YAKMEIN, aka NEW ORLEANS’S OLD SOBER: SURE HANGOVER CURE

k5209950Offering up a prayer (or death wish) for deliverance at the old porcelain altar

Old Sober originated in Korea and was imported to New Orleans by servicemen returning from the Korean War where they’d experienced the life-restoring properties of the ancient hangover cure.  The men knew it by its Korean name, Yakmein.

More recently, Allyson E Mitchell, PhD, the University of California, Davis, gave the imprimatur of science to Old Sober, saying that it works because salts, protein and other ingredients in the concoction replace some nutrients the body loses during the consumption of ethanol.

f219e047f3f224b1a53117f52ff3a2d6A steaming bowl of Yakmein  Photo Credit Gary Stevens

Yakmein is made with a salty beef- and soy sauce-base broth, a carbohydrate such as noodles; protein from beef, chicken or shrimp; onions or chopped green onions; and a sliced, hard-boiled egg.

Here are Mitchell’s suggestions for avoiding hangovers:

1.  Eat eggs.  They’re rich in cysteine, which helps remove acetyldehyde from the body.

2.  Drink broth.  The salts help replace sodium, potassium and other salts lost in the urine from the diuretic effects of alcohol.  Sports drinks might help.

3.  Don’t drink coffee.  It’s a diuretic and will add to the dehydration caused by the alcohol.

4. Take vitamin B1.  It prevents the buildup of glutarate, linked to the next morning’s headache.

5.  Slow down alcohol intake.  The body metabolizes about a half ounce of pure alcohol per hour, equivalent to one 12-ounce beer, five ounces of wine or one ounce of distilled spirits per hour.

6.  Eat fatty foods before drinking.  They slow down alcohol absorption.

7. Avoid congeners.  They’re created during the fermentation and aging processes and add to the suffering caused by a hangover.

Dark liquors, such as brandy, tequila, whiskey and red wine have much higher concentrations of congeners than do clear liquors, such as vodka and gin.

Source:   examiner, April 9, 2013     Paper presented at the National Meeting and Exposition of the American Chemical Society, April 9, 2013

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