Yale University students create what they believe is the ultimate hangover cure

Two Yale University seniors have created a product they believe will cure what ails their peers -- and many others: hangovers.

Margaret Morse and Liam McClintock wanted a supplement that would allow them to have fun on a night out, but would not impede on being able to work the next morning.

What causes hangovers to begin with? Morse, a molecular cellular and developmental biology major, told local news outlet WTNH, "There's an acetaldehyde build up. There is a vitamin and electrolyte loss. There is a glutamine rebound and there are immunological disturbances."

Their proposed solution is SunUp, a powdered citrus-flavored supplement filled with vitamins and nutrients.

"This is a powder that you take before you start drinking and it helps your liver deal with the stress you're putting it under when you drink," McClintock told WTNH. According to the New Haven Register, one would drink SunUp in a glass of water around an hour before they start drinking.

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What's your best bet to steer clear of the blinding headache, nausea, stomach upset, brain fog and fatigue that accompany your hangover post-partying? We have a few pointers that may help.

Choose colorless cocktails. Not all alcohol is created equal, especially when it comes to what kind of a hangover wallop it packs. “Brown alcohol contains something called ‘congeners,’ which are somewhat toxic and difficult for your body to metabolize,” says Cheryl Forberg, R.D., the original nutritionist for The Biggest Loser. Because of these substances, which are created during the fermentation process, dark colored beverages such as tequila, brandy and bourbon seem to contribute to hangovers more than clear alcohol such as gin, vodka or white wine.

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Pick your poison. It’s a no-brainer: The more alcohol you consume, the more likely you are to have a hangover so choosing your cocktail carefully is key. “Beer has less alcohol than wine which has less alcohol than vodka,” explains Susan Blum, M.D., assistant clinical professor of preventative medicine at Mount Sinai School of Medicine and founder of The Blum Center for Health in Rye Brook, N.Y. Find out the alcohol content of any drink at RethinkingDrinking.com.

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Go gluten free. “People who are sensitive to gluten will feel worse the next day if they drink beer made from barley or other alcohol fermented from wheat or rye,” says Dr. Blum. If this is you, opt for potato vodka or tequila, which is made from agave. “Also, people sensitive to mold or with mold allergies might feel worse from drinking red wine, because there are lots of mold proteins in the sediment,” adds Blum.

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Forget the fizzy stuff. A small study out of University of Surrey in the U.K. compared the effects of flat and fizzy champagne on the same group of people. Results revealed that participants had higher levels of alcohol in their blood after drinking the fizzy champagne than they did when sipping the flat version of the cocktail. Researchers suspect that carbon dioxide (which is what causes the bubbles) may accelerate the body’s absorption of alcohol.

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Don’t sip on an empty stomach. If you plan to toast to the holiday season with some cocktails, don’t forget to eat both before and while you drink. “In addition to the fact that food in your bloodstream helps ‘dilute’ the alcohol, it also slows down the metabolism of alcohol and its release into the bloodstream,” explains Forberg.

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Have your drinks on the rocks. “Ice waters down your drink, which will help you pace yourself,” says Blum. “This extra water will also help your blood flow through your liver and kidneys and help your body flush out and process the alcohol.” Throughout the night, you should also down a glass of H20 between each alcoholic drink.

Alcohol can cause you to become dehydrated, which is part of the hangover,” explains Blum, who also suggests drinking lots of water before you head out for the night.

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Pop a supplement. Although it’s tempting to reach for an over-the-counter pain reliever such as aspirin or acetaminophen when your head is pounding, over-the-counter pain meds may increase the risk of stomach bleeding, ulcers and liver damage when consumed with booze. Instead, try taking a supplement preventively. “Supplements with the herb milk thistle (also called silymarin) or other liver/detox support supplements will boost your detox system before you go out so that your body processes alcohol more easily,” explains Blum. This reduces your likelihood of a hangover.

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Get hydrated at home. After you come home from a night of drinking, start guzzling water. “Alcohol is a diuretic and dehydrating so it's important to replete your body's fluid loss,” says Forberg. The next day, hydrate your body with any liquids you can stomach such as orange juice, vegetable juices or smoothies to help ease dehydration-induced headaches.

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Nix the nausea. “Nausea can be a problem because it will keep you from drinking all the water that you need,” notes Blum. Quell queasiness with ginger tea or ginger/apple/carrot juice. If you’re really feeling green, stick to bland foods including saltines, pretzels and plain rice, which make good stomach-soothers.

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Get moving. It may be the last thing you feel like doing when the room is spinning, but mild forms of exercise such as taking a walk or gentle jog in fresh air can help you get over a hangover. “Exercise is one of the best ways to clear toxins from the body and feel better,” says Blum. Plus, adds Forberg, “endorphins from exercise can boost your mood, while deep breathing fresh air can help you relax.” Just remember to sip water along the way so you stay hydrated.

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While one might believe dehydration is the cause of hangovers, SunUp's website explains that it is actually a symptom. "These two phenomena are concurrent because of the diuretic effects of alcohol, but dehydration does not cause the actual hangover feeling," says the site's FAQ.

SunUp instead focuses on combating four root causes of a hangover: acetaldehyde building, vitamin and electrolyte loss, glutamine rebound and immunological disturbances.

"It's intended for productive workers," McClintock told WTNH. "Like ourselves who like to have a social life, like to go out and have a couple of drinks but also need to be productive the next day and get up and have work to do."

Morse and McClintock have received positive feedback from fellow students and the Yale community. They've brought it to a pharmaceutical company, and it could be available in April. SunUp will retail for $5; if you want to pre-order, you can purchase through the company's Indiegogo page.

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