Considering I’m spending the year traveling on a glorified Study Abroad program for adults, there is a lot of drinking going on. I’m out pretty much all night, every night… And on Wednesdays-Sundays, ladies drink free. But since I am no longer a 20-year-old college student like I was when I was actually on a study abroad program, my hangovers have been deadly.
I wake up every morning with a splitting headache and the feeling that I’m going to vomit whatever weird street meat I drunk ate the night before all over the floor (BTW — I still haven’t braved any sober street meat, but manage to find it every time I get drunk). And even once I make it out of bed without having to re-visit my bad decisions via my head in the toilet bowl, the morning gets even worse when I remember that the options for coffee in Kuala Lumpur are dismal (I love you guys, but it’s true!)
So when someone offered me a “magical hangover pill” (aka a charcoal pill) the other morning and told me it was going to change my life, I kind of laughed in his face. I’ve swallowed a raw egg yolk and let my mom bury me neck-deep in the sand in attempt to fix my hangovers and it’s never worked, so figured there was no way that there had been a pill out there all along that could do it.
Boy, was I wrong.
15 minutes after I swallowed the charcoal pill, I was a whole new woman.
According to people from the Internet who know a lot more about science than I do, activated charcoal binds with the toxins in your stomach and helps your body eliminate them, rather than absorbing them and causing harm. “Activated” charcoal, which is the stuff in the pills, has pores that increase the surface area to trap toxins — including drugs, poisons and food components.
Apparently, eating charcoal is fully a thing and I’d just never heard about it before (shame on me, calling myself a hangover expert). It’s often given to people who have been hospitalized with alcohol poisoning, or kids who have swallowed something they aren’t supposed to. My use for it is definitely less noble than the hospital’s, but arguably still pretty important.
Activated charcoal is also used in cleansers to draw impurities out of your skin (FYI- Biore’s charcoal pore strips are even better than the old ones you used back in the day) and whiten your teeth. It also makes for really, really delicious grilled chicken, in case anyone was wondering.
The good news is that I will never be hungover again. But the bad news? I now have no excuse not to go out every night from now until 2018. Cheers, everyone.