Humor: Hangovers eased by oxygen

Goodbye, hangovers? Sort of.

In the next couple of weeks, American college students will embark on their own quasi-religious pilgrimages, be it Cancun, Panama Cityor Aspen. There will be stops on the way – Gulf Shores, Ala., South Padre Island, New Orleans, and anywhere in between.

There is no fasting involved with the college-age crusade, and piety and self-control are not exactly encouraged. However, we college students are punished with the almighty hangover. And headaches, fire and brimstone, long stints on the toilet, eternal damnation and loss of appetite we shall endure, right?

Wrong. Sort of.

South Korean scientists at Chungnam National University have formulated an “oxygenated” form of alcohol. Their study was published in the March 2010 issue of the Alcoholism Clinical and Experimental Research magazine and showed that people who drank alcoholic beverages with the added oxygen sobered up 20-30 minutes faster, and reported fewer and less severe hangovers than those who drank alcoholic beverages without the added oxygen.

The fact that people sober up faster when drinking oxygenated alcohol could have a more immediate and positive effect on alcohol-related accidents and injuries.

Alcoholic drinks with added oxygen bubbles have already been introduced in South Korea, but now there is qualified science to prove that the added oxygen really does let drinkers have their cake and eat it, too.

South Korea-based company SunYang Co., LTD. is marketing O2 Linn, which SunYang’s Web site states can “clarify your brain, energize your body cells and maintain healthy and resilient skin.” O2 Linn has more than 21 parts per million (ppm) of oxygen, while beer has less than 1 ppm of oxygen and wine has less than 3 ppm of oxygen.

You’re telling me researchers at Texas Tech, Ole Miss, Arizona State or UC Santa Barbara couldn’t figure this one out years ago? Well, I guess there is a reason these schools are known more for the hangovers students suffer on the weekends than the scientific research done on the weekdays. And the Ivy League big boys are probably a bit more occupied with curing things like cancer and AIDS than hangovers.

How the added oxygen specifically speeds up the body’s recovery from alcohol is reserved for someone with a Ph.D., but according to the research published, it may have something to do with the fact that the enzymes that break down and process the alcohol consumed need oxygen to work. Because the oxygen has already been added to the alcohol before consumption, the process works that much faster.

Now if Jack Daniel’s, Grey Goose, Bombay and Patron could please just get with the program and get oxygenated, then we college students could have our cake and eat it, too – because these yearly college pilgrimages seem to be taking more and more of a toll each year.

Ryne Sulier is a junior news-editorial journalism major from Plano.