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hacking hangover

This is a Guest Post from Jonathan at Limitless Mindset.

Tis' the season to raise our glasses with friends and family! The good news is that the resulting hangovers can be hacked.

Many biohackers choose to abstain from spirits all together but especially during the holidays, they are missing out on a lot of good times, unforgettable memories and festive fellowship with their loved ones. This article will present a holistic protocol for mitigating all the downsides of rowdy revelry so you can indulge in some drinking guilt-free and without hating yourself the morning after.

Skip the Pre-packaged "Hangover Cures"

hangover cures

Years ago I had a dubious career as a nightclub promoter, my job was to organize and host raucous parties at nightclubs. Several companies offering "hangover cures" sent me ample samples of their funny-tasting dissolving tablets and packets. I did quite a bit of drinking, I tried them all and they really didn't do much to mitigate the headache, sluggishness, acid-reflux and cognitive downgrade the morning after.

I suspect that a lot of these products don't contain high quality, bioactive individual ingredients or just rely on the placebo effect. Hacking a hangover requires a few supplements and vitamins, you'll want to get these individually from credible sources which ideally verify purity with a publicly published certificate of analysis.

Block the Acetaldehyde

block acetaldehyde

Crucially, you want to take some supplements that will block the alcohol from converting into poisonous Acetaldehyde. Acetaldehyde is the culprit to blame for much of the damage that alcohol does to our health; it causes cancer,  liver damage, fatigue, loss of intelligence (as you've certainly experienced after too many drinks) along with skin wrinkles (just go and look at the current Facebook photos of your old drinking friends if you want to see this!)

alcohol metabolism


You'll want to start your booze biohacking with N-Acetyl Cysteine (NAC), take 500 - 1000 milligrams BEFORE drinking.

Vitamin C - Is a notable poor man's boozing biohack (which even an elitist like myself uses). Vitamin C is ascorbic acid which helps your liver to metabolize the liquor and clear the toxins from the body. Take it before or while drinking, serious boozing biohackers will take one Vitamin C tablet with each drink.


Detoxify the Liver

glutathione detoxify

While you're relaxing and enjoying a drink, your liver is doing the dirty work of processing the booze and filtering out the worst of the toxins in it. You'll want to take some steps to fortify your liver and detox it.

Glutathione is the master antioxidant, and it's a smart idea to supplement it if you're going to be doing a little (or a lot of) drinking. In a sense, you always have a mini-hangover as your body is depleting Glutathione all the time but alcohol is especially costly of your Glutathione stores.

  • It's rocket-fuel for your liver function. From a 2017 clinical trial, Glutathione plays crucial roles in the detoxification and antioxidant systems of cells and has been used to treat acute poisoning and chronic liver diseases... 
  • It's a powerful intercellular antioxidant. Glutathione as a molecule is very charitable with its electrons, thus blocking the oxidizing free radicals which the booze introduces from their rape and pillaging of your biology.
  • It enhances immunity. As you may have experienced, alcohol retards immunity. If you've ever caught the flu or a cold in the chilly days following some holiday binge drinking you have only yourself to blame! Glutathione fortifies the immune system, from some German research The immune system works best if the lymphoid cells have a delicately balanced intermediate level of glutathione.
s-acetyl l-glutathione

Double Wood Supplements offers COA-verified pure S-Acetyl L-Glutathione, manufactured in the USA. Glutathione supplements are all the rage but most Glutathione is not highly orally bioavailable (nor is it cheap) so I suggest you choose the S-Acetyl version which is better absorbed. Double Wood's customers praise it highly as boozing biohack, Juan reported:

I put it to the test by consuming alcoholic beverages [to] the point of intoxication (in a safe monitored environment) and then immediately took two capsules of the Acetyl L-Glutathione. Surprisingly the next morning my hangover was dramatically reduced. I then repeated the test a week later with the same amount of alcohol without the supplement and my hangover was very bad. I did this 4 more times and every time the hangover was almost nonexistent with the supplement vs not taking it.

From a verified customer review, Works great for detox and hangovers, on Amazon

I take this with DHM when having a few cocktails. 1 of each before drinking, 1 of each before bed, and 1 of each first thing in the AM. Hangovers are either completely prevented or very short lived! 

Take 100-300 milligrams during or after drinking.

Colostrum - Taking your Glutathione hacking to the next level demands chelation of the heavy metal iron in the gut. Chelation comes from the Latin word, Chela which means Claw, so chelators claw stubborn toxins out of your body. Chelating supplements and foods are a smart idea for any biohacker, but Colostrum contains Lacto-Theron, a quintessential Glutathione cofactor.

