More Science

A hangover is your body’s adverse reaction to the consumption of drinking alcoholic beverages. However, it gets more complicated than that. When you drink alcohol, it gets metabolized in your liver primarily by an enzyme called alcohol dehydrogenase (ALDH). ALDH breaks down alcohol into a toxic compound called acetaldehyde. Acetaldehyde is approximately 30 times more toxic than alcohol and wreaks havoc on your body causing massive cell damage (acetaldehyde is widely regarded as being the compound primarily responsible for causing hangovers). Detecting this incredibly toxic, foreign substance, you immune system goes into high gear, devoting all of its energy to rid your body of the foreign toxin you are ingesting, leaving you feeling completely drained and ‘sick,’ a.k.a. Hungover.

How Cydekick is specifically formulated to prevent a hangover

According to Dr. Robert Swift M.D. and Dr. Dena Davidson M.D., there are at least 4 physiological factors that contribute to a hangover.


  • Dehydration and electrolyte imbalance

  • Gastrointestinal disturbances

  • Headache

  • Effects from things other than ethyl alcohol


Dehydration and Electrolyte Imbalance

Alcohol causes the body to increase urinary output (i.e., it is a diuretic). The consumption of 50 g of alcohol in 250 milliliters (mL) of water (i.e. approximately 4 drinks) causes the elimination of 600 to 1,000 mL (or up to 1 quart) of water over several hours (Montastruc 1986). Alcohol promotes urine production by inhibiting the release of a hormone (i.e., antidiuretic hormone, or vasopressin) from the pituitary gland. In turn, reduced levels of antidiuretic hormone prevent the kidneys from reabsorbing (i.e., conserving) water.  Symptoms of mild to moderate dehydration include thirst, weakness, dryness of mucous membranes, dizziness, and lightheadedness— all commonly observed during a hangover.


Cydekick contains substantial amounts of the mineral electrolytes potassium and magnesium, both of which have been shown to be destroyed by alcohol. These electrolytes help you maintain an electrolyte balance in your body as well as a good level of hydration. Additionally, they help your body to fuel necessary enzymes that help metabolize alcohol. Cydekick has a significantly higher concentration of magnesium and potassium than most traditional hangover prevention supplements. This electrolyte system allows your body to maintain a healthier balance of electrolytes and encourages the retention of water in order to combat dehydration.


Gastrointestinal Disturbances.

Alcohol directly irritates the stomach and intestines, causing inflammation of the stomach lining (i.e., gastritis) and delayed stomach emptying, especially when beverages with a high alcohol concentration (i.e., greater than 15 percent) are consumed (Lieber 1995). High levels of alcohol consumption also can produce fatty liver, an accumulation of fat compounds called triglycerides and their components (i.e., free fatty acids) in liver cells. In addition, alcohol increases the production of gastric acid as well as pancreatic and intestinal secretions. Any or all of these factors can result in the upper abdominal pain, nausea, and vomiting experienced during a hangover.


While all the antioxidants help target the causes of alcohol induced gastrointestinal issues, CydeKick also includes ginger root extract to act as the primary ingredient for treating gastrointestinal disturbances. The phenolic (phytonutrients) compounds in ginger are known to help relieve gastrointestinal irritation, stimulate saliva and bile production and suppress gastric contractions and movement of food and fluids through the GI tract. Particular to hangover symptoms, CydeKick contains ginger root to mitigate potential nausea, diarrhea and vomiting that can be associated with hangovers. Additionally, magnesium in CydeKick is useful for maintaining a healthy digestive system. CydeKick does not contain non steroidal anti inflammatory agents (ibuprofen, acetaminophen) as Anti-inflammatory medications are themselves gastric irritants and will compound alcohol-induced gastritis. Although acetaminophen is a common alternative to aspirin, its use should be avoided during the hangover period, because alcohol metabolism enhances acetaminophen toxicity to the liver (ALL supplements containing NSAIDS should be avoided when hungover).


