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The Science of Hangovers

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So what exactly is it that makes a hangover suck so hard? Turns out there are three things interacting to make you feel miserable. Hank's got the details in this episode of SciShow. (Having déjà vu? This video was accidentally uploaded earlier in the week, prior to its scheduled posting date, and without a description or annotations. We removed that video and have uploaded this video, which is the same as that one, but with those assets. Sorry for any confusion!) Like SciShow? Want to help support us, and also get things to put on your walls, cover your torso and hold your liquids? Check out our awesome products over at DFTBA Records: http://dftba.com/artist/52/SciShow -- Looking for SciShow elsewhere on the internet? Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/scishow Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/scishow Tumblr: http://scishow.tumblr.com SOURCES http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/hangovers/DS00649 http://www.nytimes.com/2011/12/29/fashion/new-products-to-treat-hangovers.html?_r=0 http://www.scientificamerican.com/article.cfm?id=why-do-hangovers-occur http://urbanlegends.about.com/gi/o.htm?zi=1/XJ&zTi=1&sdn=urbanlegends&cdn=newsissues&tm=443&f=20&su=p504.6.342.ip_&tt=2&bt=1&bts=10&zu=http%3A//www.bbc.co.uk/dna/h2g2/alabaster/A103140 http://science.howstuffworks.com/life/human-biology/hangover.htm http://www.popsci.com/science/article/2012-05/fyi-can-drinking-moonshine-really-make-me-go-blind http://pubs.niaaa.nih.gov/publications/aa55.htm http://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2012/09/does-tequila-make-us-crazy/309058/
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Text Comments (2324)
GoWorld9 (29 days ago)
watching drunkk lel(;
From my days before I gave up booze, drugs and animal products... there's nothing like grease to cure a hangover... Insanely greasy kebab or a hot curry always does the trick. A good cure is also working in a fast food restaurant... An XL Bacon Mushroom Double Swiss with extra cheese, lettuce, onion and breakfast bacon... fries and hash browns... And maybe a few chicken nuggets ... And a large milkshake. Waste was always inexplicably high when I worked on Sundays... And I seemed to have a lot more paperwork to do in the office.🤔
Exodus fivesixfivesix (1 month ago)
First hangover in years. Damn Russian imperial stout was good, but at 9% following a day of 100 degree heat. Should have had bud light.
Some link sources are gone
Ape X (1 month ago)
Thats like saying the one way to not get a STI is not have sex
Lisa Pope (2 months ago)
Why is he yelling?
Gwen Cookie-Moanster (2 months ago)
K. Finished the video. Now, I'm gonna go puke
The Sweez (3 months ago)
Since drinking alcoholic beverages is just WILLINGLY CONSUMING POISON (a special kind called "alcohol" - you might have heard of it) I have to wonder why people drink it at all. I mean, even in moderation, drinking poison is still drinking poison. By the way, I have never had alcohol within one foot of my face as of this point in my life - and I hope to keep it that way for the rest of eternity - for the obvious reason of I DON'T HATE MYSELF.
I AM (3 months ago)
over 21 lol. Not in Britain lol
Saturated Fat (3 months ago)
I heard if you eat turmeric before drinking, it can prevent a hangover.
yuh yuh (5 months ago)
Drink water and eat, allot, before you pass out
Hex Isme (6 months ago)
Metabolism also has a huge impact on your hangovers/proclivity to be hung over. I never really got hangovers in my early 20's but my metabolism has slowed down a bit since then and now I get them if I'm not careful.
RMAGGR (6 months ago)
I'm currently recovering from a 22-hour new year's drinking binge. Don't judge. Some cultures bring in the new year with family and wishes for the future. Mine does it by drinking until we don't know even know what a year is. I thought understanding my misery would help. It didn't. Back to trying to sleep for literally an entire day.
outlaws9295 (6 months ago)
I've never had a hangover in my life. The only "bad" experience I've had with alcohol is when I downed 3 shots of Jäger and two shots of Fireball in less than an hour, and then went to bed. When I woke up, I just felt weird. I wasn't sick like I had a hangover; it was sort of like my life was put on autopilot and I was simply watching everything happen. I went to my college classes that day, and my brain was highly functional. I understood everything that was going on in my classes, I just didn't feel like I was actually me.
Justin Ruiz (6 months ago)
Just drink some lightly salted water to shrink the hangovers. You will get hydrated and regain some of the sodium.