Alpha Lipoic Acid - Is another formidable antioxidant that supports Glutathione. The ALA supplements should be refrigerated. Take 400 milligrams before drinking.

Clean up the Toxins

clean up toxins

What makes you hungover is the toxins in the alcohol that hang around in your body wreaking havoc. There's a couple of supplements you'll want to take after drinking that have a molecular affinity for toxins, they capture toxins so they can be washed out of your bodies.

dihydromyricetin

One of the more pharmacologically interesting and effective hangover hacks I've tried is Dihydromyricetin (DHM), it's been widely studied (+200 papers on Pubmed). It has the curious effect of sobering you up when 300 - 900 milligrams is taken after a few drinks.

It was evaluated against a placebo in a 2015 clinical trial of sixty adults with nonalcoholic fatty liver disease

We conclude that dihydromyricetin supplementation improves glucose and lipid metabolism as well as various biochemical parameters in patients with nonalcoholic fatty liver disease, and the therapeutic effects of dihydromyricetin are likely attributable to improved insulin resistance and decreases in the serum levels of tumor necrosis...

What people are reporting...

Mary S.
effective at reducing intoxication and preventing hangover.
Mr D.
Only thing Ive had reduce the heavy hangover after a night of [indulging].
D.
It really works for me. I wake up feeling ready to take on the day. Hangovers get worse as you get older... These have been a lifesaver.
Staci
I am known for terrible hangovers and praying to the porcelain Gods most of the morning, sometimes the whole day. Never a fun experience. After reading reviews on this hangover miracle, I decided to try it out myself. It definitely works!
Mitch U. - Don't Drink Without It
As I've gotten older, my hangovers have gotten much worse. After the equivalent of 2 drinks, I'll wake up feeling at least a little crummy. As an avid consumer of craft beers, that can sometimes mean that 1 beer is actually closer to 3-4. I've now started taking DHM as a way to help make that 3-4 drinks make me feel more like how 1-2 really should the next morning. I'll also take it whenever we have a bottle share, which can turn a completely useless next day into merely an uncomfortable one.

 

DHM is a great idea for Asians, who may suffer from Asian Flush while drinking...

I have used other products for hangover relief, but they don't help with Asian Flush. This condition affects 20-25% of Asians from southern regions. I inherited it from my father, who came from Guangdong, China. The most obvious symptom is that my face turns bright red after only 2 sips of beer, but it also gives me headaches while drinking, and it increases my risk of stomach/esophageal cancer and peptic ulcers due to a genetic inability to efficiently metabolize alcohol... I learned about DHM from a study which found that DHM specifically alleviates this condition. I've been using this product for 10 months, and it has worked very well for me.
Reported Ronny on Amazon
activated charcoalActivated Charcoal hacks your hangover by cleaning up toxins lingering in your system. Imagine the carbon of the activated charcoal as an accordion, it's a stretchy molecule that envelops and captures toxins. Importantly, you want to take the Activated Charcoal a few hours after the other supplements - taking it with them may disrupt their absorption and function. Typically, I'll take the other supplements (DHM, NAC or Glutathione) before or while drinking and then a few hours later before going to sleep I'll take a tablet or two of charcoal. Funnily, chewing up charcoal tablets will turn your mouth black but, don't worry, it won't stain your teeth. Just wash down the tablets with water.

If you can afford to splurge a little, Bulletproof offers fancy coconut charcoal - yes, coconuts are so healthy that even consuming burned coconut shells is good for you. If not, you can buy cheap activated charcoal at almost any pharmacy.

Charcoal is a historical biohack, since time immemorial people have been consuming charcoal to improve digestion.

Protect Your DNA

Shockingly (sarcasm!) alcohol is not good for your DNA. The toxins in booze throw a wrench into the process of cellular genesis, thus alcoholism is a causal factor in various cancers of the mouth, throat, liver, colon, rectum, and breasts.  B-Vitamins protect your DNA from everything from air pollution to toxins and oxidants.