Alcohol and Headache

In a large epidemiological survey of headache in Danish 25- to 64-year-olds, the lifetime prevalence of hangover headache was 72 percent, making it the most common type of headache reported (Rasmussen and Olesen 1992). Alcohol intoxication results in vasodilatation, which may induce headaches. Alcohol has effects on several neurotransmitters and hormones that are implicated in the pathogenesis of headaches, including histamine, serotonin, and prostaglandins (Parantainen 1983). However, the etiology of hangover headache remains unknown.


CydeKick has an extremely comprehensive, proprietary antioxidant blend that defends against alcohol induced free radical damage. Among the antioxidants are prickly pear extract, ginger root extract, NAC, selenium, Acetyl L Carnitine and Vitamin C. Each of these antioxidants are supplied in powerfully high doses in CydeKick. Additionally, Glutathione is widely regarded as the most powerful antioxidant of all. The reason glutathione is not in Cydekick is because there is science to suggest that taking glutathione by mouth is generally ineffective. For oral administration, a more profound and effective approach to increasing glutathione levels in the blood is to ingest glutathione cofactors and precursors. Selenium and N-Acetyl-Cysteine are two of the most powerful glutathione production catalysts and are included in hefty doses in Cydekick. Acetyl-L-Carnitine is also a key antioxidant in preventing headaches as it has been shown to serve as a neuroprotective supplement combating alcohol induced brain damage.

Effects of Factors Other Than Alcohol

The actual ethyl alcohol (what gets you drunk) is not the only reason you get hungover!


Most alcoholic beverages contain smaller amounts of other biologically active compounds, however, including other alcohols. These compounds, known as congeners, contribute to the taste, smell, and appearance of alcoholic beverages. Congeners may be produced along with ethanol during fermentation, generated during aging or processing through the degradation of the beverage’s organic components, or added to the beverage during the production process. Investigators now believe that congeners may contribute to a beverage’s intoxicating effects and to a subsequent hangover. A hangover also may occur when pure ethanol is administered, however. One specific congener implicated in hangover effects is methanol, which is an alcohol compound found in alcoholic beverages along with ethanol. The two compounds differ slightly in chemical structure in that methanol contains one less carbon atom and two fewer hydrogen atoms than ethanol. The same enzymes that metabolize ethanol, alcohol dehydrogenase, and aldehyde dehydrogenase also metabolize methanol; however, the products of methanol metabolism (i.e., formaldehyde and formic acid) are extremely toxic. Support for methanol’s contribution to hangovers comes from several sources. For example, distilled spirits that are more frequently associated with the development of a hangover, such as brandies and whiskeys, contain the highest concentrations of methanol. Moreover, in an experimental study with four subjects who consumed red wine containing 100 milligrams per liter (mg/L) of methanol, Jones (1987) found that elevated blood levels of methanol persisted for several hours after ethanol was metabolized, which corresponded to the time course of hangover symptoms. Methanol lingers after ethanol levels drop, because ethanol competitively inhibits methanol metabolism. The fact that ethanol readministration fends off hangover effects may be further evidence of methanol’s contribution to the hangover condition, given ethanol’s ability to block methanol metabolism and thereby slow the production of formaldehyde and formic acid. Certain people develop headaches soon after drinking red wine but not after drinking white wine or vodka. Recent research finds that red wine, but not white wine or vodka, can increase plasma serotonin and plasma histamine levels. The specific agents in wine responsible for these increased levels are not known. Increased plasma serotonin and histamine can trigger headaches in susceptible people (Pattichis et al. 1995; Jarisch and Wantke 1996).

The ethanol you drink to get drunk is not the only factor contributing to your hangover! You have probably heard that dark liquors give you worse hangovers than clear, and it's true. The reason dark liquor can have you feeling worse in the morning is because it contains more congeners, specifically methanol (or methyl alcohol). Methanol is oxidized in the liver as formaldehyde and then to formate, in a relatively slow process (this means the toxin is present in your body for longer, and therefore you need more defense against it!). This is what a lot of our competitors choose to look past, they only use enough antioxidants to combat the effects of ethanol in an effort to reduce costs, meanwhile, methanol is getting away scott-free. CydeKick has the most comprehensive antioxidant blend on the market and truly defends against more alcohol (both types) induced free radical damage than anyone else.