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article imageDrinking without the dreaded hangover

By W. Mark Dendy     Nov 14, 2013 in Lifestyle
It seems as though there is always a new way to get high. The three main means are – pop a pill, smoke a joint, or take a drink. Man in all his wisdom seeks new ways to experiment with loosening of the mind, releasing the creativity, or easing the pain.
Each method has its own downside. With drinking, comes the dreaded hangover - sometimes with just a little, always when in excess.
In Helsinki, people pour vodka over hot coals in a sauna as they sit and inhale the vapors. OC Weekly reported that is how former restaurant and lounge owner Julie Palmer came up with the idea of the Vaportini – a glass apparatus that allows the partaker to inhale the vaporized alcohol through a straw without the calories. The effects, as reported by the OC Weekly “are felt immediately.”
This method of alcohol consumption gets rid of the dreaded calories but not the awful hangover.
Alcohol dehydrates the consumer which results in the nauseous, dry mouth, and headache, all symptoms of a hangover.
The effect alcohol has on the brain is relaxing, calming and a lowering of inhibitions. Identified as the Gaba function -the neurotransmitter pathway gamma aminobutyric acid is alcohol's target - the key to avoiding the hangover.
Two methods are in the works - producing a substance to counteract the hangover and producing an alcohol substitute that gives the same effects of alcohol while eliminating the hangover. According to David Nutt reports "There are a range of Gaba subsystems that can be targeted by selective drugs."
Nutt has identified five compounds that affect GABA systems and has high hopes (pun intended) that he can develop a cocktail that tastes great and has the same effect of alcohol without the hangover. Nutt is also thinking that using the knowledge of the GABA pathways, an antidote could also be developed that would allow someone to drive home shortly after drinking heavily at a party.
There are naysayers however to Nutt's approach. The Independent reported that "alcohol substitutes has been going on since around 2004, and Nutt has been talking up his own research since at least 2009."
So while Nutt may be on to something, hangover free booze may still be a long way off, there are some proven methods to limit the disastrous morning after effects of alcohol consumption - eat something before drinking, known as the "sponge effect" or take a couple of tablespoons of olive oil to coat your stomach and reduce the absorption of the alcohol.
Still, the best way – don't drink to much!
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