Joey Garsone (7 months ago)
Drink all you want just have water in between drinks works for me everytime
Garrett Powell (8 months ago)
I get a hangover whenever I take Advil PM to help me sleep...which I hardly ever use anymore, for that reason.
Nerd Nite (8 months ago)
Here's a fun talk about the science of hangovers. https://youtu.be/_wIk7xCzILE
Toomas Ojamaa (8 months ago)
hangover? that's a poor people deseas.
Gameing Gammon (8 months ago)
Vitamine c helps a lot!
Mister Asmodeus (8 months ago)
I'll do almost anything to avoid a hangover. "Don't drink so much." *Almost* anything.
0:59 I was wondering why i found that euphemism so disturbing and then I remembered. Hank, please don't call your genitals by your brother's name, it's creepy.
apostle333 (9 months ago)
I'm not sure I understand why the brain can suddenly feel pain, when it has never been able to before. It processes pain. It does't feel it.
Furyflame2 (10 months ago)
"But how... does the *S U C C* work?" Hank 2013
Nicolai Veliki (10 months ago)
To live is to suffer, ergo to suffer is to live ;)
Jonas (11 months ago)
Fazfan 1987 (11 months ago)
Dude, bananas aren't salty.
mezza205 (1 year ago)
good advice.. slurp
Connor Baker (1 year ago)
When I was hungover at 16, I did not have a headache; I only had a nasty, queasy stomach.
J G (1 year ago)
I dont get Hangovers if I drink Very heavy I might throw up and wake up with a dry mouth but never woke up with a head ache.
endeye (1 year ago)
0:28 but how? does the succ work??
Tom Nunya (1 year ago)
Just get your medic to give you an IV while you suck down a few liters of O2.
Brandon Rossi (1 year ago)
I hate alcohol. I had a phase when I liked it but I hate it. Hate it. Hate it.
Ziv Klein (1 year ago)
Eaziest E (1 year ago)
What I'd like to know is how come, after a party and sleeping 10-12 hours, I can still puke up the alcohol and party food? Doesn't digestion take 6-8 hours? Does alcohol slow this process down? If so, how/why?
deepmoni hazarika (1 year ago)
i don't remember getting hangover although i drink regularly (but not frequently).
TheGurumash (1 year ago)
I drink a V8, a glass of water, and go to sleep... while drunk, to avoid hangovers. And that works... for me. Your mileage may vary.
Will Murphy (1 year ago)
watching this makes you realise how bad alcohol is for you. shit.
Thumbs up if you came here because you're hungover as balls
fireheart058 (1 year ago)
A nice salty banana
Robert Jarman (4 months ago)
fireheart058 r/nocontext.
Mike jones (1 year ago)
my worst hangover is every day. but I'm not a alcoholic. .. plus I smoke crack and a little weed.
Axioanarchist (1 year ago)
Best hangover remedy: don't drink.
Firebrand (1 year ago)
+Axioanarchist It's a fair philosophical point... you'll never miss what you don't experience. I suppose that's like someone commenting on politics even though they don't vote. Or saying you don't like dancing because you've never heard music. Those who don't part-take, don't really have a credible opinion to share.
Axioanarchist (1 year ago)
You're free to disagree, but I've gone 31 years without a drop and don't plan on changing that ever. I have no interest in alcohol or any of the effects it causes. More to the point, it _is_ the only way to guarantee you never get a hangover. It's impossible to have the consequences if you never partake of the instigator.
Firebrand (1 year ago)
No... that's like not living for fear of death. All you need is a balance in all things you do.
demi xem (1 year ago)
Dnews covered this. sprite helps a bit
Kevin Hulshof (1 year ago)
In 🇩🇪 you can drink at 16 ( im 15 😩)
linguaphile (1 year ago)
I puked for the first time yesterday! Peer pressure is fun.
Sam Luna (2 months ago)
You puked for the first time?
Joe Thomas (1 year ago)
ikr i missed 2 days school because it was a mental night
If Doctor Who has taught me one thing, it's that bananas are a good source of potassium. Water + bananas = hangover cure.
DemocracyOfHypocrisy (2 years ago)
Drink a lot of water after you're done drinking before you sleep. Then after you wake up if you feel sick just throw up everything you can then drink electrolyte drinks like Gatorade and keep drinking water. Basically stay well hydrated and replenish your electrolytes. Take some Excedrin with caffeine and a potassium vitamin.
