Activated charcoal is one of the most recent trends in hangover prevention. Some people have credited it with effectively reducing alcohol levels in the blood after consumption. Nonetheless, there is very little scientific evidence to back up activated charcoal hangover cures.
Does this remedy alleviate hangover symptoms? In this post, we look at activated charcoal and its effects on alcohol levels in the bloodstream.
What Is Activated Charcoal?
Activated charcoal is a black powder produced from materials like peat, bone char, and coconut husks. It is processed at extremely high temperatures, which gives it its high porosity and detoxing qualities. Activated charcoal is popular in the toothpaste and cosmetic industry and is used in many face masks and beauty products.
It has also long been used in emergency rooms on patients with cases of poisoning. It works by binding to toxins in the gastrointestinal tract and preventing their entry into the bloodstream.
Activated charcoal hangover cure is manufactured and sold as capsules. Enthusiasts claim that it can absorb congeners in alcohol and reduce the severity or duration of hangovers.
Although some studies support this effect, scientific proof is scant and inconclusive.
Can Activated Charcoal Cure a Hangover?
Activated charcoal has many tiny pores. This increases its surface area, making it highly adsorbent. Consequently, it is highly effective in absorbing toxins in the gastrointestinal tract and is often used to treat overdoses and poisoning.
Subsequently, some manufacturers claim that taking these capsules can also help your body absorb alcohol from your intestines after ingestion. This claim is shrouded in doubt as alcohol gets absorbed into your bloodstream from your stomach, not your intestines.
The absorption also tends to be very rapid and begins barely an hour after you ingest an alcoholic beverage. This leaves a very small window for an activated charcoal hangover cure to act.
Additionally, activated charcoal can’t physically bind to ethanol due to its low molecular weight.
There is some evidence to prove that activated charcoal can alleviate some symptoms of hangovers. In a study, activated charcoal reduced blood alcohol levels when given to dogs along with alcohol. However, it failed to produce the same effects when it was ingested by people 30 minutes after they took an alcoholic drink.
That said, the results were relatively more positive when the tablets were taken before drinking. This may be because activated charcoal can absorb alcohol ingredients such as sulfites and sugars, which many people don’t tolerate well.
Nonetheless, there is no definitive proof that activated charcoal hangover cure can reduce blood alcohol levels.
What Is the Best Hangover Cure?
Dehydration is a major cause of hangovers. Along with drinking a lot of water, we recommend treatments such as:
- Hydrating saline solutions
- IV infusions
- Intravenous medications
- Vitamin shots
These treatments can help you fight hangover symptoms like headaches, nausea, brain fog, and fatigue.
If you’re not sure about the activated charcoal hangover cure, don’t let your hangover cut short your vacation. If you are visiting the Key West area, call the Hangover Hospital. Our treatment options are proven, effective, and fast-acting. We will come to you and help you get rid of your hangover within the hour.