Researchers have found that L-cysteine, an amino acid, can help in the battle to beat a hangover.
L-cysteine, which is sold at most pharmacies and health stores, is vital to the human body, “[working] as a precursor for antioxidants and for immune messenger molecules,” Neha Pathak, a doctor in internal medicine and WebMD medical editor, told The Post. “We get it naturally through our diets . . . and it can be found in foods like dairy, eggs, nuts, seeds and legumes.”
Scientists at the University of Helsinki and the University of Eastern Finland discovered that the human protein-building block can potentially appease ailments such as nausea, headache, stress and anxiety, according to a 2020 study published in Alcohol and Alcoholism.
A larger dose helped resolve more heavy-duty issues like nausea and headache, while the smaller dose reduced stress and anxiety. It was also found to reduce the urge to pick up a drink the next day, potentially reducing the risk for alcohol addiction.
However, the research is unclear about exactly why L-cysteine helps and has been disputed by some.
N-acetylcysteine (NAC), an amino acid derived from L-cysteine, has also been shown to help some recover the day after a few too many beers and can also be bought at most pharmacies and health stores.
A study published in the National Library of Medicine found that taking the supplement before going to bed drunk helped ease the pain of waking up the next morning by helping the body produce a powerful antioxidant called glutathione, known to fight cellular damage.
However, the small study seemed to show that NAC supplements were more helpful for women than men, but Toronto-based writing professor and former bar owner Shaughnessy Bishop-Stall would disagree.
He spent a decade drinking himself into oblivion in pursuit of the ultimate hangover cure. He ultimately found that NAC is “sort of a magic ingredient.”
The fact that NAC has also been used in clinical settings to treat other toxicity conditions, such as a Tylenol overdose, may support its hangover treatment claims.