4realballer2008 (2 years ago)
see, I came here to try to figure out why I don't get hangovers
The Smartest Idiot (5 months ago)
Firebrand my day is 57 and he has never gotten a hangover im 22 and i havent either , we've gone to bar crawls and he wake me up after
Firebrand (1 year ago)
All youths say that... it's just a matter of time!
Avalen (1 year ago)
Some googling revealed it's a fifth of a gallon or 750ml. If that's beer then, yeah you don't drink enough. If that's liquor, that would be like 18 shots and if you don't get a hangover from that you're either a freak of nature, a staunch alcoholic or you blacked out for long enough that the hangover passed while you were out lol.
t scanz snagaz (1 year ago)
+4realballer2008 what's a fifth?
Katia Lei (2 years ago)
skyler tooley (2 years ago)
blue powerade and weed will make a hangover much, much more tolerable.
UGH Hangover..... Never again......
Cyanakrli (2 years ago)
don't go to sleep while drunk. instead stay awake for a couple hours, drink water, maybe watch a movie and eat soomething. before you go to bed. or drink until you puke and pass out, no hangover, just hungry and thirsty.
Kiel Wilkinson (2 years ago)
Weed, pizza and a movie works perfectly for me :)
Gold Dee (2 years ago)
New research says it is actually alcohol withdrawal. Alcohol suppress brain function and as it wears off, you get them back causing the hangover which is why drinking another beer makes it not hurt anymore.
kyuremking18 (2 years ago)
Scientists discovered a pear from Korea that actually can cure a hangover in about 5 minutes. It's some compound in the juice. I didn't get many details on the topic.
Daniel Manning (2 years ago)
Pedialyte, that's all you need.
RoleplayHumor (2 years ago)
Drinking water works for me. That is, the night of drinking after I'm done.
Sam Luna (2 months ago)
Rob knows what’s up.
Robert Jarman (4 months ago)
RoleplayHumor Might not hurt to actually have a sports drink instead, water on its own won't replace sodium, potassium, and other minerals. This is more of a problem if you are one to consume ecstasy, although alcohol hangovers also benefit from this.
Cinderbloom (2 years ago)
I just don't get hangovers. Yaaaaay.
Sheldon Robertson (2 years ago)
Actual (effective) hangover mitigation regimen; 325 mg of aspirin, 200 mg of caffeine (I prefer pills but coffee works too), a half liter of water (or slightly more If you prefer a sports drink), and 350 ml of fruit puree, always containing banana, along with whatever other fruits you prefer. Mixing the fruit with yoghurt into a smoothie isn't a bad idea. Store bought smoothies save your ears the sound of the blender after waking up from your bender. Pickles and their juice also help but they don't taste very good with the fruit. A sports drink gives you the vitamins and salts and goes better with the smoothie.
Peter Griffin (2 years ago)
+Sheldon Robertson I cut aspirin, caffeine; use 2 liters water and avoid the sound but eating the fruits in their delicate natural form.. also water is substituted by tea. :P
Rock Star (2 years ago)
happy i dont drink
james mildenstein (2 years ago)
Kind of watching this in a bad hungover state haha please bring me water
NathanWilson (2 years ago)
I can vouch for Vegemite, that stuff works wonders
Lorand Deka (2 years ago)
Know your limit, stay in it. Common sense will win over any folk remedy any day.
Cash Pina (2 years ago)
DJR (2 years ago)
When you are finished drinking and ready to crash out, drink a shit-tonne of water, at least a liter or more. This will at least diminish your hangover a whole bunch. To make it better still, have something to eat as well
Patrick Moynihan (1 year ago)
DJR I peed the bed ..........nice one.
DJR (2 years ago)
+Lineerenkiwi sleep is the best! good luck with you repeat
Line Broe (2 years ago)
+DJR haha thanks after i ate breakfast i felt better :) especially after some more sleep - btw reonsidering to repeat last nights succes :P
DJR (2 years ago)
+Lineerenkiwi Drinking lots of alcohol, then lots of water then eating as well can do that sometimes
AngryLeaf (2 years ago)
IIRC, alcohol drains you of B vitamins among all other vitamins. Vitamin B12, B6 always help to assure no symptoms in the morning at all.
skyler tooley (2 years ago)
by that logic you SHOULD drink energy drinks with alcohol. go for it.
Sup3rman1c (2 years ago)
+Ryan no
Patrick Horgan (2 years ago)
I have read that the effect of coffee as a diuretic is not held up to scientific investigation and that in fact it does not cause dehydration. Have you guys looked into this?
