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How to Cure a Hangover on New Year's: The Chemistry of Drinking Too Much (VIDEO)

First Posted: Dec 31, 2015 09:37 AM EST
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If you drink, you're likely to have a drink this New Year's Eve-or New Year's Day as the clock strikes midnight. But for those that have one too many, New Year's Day promises to be filled with headaches and hangovers. But what actually causes a hangover? We've taken a closer look at what exactly causes this phenomenon.

When you drink alcohol, your liver breaks down alcohol with two enzymes. The first of these is ADH, which breaks down ethanol to acetaldehyde. The next is ALDH, which then breaks down acetaldehyde into acetate, which is then further broken down to carbon dioxide and water.

Having too much acetaldehyde in your system, though, can cause your body to feel, well, rather lousy. It's been associated with cognitive impairment, memory loss, dry mouth, tiredness, and other rundown feelings.

This isn't all that alcohol does, though. It has the ability to inhibit the hormone vasopressin, which determines how much water your kidneys can hold. This can cause dehydration, associated with dizziness and headaches.

So what can you do to limit these symptoms? Remember to drink lots of water (about one glass per alcoholic drink), and also eat eggs. Eggs actually have a high concentration of an amino acid called L-cysteine, which helps your body break down excess acetaldehyde to get rid of some symptoms.

This New Year's Eve, try not to overindulge. If you do, though, keep these tips in mind; you may be far less miserable in the morning on New Year's Day if you do.

Want to learn more? Check out the video below, courtesy of YouTube.

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