It's Christmas party season and so last week the London Honey Company team headed off to the delicious Oklava in Shoreditch to celebrate the year's achievements. It was a rare chance for us all to be around the same table at once, to take breath during the busy Christmas season. After dinner we headed to a pub nearby for a few more. It was a great night, but it was also a school night. Admittedly not everyone was fresh at work the next day. It got me thinking about hangover cures.
According to the Royal Society of Chemistry toast with honey is the ideal hangover cure. Dr John Emsley of the society explains that honey on toast provides the body with the sodium, potassium, and fructose which it needs to recover from a hangover. The fructose in honey helps to convert the acetaldehyde made during alcohol metabolism into acetic acid, which the body can burn up naturally into carbon dioxide which is breathed out.
Dr. Merle Diamond of the National Headache Foundation describes part of the hangover as being the sudden drop in alcohol levels which triggers the "hangover head" . Apparently the fructose in honey competes for the metabolism of alcohol so you don't feel that sudden drop. It's also the fructose in tomato juice that makes it a favourite hangover cure.
Prevention is better than cure
In ancient traditional Chinese medicine honey has been believed for hundreds of years to prevent drunkenness and relieve hangovers, a recent study testing these beliefs found honey to possess anti-intoxication activity in mice. The anti-intoxication activity of honey could again be due to the effect of the fructose contained in the honey.
How to avoid a hangover according to the Royal Society of Chemistry
Drink a glass of milk first.
Stick to gin (or vodka) and tonic - we're partial to Jensen's
Occasionally have a soft drink.
Drink a pint of water before you go to bed.
Of course I don't need to have a hangover to eat honey on toast, it's too delicious to save for that. And can you guess from the picture which pub we headed to?
Please drink responsibly, you'll be grateful you did.