Gwyneth Paltrow’s Hangover Remedies, Oh Mercy!

We’ve brought you Gwyneth Paltrow’s Master Cleanse diet solution, as well as her cure for seasonal allergies.

Now the Academy-Award winning actress has set her sights on the scourge of New Years’ Day – the Hangover!

On her website, GOOP, Paltrow gathered information from various doctors about what causes hangovers and how to treat them.

Here are some highlights:

What causes a hangover?

Dr. Frank Lipman, an internist who also uses complementary and alternative medical practices:

The reason why one gets a hangover is that your body – your liver in particular – is not able to process and metabolize the break down products from the alcohol quickly enough. In addition to needing enough enzymes, the liver also needs water to process and get rid of the toxins. When supplies run low, it takes water from other organs, including the brain. This is why alcohol is so dehydrating, and why you can wake up with a throbbing headache (and a dry mouth) from drinking too much.

What can you do to avoid a hangover?

From Dr. Richard Ash:

  1. Hydration. Keep hydrating yourself with alkaline forming Italian sparkling mineral water , such as  Pellegrino.
  2. Eat properly before and after your evening by including protein and low glycemic index foods (solid fruits, watermelon, etc.) to counteract the sugar depletion caused by alcohol.

What can you do to treat the hangover you have?

Keep yourself well-hydrated, in other words drinks plenty of fluids. For headache, use over-the-counter pain medications as directed.

Gwyneth also recommends two other solutions for hangovers: Mercy and Hydrotherapy.

Mercy is a drink that is almost like a health elixir – packed with amino acids, vitamins, minerals and herbs that protect your system against the inevitable hangover and that flush you can get from drinking.

Before you buy this statement, you should know that Ms. Paltrow is part owner of the company and is speaking as a marketer, not a medical expert. Doctors and scientists don’t use words like “elixir.”

Dr. Michael Lucchesi, chief medical staff at SUNY Downstate Medical Center, says that Mercy “is no more beneficial than water or maybe even Gatorade. It’s the salts and electrolytes that provide relief.”

Ms. Paltrow also recommends hydrotherapy, alternating hot dry and steam saunas with cold showers, as the “best hangover remedy.”

Dr. Lucchesi finds hydrotherapy even more baffling than Mercy:

“Alcohol is a diuretic [causes loss of fluids and minerals through the kidneys and urine]. Why would you want to engage in an activity that would cause you to lose more water and salt?”

Finally, Gwymeth includes a few hair of the dog recipes because:

[although it is ] the least healthy choice, [and] sometimes unavoidable – at times, just a little of last night’s poison does the trick.

Really???

It’s time to get out the Baloney Detection Kit.

Michele R. Berman, M.D. was Clinical Director of The Pediatric Center, a private practice on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C. from 1988-2000, and was named Outstanding Washington Physician by Washingtonian Magazine in 1999. She was a medical internet pioneer having established one of the first medical practice websites in 1997. Dr. Berman also authored a monthly column for Washington Parent Magazine.

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