Everyone seems to have their own hangover ‘cure’, but if we’re really honest with ourselves, they’re mostly just placebos or a transparent way to justify day drinking the next morning. Now, thanks to researchers in Finland, there might finally be a legit, scientifically-tested way to reduce dreaded morning-after dustiness.
According to a new study by researchers from the University of Helsinki and the University of Eastern Finland, the amino acid L-cysteine could be the key to avoiding a post-alcoholic day of suffering.
The study looked at ways to reduce hangover symptoms including nausea, headache, stress and anxiety by giving a vitamin supplement with amino acid L-cysteine to a group of 19 men.
Randomised, double-blind and placebo-controlled, participants in the study were randomly given either a 600mg or 1200mg dose of L-cysteine, or a placebo. They then spent the night in a hotel conference room getting stuck into a cranberry juice and Koskenkorva mix (a Finnish grain alcohol) with 10 percent ABV. The amount of drinks given to each group member varied by body weight.
The next morning, the men were asked a series of questions about just exactly how rubbish they felt.
Those who received the higher dose of L-cysteine experienced less severe headaches and nausea, while those who took the 600mg dose suffered less from booze-induced stress and anxiety.
There was a third bonus, too. The amino acid seemed to decrease the desire to drink the next day, which could be extremely helpful for people struggling with alcohol addiction or dependency.
The study conclusion summarises: “L-cysteine would reduce the need of drinking the next day with no or less hangover symptoms: nausea, headache, stress and anxiety. Altogether, these effects of L-cysteine are unique and seem to have a future in preventing or alleviating these harmful symptoms as well as reducing the risk of alcohol addiction”.
While these results are super promising, further larger-scale testing would need to be undertaken.
Maybe this time with some women in the mix, hey.
L-cysteine is a semi-essential amino acid and one of the building blocks required for the synthesis of proteins. According to Science Direct, it’s considered semi-essential because your liver has the ability to create it from other amino acids, like methionine. It’s helpful with a range of biological functions.
You can find L-cysteine naturally in a range of protein-rich foods as well as in supplement form, but before you go ordering a kilo’s worth online, you best check with your doctor or health professional about any possible side effects, as it has been found to impact the effectiveness of other medications.
(Lead Image: Pexels / Inga Seliverstova)