After many years of downing a Mountain Dew and two Ibuprofen in the morning, science has finally proven me right. Researchers at Thomas Jefferson University in Philadelphia have concluded that a mixture of caffeine and painkillers may be the best way to get rid of that pesky hangover, reports New Scientist. The scientists found that the caffeine in coffee and anti-inflammatory ingredients in aspirin and other painkillers had a neutralizing effect against the after-effects of ethanol (pure alcohol).
To come to this conclusion, the research team lead by Professor Michael Oshinsky gave headache-prone rats small amounts of ethanol to induce hangover-like symptoms. 4-6 hours after the rats were given the ethanol, they each began to exhibit symptoms of a headache, one of which is that the skin around their eyes becomes sensitive to touch. He then gave some of the rats caffeine and anti-inflammatory drugs. He found that the combination of the two blocked acetate (a byproduct of ethanol) and relieved the headaches.
Many have argued against drinking coffee because it was believed that dehydration is a main cause of hangovers. Not so, argues Oshinsky. The rats in the study were fully hydrated and still developed hangover-like symptoms. Therefore, adding coffee to the mix may not dehydrate you as much as you think.
If you decide to give coffee and aspirin or Ibuprofen a try, take them about four hours after you drink, says Oshinsky.
What hangover cures work for you? Many times, I’ll replace caffeine with a lot of water and sleep, but the painkillers seem to help. Of course, the best cure for a hangover is not drinking in the first place, but ah well.