value investing and corporate governance in the media that include Business Times, Straits Times, Jakarta Post, Manual of Ideas, Investopedia, TedXWallStreet. He had also presented in top investment, banking and finance conferences in America, Italy, Sydney, Cape Town, HK, China. He has trained CEOs, entrepreneurs, CFOs, management executives in business strategy & business model innovation in Singapore, HK and China.

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