Cyanakrli (2 years ago)
+Patrick Horgan thats strange. because my father has been drinking coffee for as long as i can remember. yet he needs his coffee in the morning because he can't take a shit without it.
Patrick Horgan (2 years ago)
That matches up with what I read. People that normally drink coffee show no diuretic effect but in the first week or so of drinking coffee there is a mild effect.
Nathan Jones (2 years ago)
+Patrick Horgan the more you drink of it over time, the less of a diuretic effect it has, but someone who isn't used to caffeine will have a larger diuretic effect, but even in this case it's not a huge amount.
kristijan ahcin (2 years ago)
not if you know how to drink =) hehehee but if getting drunk is the point...well....
Andrew Byrne (2 years ago)
A bottle of diet coke and two packets of cheese and onion crisps and I'm as right as a trivet!! Although I drink feck all anymore to be honest...
A nimation (2 years ago)
Can you recover from drinking Alcohol or is the damage permanent?
Kerry Hales (2 years ago)
+A nimation Only if you drink enough to cause permanent damage.
gabriel celaya (2 years ago)
I'm new to dis channel I just subscribe
gabriel celaya (2 years ago)
wow your a nred in to science I don't under stand all the big words you used
Sergey Demidko (2 years ago)
I know very simple cure, but that's to PREVENT a hangover simply vitamin C, you need to take it during the party or at least before you go sleep You can safely take 1000mg One young scientist told me this little secret. Of course eating and drinking water helps, but Im strongly suggesting you to try vitamin C next time :)
Peter Griffin (2 years ago)
+Sergey Demidko Or you end up with similar results like drinking too much from a Vitamin C overdose, including lovely kidney stones
heyguysitshaley (2 years ago)
Some studies have shown that certain properties of what we know of as Sprite actually help metabolize acetaldehyde into acetate. ALDH is the enzyme responsible for turning acetaldehyde into acetate (which actually has some health benefits). Most importantly, the interaction between Sprite and ALDH reduces the amount of acetaldehyde in your system and helps relieve some of those crappy hangover symptoms! Another related fun fact, some people actually have altered versions of ALDH, rendering it ineffective and therefore unable to break down acetaldehyde. This results in alcohol intolerance with allergy-like symptoms.
SIGHahNYDE (2 years ago)
two words... saline IV. though I would not suggest doing it yourself while shitfaced. get your emt drinking buddy to do it for you.
Stickman Zed (2 years ago)
Everytime I've gotten drunk with the exception of one time has resulted in no hangover. Except where I passed out in a park after throwing up for an hour.
Kaige Kibe (2 years ago)
I have, not one, not two, but THREE hangover cures!!! 1. For every drink you have at the party/bar/road trip/gas station shop etc., take a half litre of water....then resort to your poison of choice.....then water again.....This actions will keep you hydrated and you will not get so drunk that you pass out 2. If you somehow found yourself unable to drink alcohol and wash it down with water, then before you sleep, have one last wee then chug two litres of water....then pass out. You will wake up the following morning/afternoon relatively OK 3. If you didn't follow/ forgot to follow steps 1 or 2, and you woke up with the worst hangover in history, then chug a litre of water that is saturated with glucose. In 30 mins your hangover is gone (mostly!)
Martin Lindo (2 years ago)
I would love to hear the explanation of why some people don't get hangovers because I'll drink just as much as anyone and they'll get hangovers while I'll be fine.
VertigoFrost (2 years ago)
Soda Water works the best.
Eric Vickery (2 years ago)
lots of food and water before you go face down in bathroom
Dark Wolf DevGaming (2 years ago)
I god damn hate hangover :/
Midnight Sun (3 years ago)
no coffee is disgusting
Midnight Sun (2 years ago)
+skyler tooley cream and sugar does not mask the bitter
skyler tooley (2 years ago)
cream no sugar, no its not
Ascdren (3 years ago)
and then you have people like me.... never had a hang over, no matter how much they drink.
I sureNOTsure (10 months ago)
Ascdren dude exactly what I was hoping to get an answer for. I've been blackout projectile vomiting drunk 15-20 then just really drunk is furthest I've taken it since then (26) and still I've never had a hangover. I guess I feel something the next day... but it's nothing really. Just tired.
Kathryn Hawkins (1 year ago)
Germany, drink at 16 years old
Christian Amour (1 year ago)
In Australia we can drink at 18
Emmit underwood (1 year ago)
21 lol I live in Canada I can drink when I'm 19
Mohammed Noor (1 year ago)
i fucking know right like what the hell i pass out and blackout but no hangover lol
Kezajaws (3 years ago)
I always find that a glass of water for every pint of alcohol helps. Since you're stopping the dehydration from happening in the first place, the only real drawback is that you have to pee more.