Biohacking Boozing Protocol

  1. Before drinking take 500 - 1000 milligrams of NAC 
  2. Take 400 milligrams of ALA before drinking
  3. Before or while drinking take some Vitamin C tablets
  4. While or after drinking take 100 - 300 milligrams of Glutathione
  5. After drinking, take 300 mg of Dihydromyricetin for every 2 drinks you've had over the course of the evening.
  6. After drinking, a few hours after taking the other supplements, take a tablet or two of Activated Charcoal 
  7. The next day stay hydrated and take some B Vitamins

Do the hangover hacks need to be taken in exactly this order? Not necessarily. Alcohol and hangovers are notoriously unpredictable, so you'll want to do some A/B testing. Try taking the Glutathione, NAC or DHM in isolation and see how that compares with another night out (eating and drinking the same stuff) stacking those supplements. Try just using Activated Charcoal, try taking it before, during and after drinking and see how that affects the occurrence of a hangover. If you're drinking with some regularity there's no reason not to do some experimentation and self-monitoring to figure out what works for you.

Choose your poison...

What you drink has a lot to do with how you'll feel the next morning. In Search of a Cure for the Dreaded Hangover published in Scientific American explains that alcohol’s congeners...

...include acetaldehyde itself as well as acetone, fusel oil, furfural, methanol's metabolites, polyphenols, histamines, esters, tannins, amines and amides, among others... congeners increased hangover severity, with people feeling worse after bourbon. Bourbon whiskey has 37 times the congeners as vodka because bourbon ages in oak barrels, leaching out various molecules.

The darker liquors contain more congeners. So avoid brandy, tequila, whiskey, dark beer, red wine and especially bourbon. Drink the lighter stuff, white rum, white wine, clear tequila, vodka, and gin. If you love wine, you'll want organic, biodynamic wine in your glass which is offered by FitVine Wine and Dry Farm Wines, both based in California.

So drinking triple-distilled vodka is your best bet. For those who don't mind dropping some coin, Chopin Vodka is the top-ranked organic potato vodka, I dare you to sip some of this smooth stuff and not feel limitless!

Everclear, surprisingly, is a good option for your boozing, if you want to minimize toxin intake and the corresponding hangover. As its name suggests it's a highly filtered liquor that clear of the toxins that most liquor is rife with according to ethical hedonist and pro-biohacker Thomas DeLauer.

For the elite biohacking beer drinkers out there, you'll want to start drinking Groot or Gruit beer. The vast majority of the tasty beers that you can find refrigerated in a liquor store near you are made from fermented hops, as Mark Sloan explains in the video below, hops has a concerning estrogenic effect. Contrary to the message of millions of beer ads you've seen, beer, hormonally, makes you less manly.

Groot beer is a heritage European-style beer made of fermented testosterone promoting herbs as opposed to hops. Reportedly, it tastes amazing, enhances the libido and cognition making you just a bit wittier and verbose while imbibing. I'd love to try it but it's hard to find in stores, you'll likely need to order it from an online beer store.

Biohacking Your... Skin?

Since the Acetaldehyde in alcohol is bad for your skin, it's advisable to take some additional steps to care for your skin. Eat raw coconut, take the Adaptogen Schisandra along with Collagen supporting supplements. If you want to take your skin hacking to the next level (affordably) you'll want to use EXOMITIN® which is infused with the innovative mitochondrial antioxidant SKQ1.

A few other boozing lifehacks...

  • Sniff twice, sip once - The slower you drink the less you drink and the less hungover you'll be. My lifehack for this is to raise my drink to my face and sniff my drink twice, for every time I take a swig. Those around you will rarely notice you're not sniffing and not sipping.
  • Drink the good stuff - The cheap stuff often tastes like stale pond water and contains more toxins. Spend a little more to drink the stuff you'll really enjoy. It costing more will (hopefully) motivate you to drink less.
  • Sleep hack
  • Intermittent sobriety - Try taking 30 or 60 days off booze; when you take some extended time off booze you break the dependency your neurobiology has on the stuff. I don't consider myself an alcoholic, I very rarely get drunk, but I'll often have a single drink with dinner 4-6 nights a week. If I'm honest with myself I do develop a bit of a dependency - when I enjoy a drink at dinner I'm less mindful about managing my stress with daily meditation and exercise - which is good to break from time with a month or two of intermittent sobriety. When I did 100 Days of Ethical Hedonism in South America's #1 Vice City I discovered that staying sober for a couple of months sharpens your social skills and trains you to master your mindset; to draw state from within as opposed to relying on booze to be socially confident.
  • Non-alcoholic adult beverages - Try non-alcoholic beer, some non-alcoholic beers taste great. It's still a hoppy sugar avalanche but if you don't want to look like a total dork at a party it's a good option. Elite non-boozers opt for aesthetically bottled adult beverages, you'll look like a real cool cat drinking premium glass bottled or sparkling water (San Pellegrino, Voss, Perrier, etc).

Cheers! To your health!

 

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