EVER SINCE the invention of alcohol, people have been drinking too much and have tried to find ways to get sober quickly. Although sobering up techniques vary greatly according to individual taste, widely believed in methods still exist. This raises a question: Do these remedies actually help you get sober? The Yonsei Annals seeks to examine and evaluate which beliefs are validated by scientific research. So, let’s see. How do you get a drunk skunk Sober?
Busting myths about sobering up
* Myth Number One: Eating a lot before drinking relieves a hangover? TRUE
Although some think that eating will simply dilute the volume of the alcohol, eating substantially helps to cure a hangover in a different way. Although food will not directly absorb and weaken the potency of alcohol in the stomach, it works to slow the process of toxins entering the blood stream. So, eating simple grain foods such as toast, cereals, or rice is recommended. Aside from slowing down the absorption rate, a healthy meal includes protein. Protein is proven to be helpful for speeding up the metabolism and it helps your body system to process the alcohol faster than the usual rate. This characteristic alone will shorten the time period needed to make you feel better.
* Myth Number Two: Greasy food protects the stomach? FALSE
Many Yonseians grab a McMorning sandwich or hamburger to get sober, as greasy foods are claimed to coat the stomach and so to help people feel less nauseous. However, this claim is not scientifically supported. Depending on its nutritional value, greasy food may help the sobering up process similarly to how eating substantially helps detoxification. However, without a doubt, greasy food alone will not either alleviate nausea or a hangover. Yet, when psychological factors such as the placebo effect are taken into account, different methods may work differently for people; so, this method might make you feel better. Instead of eating greasy foods, which are both high in calories and unhealthy, consuming a well-balanced meal before drinking will not only be beneficial for your diet but also expedite the sobering up process.
* Myth Number Three: Caffeinated drinks sober you up? FALSE
While many choose a morning coffee, green tea, or another caffeinated drink as their choice of sobering up technique, caffeine does not actually reduce the effects of alcohol. Rather, due to the influx of two different types of stimulant, the body could possibly be overworked. Although caffeine does not reduce the level of alcohol in your bloodstream, because it is a stimulant, a caffeinated drink will sharpen up the mind and restore your focus. As a result, consuming caffeinated drinks like Bakhas or Hot Six can make you feel as if you are sober; but, scientifically, a morning coffee does not lower your alcohol level.
* Myth Number Four: Water heightens sobriety? TRUE
One of the great ironies about consuming alcohol is that the more you drink, the more likely you are to become dehydrated. As the major reason for dizziness after waking up is fluid lost in the brain, dehydration is what causes most hangover symptoms. So, drinking water is a good cure for the morning hangover. For a better recovery, taking a B-vitamin complex with tea is suggested because this revitalizes the body’s system and cleanses the blood. Moreover, since water assists the kidneys and liver to excrete alcohol, slaking the body’s thirst will help to accomplish recovery. Likewise, drinking as much water as possible is both a healthy and smart way to get sober.
* Myth Number Five: Orange juice and sweets help you get sober? TRUE
Although Greek Mythology recounts that Dionysus gifted wine exclusively to humanity, human beings are not the only creatures that know how to drink alcoholic beverages. Surprisingly, bats also get drunk by consuming wine-like drinks that ferment inside ripened fruits. Knowing that these cocktails are a big part of their staple diet, bats look for a specific type of fruit sugar, called fructose, to reduce the effects of a hangover. To test the credentials behind bats’ habitual instinct, Ben-Gurion University of the Negev, located in Israel, administered breath tests. Interestingly, the alcohol levels of bats indeed dropped faster when they consumed fructose rather than sucrose or glucose. So, borrowing from bats’ wisdom, we now know that foods rich in fructose, including orange juice and honey, help one to sober up faster.
Sobering up 101: Essentials to combat alcohol
* Early Defense Measures:
Before going to a bar, early defense measures can be taken to prevent a hangover. You can take preventative pills (or drinks like Morning Care), eat food to slow down the alcohol absorption rate, or drink lots of water to get ready to combat intoxication.
Although it may seem illogical, exercise is a great way to get sober. It helps you to become alert and awake by pumping blood to relaxed parts of the body. It can also help you regain control and make you less shaky. As a disclaimer, it is important to emphasize that even though physical exercise helps to expedite the sobering up process, there is no actual method to become no longer drunk. None of these methods will take away stumbling speech, none will make you legally sober enough to drive, or to do other activities any sooner than the recommended hour per drink.
* Willingness to get sober:
Mental attitude is also an important and effective part of sobering up techniques. It may sound strange, but clearing one’s mind through meditation and a strong willingness to become sober can be an effective device. As the old saying goes, a man can do all things if he but wills them.
* * *
Sobering up is a natural physical process that the body goes through after alcohol consumption. Though these methods can be effective in helping drunk people to think or move better, none of these will help someone get sober enough to the point of normal wellness. Knowing this, rest, perhaps, is the best cure for anyone who has drunk too much. As time is a panacea for many illnesses, if you have an hour to spare, lying down and taking a nap will give the body time to detoxify. Whether alcohol can be joyous or deadly depends on how you control your consumption levels. So, the ultimate decision maker is you. Will you be a pleasant person at the bar or be drunk as a skunk?
* Quick and easy sobering up in the morning recipes.
- Dried Pollack soup (Boogeo-gook)
Ingredients: 1. 1.5 oz dried pollack (boogeo) torn into strips, 1/2 sliced medium onion, 2 chopped green onions, 1/3 sliced medium radish, 1 lightly beaten egg, 1 tablespoon sesame oil, 1 teaspoon salt, 6 cups water
1- Soak dried Pollack in water for 20 to 30 minutes.
2- Pour 6 cups of water and turn the heat on to high.
3- Add sesame oil, Pollack slices and radish then stir constantly for about a minute.
4- Add onions and green onions, bring to a boil, reduce heat, and simmer for about 10-15 minutes until the fish releases its flavor and the soup gets milky.
5- Pour in an egg, stirring gently so the egg doesn't get lumpy and season with salt.