A Cup of Joe or a Healthy Smoothie—Which One Will Cure the Shakes?

What’s better for you after a night of hard drinking: a smoothie or a cup of coffee? Our hangover subjects test out both remedies to see which one does the trick

Released on 10/20/2014

Credits

Starring: Dr. Keller Wortham and Fran Kranz

Transcript

00:00
[Fran] Coffee vs. smoothie.
00:01
Which one can cure a hangover better?
00:03
[Keller] We've created a facility
00:05
to test the world's best hangover cures,
00:07
and we're testing 'em all.
00:08
I'm Dr. Keller Wortham, doctor of internal medicine.
00:10
I'm Fran Kranz, I'm not a doctor,
00:12
but I've been hung over a lot.
00:14
Welcome to the GQ Hangover Lab.
00:19
So what do you guys do?
00:20
I'm a grip and gaffer.
00:22
I'm a best boy electric, and I work with Clinger a lot.
00:24
Tell us about your night.
00:25
I drank a bunch of IPAs
00:26
and then chased it all down with some whiskey.
00:28
We've got the evidence right here.
00:29
Yeah, let's find out.
00:29
Let's chart what you guys did.
00:31
That was a catalog margarita that I ordered.
00:33
You've had a fair amount of sugar in that margarita,
00:36
and a lot of people assume
00:37
that sugar is what makes for a worse hangover,
00:40
but actually, it's not the case.
00:42
Fructose in itself speeds up your metabolism of alcohol.
00:46
If you put sugar in an alcoholic drink,
00:48
you just tend to drink it faster.
00:49
Okay, tell us about this lady.
00:51
He ends up making out with her.
00:52
(all cheer)
00:54
There we go.
00:55
Okay, let's talk about the effects this morning.
00:56
Dehydrated for sure.
00:58
You got the dry mouth...
00:59
Absolutely, like sticky skin.
01:01
I have a headache.
01:03
You have a headache.
01:04
I'm tired.
01:04
You don't have alcohol in your blood anymore.
01:06
That we saw with the breathalyzer test.
01:08
But what you do have is something called acetaldehyde.
01:11
It causes inflammation,
01:13
it gives your breath that kind of smell
01:15
that people get when they're metabolizing alcohol,
01:17
and it's one of the main reasons,
01:19
along with the dehydration,
01:21
that you feel like shit right now.
01:22
We ran some vitals tests,
01:23
but we also, my favorite, the sort of motor skills test.
01:27
We test, it's hand-eye coordination,
01:29
depth perception...
01:31
One out of 10, three out of 10.
01:33
Yep.
01:34
I'm pretty sure we can improve on that
01:35
when we introduce you to the cure.
01:38
Today, we have coffee vs. smoothie.
01:40
The fruit has a lot of electrolytes and antioxidants.
01:44
Coconut water is great.
01:45
It has the same five electrolytes as blood.
01:48
If you don't have saline available to transfuse someone,
01:51
you can put coconut water into their veins.
01:54
And then you've got, you know, the ginger and the turmeric,
01:56
which are actually anti-inflammatories.
01:58
Coffee's like as old a cure as it gets.
02:00
It's been in people's hangover regimen for years,
02:03
and also sometimes in their sober-you-up regimen.
02:06
I feel like this is gonna work.
02:07
Let's introduce you guys to the cures.
02:11
Here we have a nice big pot of coffee,
02:13
and a specially-crafted hangover smoothie.
02:17
So let's try it.
02:18
A night of drinking on science?
02:19
For science.
02:20
For science.
02:21
[Fran] For science.
02:22
For science.
02:23
[Fran] How's that taste?
02:24
It's delicious.
02:25
How's the temperature on the coffee?
02:26
Just right.
02:29
He woke up this morning with the shakes.
02:31
[Clinger] Yeah.
02:32
You're withdrawing from a depressant,
02:34
so your body naturally kind of swings the other way
02:36
and it gets agitated, so you get that kind of shakes,
