It has been many years since I intentionally set out to get drunk. Recently, I agreed to do so, nominally in pursuit of science: We’re testing ResQwater, a new fortified water drink that claims not only to help with post-workout recovery, but helps in the prevention of hangovers as well.
While most of us will tell our significant other that we bought ResQWater to recover after achieving maximum pump-itude each morning, we all know it’s really because we’re looking for that holy grail that allows us to drink irresponsibly and still make it to work in the morning. Obviously regular water is already a great option. As detailed in The Art of Hangover Prevention & Recovery, if you collate with every couple of drinks, it will mitigate the hangover beautifully. However, water alone won’t be enough if you are determined to tie one on. Enter this tasty little beverage, which we tried so you don’t have to rush out and buy a case just to see if it works. Mix in a few of these with your night of imbibing and you’re supposed to feel like a champ the next day. In a nutshell, ResQWater claims to have ingredients that bind to and protect the body from the toxins in alcohol. Ingredients include electrolytes, B vitamins and prickly pear extract (which has been used in Mexico as a hangover preventative for decades), milk thistle (also traditionally used as a hangover cure) and N-Acetyl-Cysteine, which is the magic component that supposedly binds to the toxic substance in booze and carries it out of your body when you pee.
To test this, we needed a control group. It was decided that I should drink some huge amount of booze in order to… get this…try to be hungover. In retrospect this may have been a bad idea. But, guys like me know how to handle a situation like this. At the last minute on a Friday night I rallied my friends with the best deck of “Cards Against Humanity” that I know. Needing five people, my wife volunteered to pick up our neighbor at our local bar, The Fusion Lounge, where he had gotten a jump on me, drunk-wise. I took tasting notes on the delicious brews I tasted (because you know, science):
Deschutes Pine Drops IPA (6.5%) – Golden hue. A heavy, sticky pine resin flavor. Crisp start with a tart finish.
New Belgium 1554 Black Lager (5.6%) – Black in color but light bodied. Toasted creamy flavor but crisp. An exercise in contradictions, and absolutely delicious.
New Belgium Ranger IPA (6.5%) – A bold Rocky Mountain IPA fit for rugged palates. This is a bitter forward, hoppy and satisfying IPA.
Deschutes Armory XPA (Experimental Pale, 5.9%) – Refreshingly hoppy in the best tradition of American Pale Ales, but aggressive hops dominate the back end. The hops hang high over the roast malt base.
Deschutes Mirror Pond Pale Ale (5%) – As cool and clean as its namesake, this is a crisp, subtly hoppy ale. Notes from the end of the night call it, “F%cking fantastic, a standard.”
Since getting drunk was the goal, I saw nothing wrong with pairing each of these delicious craft brews with my favorite whiskey: Evan Williams. If you like bourbon, give this one a try. My first bottle was bought in memory of my grandmother, since she used to keep some in every room, including the bathroom, just in case. While sipping some in her memory, I had an epiphany: the stuff is really good! Grandma was on to something!
I put down five or six EWs on the rocks. Music and loud jesting filled our evening. In this busy stage of life we do well to recognize that it only takes a few cool people to make a really great party. It should be noted that despite my best efforts at designing a top notch control for the experiment, the party atmosphere made the amount of booze consumed somewhat questionable. For example, beer number five was a bit of a Dead Soldier. On top of that, it’s always tough to tell what “one drink of whiskey” is in a free pour state. That night, my glass was rarely empty; I remember pouring…no, not remember…I marked six drinks on my tally sheet. I also drank four pints of tap water, and had a good meal. Earlier in the afternoon I had played nine holes of golf (poorly) and downed a can or two of beer…but didn’t include that in my tally. Regardless, in the morning I was appropriately hungover.
Awakened far too early from the sugar in the whiskey, I had a splitting headache and popped a couple of ibuprofen. Making a woozy trek to the toilet, I threw up, which is rare for me. The Woozy lasted all day and was a stark reminder of why I don’t actually like getting drunk. Later in the morning, another round of Ibuprofen sort of quelled the cramp in my brain, but not completely… further evidence that this was a decent hangover. Control group completed.
The next week, supposed to be our ‘’ResQwater drunk” portion of the experiment, but Thursday turned out to be St. Patrick’s Day. We celebrated on Friday by playing nine holes (again poorly) accompanied by Anderson Valley’s green-can Oatmeal Stout (a rich smooth affair with a little chocolate-hop bite, 5.8%). Later, I put down the better part of an eight-case of those small Guinness 14.5oz “pint” cans. You know, that pub pour nitro? So silky and cream-coffee rich! We ate corned beef at my house and dipped back into the whiskey. Since I was skipping science in favor of celebration, I decided this would be a good opportunity to grab some anecdotal evidence instead. A field test, if you will, to see whether ResQwater was any good. So, along with one or two pints of regular water I drank just one bottle of ResQwater. Blessed be the Saints of the Emerald Isle there was Nary a hangover the next day.
Soon I became engrossed in March Madness. My Ducks were a number one seed for the first time ever and looked to go deep. At the risk of losing another week to being “overcome by events,” I endeavored to cheer them on while duplicating my experiment, this time with ResQwater. I drank the exact same beers and nearly the same amount of whiskey with a margin of error as aforementioned with regards to pour differential. Again, I downed only one bottle of rescue water along with two pints of regular water…also after a good meal and golf-beers (not tallied.) The result? Knocked out a small headache with only two Ibuprofen, no puking, no wooziness at all.
Okay, our testing wasn’t exactly scientific, and the results are strictly anecdotal, but I’m convinced that the ResQWater works. Back in the field, I had a half bottle of ResQWater while I was a bit tipsy after a couple of brewery tastings and felt fine to wake up with the baby for a 4am feeding.
We can’t say for sure that ResQwater will keep you from the hangover, and I certainly won’t endorse it for actually staying sober, but in my opinion, it does ease the symptoms after a heavy bout of drinking.