Agiddy Tim Tebow decided to celebrate after his unlikely playoff win last weekend. But his night spent with Mike’s Hard Lemonade and his favorite movie “Rudy” left the superhero quarterback with a pounding headache the next day.
Like us mortals, NFL stars get hungover too. Not even Tebow has a magical cure for them. He probably sips Gatorade while “Tebowing” over his toilet.
Of course, this account of Tebow’s post-game celebration is purely speculative and probably fictional (my requests for an interview were not answered).
Regardless, hangovers have been around so long that, even if Tebow hasn’t experienced one firsthand, he has surely read about them in the Bible: “Woe unto them that rise up early in the morning, that they may follow strong drink” (Isaiah 5:11).
In today’s world, hangovers cost the U.S. economy $148 billion annually, according to a 1998 study, and contribute to near-empty 8 a.m. classes nationwide.
So, given their repercussions, why hasn’t someone invented a better cure for them yet?
For one, the precise cause of hangovers is a mystery. Possible contributors include excess acetaldehyde, which accumulates during the liver’s breakdown of alcohol, alterations of chemical messengers called cytokines and out-of-whack hormone levels.
In addition, sediments found in wine, tequila, whiskey and other dark liquors can worsen symptoms, which is why clear liquors like rum, vodka and gin are popular among career alcoholics.
Unfortunately, studies to fill these information gaps are scarce, possibly because hangovers are largely viewed by the scientific community as a dose of karma for irresponsible boozehounds.