We all know some of those supposed tricks to remove alcohol first and avoid drunkenness or hangover. Drinking coffee, drenching the back of the neck with cold water, sucking on a battery or even receiving a smack are some of the craziest. Needless to say that they are useless. However, scientists continue to search for truly effective ways to eliminate ethanol faster than it is metabolized under normal conditions. The objective is not to deceive the breathalyzers, but to avoid the damage it causes to the body. And the truth is that, although most attempts have not borne great fruit, in 2020 something was discovered that could have some effectiveness.
It is a device that helps to eliminate alcohol faster through the hyperventilation. The problem with hyperventilating is that the rapid loss of carbon dioxide (CO₂) can cause many unpleasant to dangerous symptoms. Anyone who has had an anxiety attack that caused that hyperventilation knows this. For this reason, the device developed by scientists from the University of Canada in 2020 it took part of that carbon dioxide and recirculated it back into the body.
As a result, it was possible to reduce the rate of alcohol in the body of the participants three times faster. Two years have passed and it has not yet begun to be marketed. However, the study published in Scientific Reports, it was an interesting test of how you could realistically reduce the alcohol rate. Of course, what is clear is that the best way to reduce alcohol in the body is not to drink it. For that, studies and inventions are not needed.
Hyperventilate to reduce alcohol
The 90% alcohol that is consumed is metabolized in the liver. This is an organ that takes its time. If there is too much alcohol you can not cope and suffer damage, which is why liver disease is so common among alcoholics. Although you don’t have to be an alcoholic either, since with each consumption of alcohol the liver cells suffer stress that can take its toll on us in the long term.
As for the remaining 10% alcoholis metabolized into kidneys and lungs. The latter should not surprise us if we remember that breathalyzers measure alcohol precisely in the exhaled air.
Faced with this reality, a team of scientists from the University of Canada thought years ago that it might be interesting to eliminate ethanol by forcing the lungs to work faster. Namely, exhale air at a faster rate. By boat it soon becomes easy, but it can have dangerous consequences.
The risks of hyperventilation
Carbon dioxide is a necessary gas for our body, mainly for two reasons. On the one hand, because it intervenes in the internal respiration, through which oxygen is transported to all cells in the body. And, on the other, because helps maintain a stable pH so that our cells carry out all their functions properly.
When we hyperventilate, what we do in broad strokes is breathe very fast. That is, in a short time, we introduce a lot of oxygen and release a lot of carbon dioxide from the body. This sudden loss of carbon dioxide has consequencessince the blood is alkalinized by a pH rise Y internal respiration is disturbed. When this happens, our brain sends the order to slow down our breathing. But this can be mistaken for suffocation, so we react with more hyperventilation.
Initially, this generates a sensation of tingling, dizziness and stiffnesswhich can end with fainting. The situation can become quite serious if nothing is done to fix it.
So if we simply hyperventilate to get rid of the alcohol faster, we’ll pass out before it’s effective. The authors of this 2020 study knew this, so they devised a simple machine that returns some of the carbon dioxide that is lost and recirculate it with inhalation.
People who used it at the time stated that they found it boredbut not uncomfortable. And the results were clearly positive. Even so, they were people who had consumed alcohol, but not at disproportionate levels. Those who really need to quickly eliminate alcohol from very excessive consumption would be in a very poor condition to use the machine on their own, so they would need help.
All these are proofs of concept that demonstrate how, once our organism is known, we can anticipate some of its functions and take advantage of them. Despite the fact that the machine has not yet been commercialized, it is something interesting. But again, we remember that without the machine the trick would be dangerous, so do not try it at home. Actually, don’t try any of the low alcohol or hangover tricks, because none of them help. Drink in moderation and remember that the optimal amount of alcohol is always none. Then we can do what we want, but it is something that we must not forget.