Why The F*** Is My Hangover So Bad

I wasn’t always healthy…in fact if you compared my diet to my fiance’s you would say I was unhealthy. However I am much more conscious about what goes into my body, and how what goes in my body makes me feel. All that to say…back in his day Tim could really drink…and when I say really, I mean his record is 1.5 liters (that is 2 standard size bottles) of 12 year old scotch in 3 hours, followed by a walking tour (yes I remember the tour) of downtown DC, and more drinking. And no….before you ask, my hangover the next day wasn’t that bad. I was dehydrated, but otherwise my hangover was relatively minor.

What is my secret? How did I do this, and how can you replicate it? Well 1. ‘Don’t try this at home’, and 2. It is really easy to replicate. Just take care of your liver. It is really that easy. Nothing in your body likes multi-tasking (that is why it is hard for you to change direction really fast while running), so don’t make your liver do more than one thing at once.

Great – But What Even Does My Liver Do?

So we all know, or at least those of us who took health class once, that our livers process toxins, and clean out our systems (tangent – your detox diet is not going to be better for you than taking care of your liver). Well our livers also have an anti-inflammatory skill:

“In addition to serving as an arena for a number of immune-mediated pathologic processes, the normal liver has continual direct involvement in adaptive (specific) immunobiology. Major facets of this involvement consist of (1) deletion of activated T cells that originate from inflammatory reactions at any site in the body (emphasis added)…”

– Parker, G. A., & Picut, C. A. (2005). Liver Immunobiology. Toxicologic Pathology, 33(1), 52–62.

What does that mean? Well great question – among other things, it means your liver helps flush out cells your body activated to fight inflammation. If that seems like a crazy thing for your body to do, remember, too much of a good thing is nearly always bad. Studies since 2002 have explored the role of these activated T cells in people with rheumatoid arthritis and other auto-immune diseases, and found that in those who had the worst symptoms, the T cell count was either too high, or too low. Too high of a count, and those T cells attacked healthy cells, creating more inflammation, while too low of a count and – you guessed it – inflammation could run rampant.

Researchers have found that a healthy liver is really good at regulating the amount of T cells in the body, and as such keeping the liver healthy is a critical part of ensuring the inevitable inflammation associated with aging doesn’t run rampant.   

The Even Shorter EXPLANATION

I know I know…this post was supposed to be about how to drink all night, and still be productive the next day. Here’s the short answer. Drink at least 10 times as much water as you drink in liquor, or liquor equivalent (1.5oz liquor = 1 beer = 1 glass wine), eat some kind of fatty food (avocado, eggs, pizza…etc) at least an hour before you start drinking, and don’t have ANY sugar from at least three hours prior to drinking until after you wake up the next day.

In my last post I talked about water and fat soluble compounds, and for the purposes of our anti-hangover miracle cure we need to talk about where things are processed in the body and what exactly is your hangover. In the case of alcohol, it processed in the liver, and a hangover is just a combination of your body still processing alcohol and being dehydrated.

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