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Distilled Down

Dehydration

Common misconception: Dehydration is the primary cause of hangovers.

Dalia Steichen

July 6, 2020

KEY TAKEAWAYS

We’ve seen thousands of misconceptions about hangovers come through our social media comments. A lot of them go a little something like this:

“Hangovers are caused by dehydration. Just drink water.”

The reality is that it’s never as cut and dry as this blanket statement. While it’s important to drink water during and after consuming alcohol, drinking water will not prevent those root causes of why you don't feel great the next day.

Dehydration isn’t actually the primary cause. It’s not even the secondary cause. Dehydration is the tertiary cause of those next-day effects. So, what actually are the root causes? 🤔

01 – GABAa Rebound (or short-term alcohol withdrawal)

Most people intuitively know that this is the main culprit. If you’ve ever had a big night of drinking and wake up feeling like you got ran over ,  what is the easiest way to start immediately feeling better? It’s the “hair of the dog” — drinking more alcohol the following day as a way to quell this withdrawal.

This method is so widespread and well-known that there is a drink for it typically consumed in the morning — the Bloody Mary.

It’s true: drinking more alcohol the following day works wonders. All of a sudden, the effects start to dull, and you begin to feel better. This is all great — until you start withdrawing from that alcohol (and drinking for the rest of your life is a terrible strategy). So, in the end, there’s no escaping the withdrawal — you’re simply delaying it.

Here's how GABAa rebound works.

When you first drink alcohol and it enters your bloodstream, it eventually reaches your brain and its GABAa receptors. This is what triggers alcohol’s positive effects (i.e. relaxed, brave – aka “liquid courage”, friendlier). But, when you’re done drinking and alcohol leaves your system, your GABAa receptors go into rebound, i.e, withdrawal, causing adverse effects. The DHM in Restore binds to the same receptors as alcohol binds to (the GABAa receptor), reducing GABAa rebound, and ultimately the time and relative level of discomfort the next day.

Why it’s more effective than “hair of the dog”

Drinking more alcohol the next morning temporarily reduces the GABAa rebound that you are experiencing from the day before. While effective for a moment, the strategy fails once the alcohol starts wearing off. Then it becomes a slippery slope—either keep drinking or bite the bullet and deal with it. The longer you put off dealing with it, the greater the balance is going to be and the more it’s going to hurt. Rather than reintroducing alcohol into your system, Cheers is more effective and neutralizes effects that simulate the “hair of the dog.”

02 – Acetaldehyde Exposure (your body's ability to metabolize alcohol)

To clear alcohol from your bloodstream, your body must first convert alcohol into acetaldehyde, which is roughly 20x more toxic than alcohol itself. Then, enzymes called acetaldehyde dehydrogenase (ALDH) turn acetaldehyde into acetate, which is harmless. After acetaldehyde becomes acetate, it passes harmlessly out of your body. Unfortunately, the liver can only turn acetaldehyde into acetate so fast; your body can process up to 1 drink’s worth of acetaldehyde per hour, on average. The DHM in Restore reduces the amount and time you’re exposed to acetaldehyde following alcohol consumption, by helping your liver increase your acetaldehyde metabolism.

03 – Dehydration

Like we mentioned above, dehydration is the tertiary cause of hangovers. Alcohol is a diuretic, which leads to a loss of both water and electrolytes. This manifests itself in a number of negative effects, such as dry mouth, fatigue, and thirst. More plainly put, dehydration only causes dehydration symptoms. Our Hydrate formula has a precise amount of glucose and electrolytes to transport water across the intestinal membrane into the bloodstream. This ultimately means that you will absorb significantly more water per ounce consumed, at a faster rate.

References

About Cheers

Cheers is the leading alcohol-related health brand focused on developing products that support your liver and help you feel great the next day. As a student at Princeton, Cheers’ founder Brooks Powell discovered the potential advantage of incorporating the natural plant extract Dihydromyricetin (DHM) into an after-alcohol consumption regimen and began working with his professors to make products that addressed the unique challenges of alcohol-related health. . Since its official launch in 2017, Cheers has sold more than 13 million doses  to over 300 thousand customers. The research-backed line of products includes three versions of supplemental pills and powders – Restore, Hydrate and Protect. Cheers is now releasing read-to-drink versions of their products—starting with Cheers Restore. Each product is equipped to meet different health needs such as rehydration, liver support, and acetaldehyde exposure. Cheers places an equal emphasis on the responsibility and health aspects of its mission and vision. The brand’s mission is bringing people together by promoting fun, responsible, and health-conscious alcohol consumption. The vision is a world where everyone can enjoy alcohol throughout a long, healthy, and happy lifetime. For more information, visit cheershealth.com or join the social conversation at @cheershealth.

Get to the root cause.