‘Drinking water doesn’t prevent a hangover’ says Dutch researcher

The Dutch have once again, won the award for pointing out the obvious.  The University of Utrecht have conducted a study into the aftereffects of drinking and how to cure/avoid the dreaded hangover; their ultimate advice – simply drink less alcohol. Well I never! Thanks for that great advice!

Well all like to google tips and advice, the internet is, after all, the font of all knowledge so my interest was sparked by this study. I’ll save you the hassle of reading it.

hangovers_o_1698933Firstly, they claim that drinking water does not cure a hangover. Well to start with; a hangover is not an illness to be ‘cured’, its your body reacting to the alcohol that has an adverse effect on your organs which is self-inflicted, nobody forced you to take those shots! Secondly a big part of any hangover is dry mouth and a headache, both of which are symptoms of dehydration. Alcohol causes the body to suppress its production of the antidiuretic hormone (the hormone required by the body to absorb water) hence the need to pee is more frequent. Ever had the ‘break the seal’ discussion?! The more we pee the more water we loose, the more we drink the more we need to pee. If we throw in the chance of vomiting that’s made up of water too. And so the cycle continues and dehydration kicks in. Guess what cures the dehydration which causes the hangover …WATER!

They study itself is flawed in so many ways too.  A varied number of participants (789 Canadians) suggests they will have a varied opinion of their own ‘tolerances’ to alcohol, the perception of hangovers severity can differ considerably from person to person – on a scale of 1-10, one persons rating of a ‘3’ could be another persons ‘6’. What was drunk can have varied affects too, for example red wine instantly gives me a headache whereas white wine I’m good with, shots of vodka compared with a long drink with tonic can also have varying results. There are just too many variables.


The fun bit comes in their conclusion:

“It’s therefore very important to answer simple questions like, ‘How do you avoid a hangover?’

“Whilst further research is needed, this new research tells us that the answer is simple – drink less.” – BBC

So low and behold after all of that the advice is simple – avoid a hangover by drinking less. They haven’t really discovered anything at all have they. Water does help, it may not ‘cure’ but it does help. If it weren’t for the hangovers we wouldn’t be prompted to reenacting the script of “I’m never drinking again!” or the stomach turning moment you log on to Facebook the morning after to see what you’ve been tagged in – I’d say that was punishment enough!



Here are my tips for avoiding or at least easing that shit-like state you can find yourself in after drinking:

  1. Drink water alongside the alcohol, make the cold stuff every other one or sip water alongside. Yes you may need to pee a little more but its clean and its pure so drink it. Plus us ladies have our best chats whilst using the facilities.
  2. Have alcohol when eating. If you drink alongside a meal your body processes everything at once, as your body digests the food it releases its water content into the body.
  3. Have a relatively large glass of water before going to sleep. It take a least a pint. If you down it like a fresher you may see that and the continues of your evening make a reappearance in the bowl of the toilet so drink constantly but slowly.
  4. Stay drunk! (jk obvs!)
  5. Bacon. Bacon cures anything. And tea. Drink tea too!
Maria Smith
Born and raised in England Maria is a Dutch obsessive. Not just in love with the windmills and tulips her passion for all things Orange has spanned over 10 years. Proud feminist and campaigner, Maria works in UK politics whilst dreaming about eventually moving to the Netherlands.



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