Good news! If you’ve ever happened to have one (of a few) too many scientists have figured out a new way to help you sober up.
Whether it’s drinking a glass of water between every drink, a cup of coffee or a ‘tac yak’, we all have a ‘sobering up trick’. But how often do these things actually work?
Now, Canadian researchers believe they have found a way to help people sober up and prevent instances of alcohol poisoning and it involves breathing the alcohol out of your system.
According to a small study published in the journal Nature, alcohol can be eliminated through breathing which is why we can always smell booze on our breaths.
Scientists from the University of Toronto have found that by safely helping people to hyperventilate sped up the clearance of alcohol from a healthy body up to three times faster than if the person just breathed normally.
However, hyperventilating can also lead to expelling a little too much carbon dioxide and you could end up fainting. This is why scientists have developed a special machine to help us sober up safely.
Controlled hyperventilation also known as isocapnic hyperpnea can be achieved through a machine called the ClearMate which consists of a gas mask connected to supplies of both oxygen and carbon dioxide.
Joseph Fischer who was an author of the study and helped to invent the ClearMate spoke to Gizmodo, explaining that the machine allows for ‘the normal amount of carbon dioxide to escape and any excess is returned on the very next breath’.
The machine also requires no computers or electrical elements as it operated on a valve system making it ‘foolproof’.
The study involved getting 5 healthy males into an intoxicated state with vodka and water and then timing how long it took for their blood alcohol levels to reduce both naturally and with the ClearMate.
The study found that with the ClearMate, subjects sobered up three times faster than they would have without the machine.
It must be noted that due to the very small size of the study that it must be taken with a grain of salt. However, the device is also not new and the ClearMate already has FDA approval in the United States in order to treat carbon monoxide poisoning.
Fisher explained that the ClearMate could easily sed to treat both conditions. He stated:
The method is so simple and obvious that even looking at it, no one recognises its potential. Hiding in plain sight. I don’t know how else to explain it.
The team behind the study have called for additional research to be conducted to confirm the effectiveness of hyperventilation to reduce blood alcohol levels, but so far the results are pretty promising.
But, whatever you do, don’t try to hyperventilate yourself sober at home, you might just knock yourself out!