WitchHatsFTW (2 years ago)
+Cute Anime Person Alcohol doesn't stop the body from absorbing water in the first place, it stops RE-absorption, which is the absorption of filtered fluid BACK into the bloodstream after your kidneys are done filtering it. The more water you drink, the less dehydrated you get since even though you aren't reabsorbing the water, you've still got plenty of it in your system.
Night Angel (3 years ago)
+Kezajaws Except for when the alcohol kicks in and keeps your body from absorbing much of any of the water.
Popcorn McGee (3 years ago)
But I don't have a "John"...I have a Nancy.
EJConrad (3 years ago)
Badonka Donkz (3 years ago)
Vomiting before going to sleep always helps me.
J.J. Shank (2 years ago)
+Badonka Donkz And it makes you look *very* classy!
Ezra Alexander (3 years ago)
Nob ody (3 years ago)
Theres too much blood in my alcohol system
Al Credeur (11 months ago)
Now take me drunk....I'm home....lmao
Matthew XxX (11 months ago)
Hey occifer... i swear to drunk im not god
Krishna Pillai (1 year ago)
He he. I am seriously laughing out loud
AlkoliseratGeni (3 years ago)
The best way to get a hangover to stop, drink more.. It makes you drunk again or something.. it works, it really works..
PcOutlet Derqui (3 years ago)
To avoid the hangover, keep drinking!!
Ethan Dunn (7 days ago)
PcOutlet Derqui Just keep drinking, just keep drinking, just keep drinking, drinking, drinking, drinking, what do we do? We drink drink...
Fazfan 1987 (11 months ago)
PcOutlet Derqui No, it's the complete opposite, you dimwit.
Someone Else (2 years ago)
+PcOutlet Derqui If I ever stop drinking, I think the collective hangover might literally kill me.
inertial-reel (3 years ago)
Rule of thumb where I come from Is a 1:1 volume ratio of alcoholic drink to water. This system is in place for beer though. if you're drinking stronger stuff then more water for each drink
Zeldagigafan (3 years ago)
I started feeling some of these the same day I had a margarita for lunch. Not to self, tell them to go light on the tequila next time. Of course this was over by dinner time so I don't know what it was, or even if it can be considered a hangover.
Scotty894 (3 years ago)
This clip has just hurt my head more than a hangover...cheers..
Meghan Johnston (3 years ago)
Why does our skin get itchy when we are healing?
Cyanakrli (2 years ago)
+Meghan Johnston there are dead skin cells covering most of your body, an injury usually exposes the living skin cells underneath, making it easier for your nerves to feel the surrounding air, this causes that burnng sensation you get especially from wounds that aren't bleeding. as the wound heals the burning slowly weakens until it becomes an itch and then disapeares.
CrunkKrow (3 years ago)
WATER WATER AND MORE WATER...The only cure I have found
CrunkKrow (1 year ago)
+Taxtro Whatever blend of water you prefer is fine, As long as its that good old fashion H2o
z121231211 (3 years ago)
I agree, 500mL of water for every 20mL pure ethanol or so pretty much guarantees no hangover for me. Though it must be consumed before you pass out. So drink lots of water while you're drinking and you'll be OK.
WezaQ (3 years ago)
I love being heavily resistant to the side effects of dehydration, and therefore hangovers. Get drunk till memory loss, pass out, wake up & feel fine, laugh at my friends' hangovers. =)
Miskei Feri (3 years ago)
Drinking a lot of water (like 1.5-2 liters) before going to sleep helps with the next day's hangover caused by dehydration. (Although it may cause some trouble in the night if you're totally knocked out..)
Matthew wilkes (3 years ago)
This may sound strange but strawberry ice cream takes away the hangover almost instantly for me after a long night of drinking. Big glass of water, small bowl of ice cream and hour nap wake up feeling much better
TheRonster9319 (3 years ago)
I'm pretty sure it's mostly the water and the sleeping
Project:Void (3 years ago)
placebo effect maybe?
kurt borrowman (3 years ago)
well after you get off of work, DO ALOT OF EXERCISE!!!!! Then after the exercise, DRINK ALOT!!! YOU will not be hungover. And because excessive exercise creates lost of endorphin's, and THUS you feel Great no matter what you fucking do 
kurt borrowman (3 years ago)
lots  of

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