02:38
and too, you stun your liver with the alcohol,
02:42
so it can't do one of its main jobs,
02:44
which is to create glucose for your body,
02:46
so your blood sugar crashes.
02:50
All right, we tested the cure,
02:51
we'll go test your vitals,
02:54
we'll see how you guys are feeling...
02:55
Are feeling, yeah.
02:56
But most importantly, tennis balls.
02:59
Okay, guys.
03:00
120 over 65.
03:02
You're at 120 over 80.
03:03
Your pulse is still a little bit fast.
03:06
So let's get to the tennis balls.
03:07
The main event.
03:08
Yeah.
03:09
Let's do it.
03:10
So, you know, when you guys came in,
03:11
and your baseline hangover, you got one, you got three,
03:15
now we've done a cure of coffee and the hangover smoothie,
03:19
and we're gonna see if you are able to
03:21
harness the power of those cures,
03:23
and have more focus and better coordination
03:25
and catch more of these balls.
03:26
Lovely.
03:28
All right, first ball is loaded.
03:34
[Fran] Come on, come on!
03:35
You got it.
03:38
[Keller] There you go.
03:48
Wait, is this happening?
03:49
He's in the zone!
03:50
[Fran] Oh, that's six!
03:52
I think everybody feels good, right?
03:54
I wanna sit down and talk about this.
03:56
Okay, let's do it.
03:57
All right.
03:58
You're winners.
03:59
I think everyone should be very proud of themselves.
04:01
You guys just look better, I think.
04:03
I definitely feel a little,
04:05
definitely a little bit better.
04:06
It's a marked improvement.
04:08
How about the headache?
04:09
Headache's gone, I'm a little less dehydrated, it feels.
04:12
Yeah. I mean,
04:12
I could still lay down.
04:13
That's for sure.
04:14
[Keller] Yeah. Yeah.
04:15
Still looking forward to sleep,
04:16
and I feel a lot better.
04:17
You guys look better.
04:18
We know coffee helps with focus,
04:21
so, you know, and you seemed
04:22
more focused when you were there.
04:23
Absolutely, I felt more focused.
04:25
And there are a lot of other organic chemicals in there,
04:28
and one of them in particular has been shown to
04:31
reduce liver inflammation,
04:33
and another chemical in caffeine helps decrease
04:37
this chemical in your brain that causes the headaches,
04:41
and then as far as the smoothie,
04:43
coconut water has the same five electrolytes
04:46
that we find in blood.
04:48
Between that, between the antioxidants that help kind of
04:51
catch up all of the toxic free radicals that are formed
04:55
when you metabolize alcohol.
04:56
I feel like this was a positive one.
04:58
Thanks for coming, you guys!
04:59
I'm gonna have to go and give coffee
05:04
a solid B...
05:05
Okay.
05:06
Because, you know, he felt better.
05:08
It is somewhat hydrating, I mean,
05:10
caffeine doesn't necessarily mean it's gonna dehydrate you.
05:13
Oh, that's good.
05:14
And it does improve your focus and your mood.
05:16
Yeah. Okay. So, I'm gonna give
05:17
that the B.
05:18
What about the smoothie?
05:19
I'm giving the smoothie a B+.
05:21
Okay.
05:22
Because, you know, it's scientifically,
05:24
it's a great combination of things.
05:25
The smoothie has electrolytes, it's got antioxidants,
05:28
it's got sugar, which your liver needs desperately
05:31
because it can't make its own at that moment.
05:33
I'm gonna give coffee an A-
05:35
because it just gets you through the hours
05:37
that you need to get through,
05:38
whereas I'm gonna give the smoothie the B+.
05:41
Coffee vs. smoothie?
05:42
It looks like you really can't go wrong.
05:44
I'm Fran Kranz.
05:46
I'm Dr. Keller Wortham.
05:47
Thanks for visiting the GQ Hangover Lab.
05:49
See you next time.
05:52
For more hangover cures, subscribe to our channel.
05:54
And like us.