Some Genius Invented Booze That Doesn’t Give You A Hangover
By 2050, this could be the only way to get tipsy.
The price we pay for a boozy night out: pounding headache, nausea and massive regret. As we’ve learned the hard way, alcohol is poison to our bodies, sometimes leading to cancer and heart disease over time. At the very least, it results in the immediate need for Advil and carbs the next morning.
But what if we could live in a future where alcohol doesn’t betray us so viciously?
Professor David Nutt from Imperial College London, AKA your new hero, says he’s making progress on developing a healthier alternative to alcohol called “alcosynth.” Nutt spent the last decade creating synthetic booze that weeds out all its harmful toxins. So far he’s patented 90 alcosynth compounds and is currently testing two of them for public use. Nutt is confident that by 2050, alcosynth will replace alcohol completely.
“It will be there alongside the scotch and the gin, they’ll dispense the alcosynth into your cocktail, and then you’ll have the pleasure without damaging your liver and your heart,” Nutt told The Independent. A health-conscious and hangover-free drink? Yes, please.
According to Vice, Nutt began developing alcosynth in 2005 because he wanted to reduce the tragic problems of “alcohol harm and withdrawal.” Every year, nearly 88,000 people die from alcohol-related causes in the United States, making it the fourth leading preventable cause of death. Nutt recognized that since it’s impossible to rid of the toxicity in alcohol, he could replace it with another substance instead.
To reduce alcohol’s harmful effects, Nutt is trying to trigger one or two receptors in the brain to minimize interactions with other receptors. Basically, alcohol is a drug and the more you take, the more effect you get. Alcohol affects brain function by interacting multiple neurotransmitter systems, disrupting the balance between inhibitory and excitatory neurotransmitters, according to a study by C. Fenando Valenzuela. Alcosynth is a “partial agonist that can never produce a maximal effect and could never kill you,” Nutt says.
As for how alcosynth tastes, the jury is till out. I imagine we’ll all mix it into cocktails with other ingredients that mask its flavor—just like we do now. The only thing that stands in his way are alcohol companies who have a lot to lose if this really takes off. But Nutt insists it will be impossible for people to turn down a healthier way to get drunk.
“The drinks industry knows that by 2050 alcohol will be gone,” he says. “They know that and have been planning for this for at least 10 years. But they don’t want to rush into it, because they’re making so much money from conventional alcohol.”
My only questions is, if booze becomes obsolete who will keep Advil and iHop in business?