THE DRINK NATION IS A FREE RESOURCE FOR FINDING EVERYTHING AWESOME ABOUT DRINKING IN YOUR LOCATION
San Diego Trip Giveaway Header

How Do You Cure the Hiccups?

Who knows!
How Do You Cure the Hiccups?

You have the most of the pub’s attention. You’re about to make your closing argument on why Val Kilmer was twice the Batman Keaton was, clearly demonstrating your film-nerd brilliance while shaming your debate opponent into submission. Then it happens — the horror. Right in the middle of your “AND Robin is underrated!” point your body betrays you. In one uncontrollable move you gasp, suck in, and let out a noticeable “HIIICCC!!” In this one moment, your credibility is shot. People start to turn away, you hear mutterings of “had too many” or “clearly, it’s the drink talking,” and now no one takes your defense of Val seriously. Damn you, hiccups. Damn you.

How did this happen, and why does it seem to happen more when you’re drinking? Scientists will tell you hiccups are the result of complex motor actions that, interestingly, only milk-drinking mammals can do. Because of this, it is thought hiccups evolved as mechanism to get air out of the stomach that may accumulate during suckling. When you hiccup, your brain coordinates the sudden contraction of your diaphragm muscles that are involved in breathing. Just after the contraction, the vocal cords close off, creating the telltale "hic" sound. Your phrenic nerves control this diaphragm and when they get irritated the hiccups begin.

Unfortunately, there is a long list of things that can set them off, and several items on that list are invoked when drinking. Alcohol itself is a known hiccup-instigator, and so is the expanding and contracting of the stomach muscles that occur when you are filling your belly with vast amounts of carbonated liquid. Stomach acids tend to build up as you drink, and as these acids creep into your esophagus they can irritate the nerves that set off hiccups. While drinking alcoholic beverages may not be the only thing that causes hiccups, it sure doesn’t help.

Now, we turn to our staff of medical experts for remedies proven by science to work every time! ...And find there are none. Modern science has yet to produce a hiccup cure that works for every situation, but the world has no shortage of remedies you might want to try. The list reads like the catalog of a 19th century travelling medicine show (with leaches and x-rays omitted), but given the annoyance hiccups can cause, some of these may be worth a try.

Somewhat Reasonable Sounding Remedies

    • Holding your breath
    • Induced sneezing
    • Breathing into a bag,
    • Drinking water while covering your ears
    • Drinking water while breathing through your nose
    • Pulling your tongue
    • Pressing on the eyeballs
    • Sudden fright
    • Eating dry granulated sugar
    • Eating a teaspoon of honey
    • Bitters on a lemon wedge, popped into your mouth like a tequila shot
    • Sucking on an ice cube

Slightly Questionable Remedies

    • Drinking water with a chopstick holding down your tongue
    • Drinking water upside down
    • Purchasing a Hic-Cup for $16.97
    • Giving yourself the Heimlich maneuver
    • Using a broomstick to press on your diaphragm
    • Getting hypnotized
    • Trying acupuncture

You’re Seriously Desperate If You Need To Try These Remedies
(Important note: we do not recommend any of these. Just deal with the hiccups instead, right?)

    • Taking chlorpromazine
    • Tickling the pharynx with a catheter stuck through the nose
    • Blister or burn the skin above the phrenic nerve on the neck and back
    • Getting an implantable breathing pacemaker
    • Getting a vagus nerve stimulator implanted that  zaps your vagus nerve with electric impulses

How do you deal with the hiccups? Add your remedy to the comments.

Photos by Danya Henninger

Recent Articles
Perfect Punches for Your Super Bowl Party
Beer Review: Featherweight Pale Ale by Cannonball Creek Brewing
The Craft Beer Billionaire Club Adds A Member
Home Bar Project Below Features
From Around The Web

Feedback

How are we doing? Tell us what you like or don't like and how we can improve. We would love to hear your thoughts!

*Name:
*E-mail:
*Suggestions:
 
The Craft Beer Billionaire Club Adds A Member

The Craft Beer Billionaire Club Adds A Member

Sierra Nevada Brewing's Ken Grossman joins the minimal ranks of craft beer billionaires. ...read more ›

by Ryan Hudak Jan 27, 2015
Cocktail Courier: Better Drinks, Delivered

Cocktail Courier: Better Drinks, Delivered

Cocktail Courier delivers all the ingredients and information for crafting cocktail-bar worthy drinks right to your door....read more ›

by Seanan Forbes Jan 26, 2015
UK Company Creates Guinness Flavored Chips

UK Company Creates Guinness Flavored Chips

UK company releases original Guinness flavored and Guinness Rich Beef Chilli flavored potato chips. ...read more ›

by Kate Monzo Jan 26, 2015
SPONSORED
Perennial Funding - rectangle
Top 20 Drinking Quotes of All Time

Top 20 Drinking Quotes of All Time

Writers and musicians have a long, storied history with alcohol, and that intimacy with the bottle shows through in the memorable lines these artists ...read more ›

by Jenny An Sep 3, 2013
Brew Big Red: A Brewery Tour of Lincoln, NE

Brew Big Red: A Brewery Tour of Lincoln, NE

The college town of Lincoln, Nebraska is home to plenty of impressive taps....read more ›

by Carrie Dow Jan 26, 2015
Home Bar Project: How to Make a French 75

Home Bar Project: How to Make a French 75

Have you ever dreamed of having an amazing home bar, filled with bottles you actually use and the tools you need to execute a finely crafted cocktail?...read more ›

by The Drink Nation Jan 26, 2015
10 Session-Friendly Craft Brews to Drink Instead of Light Beer on Super Bowl Sunday

10 Session-Friendly Craft Brews to Drink Instead of Light Beer on Super Bowl Sunday

Somewhere along the way, watching pro sports became synonymous with drinking light beers, but there are plenty...read more ›

by The Drink Nation Jan 26, 2015
Anheuser-Busch Buys Seattle's Elysian Brewing in a Deal No One Saw Coming

Anheuser-Busch Buys Seattle's Elysian Brewing in a Deal No One Saw Coming

It was announced Friday that Elysian Brewing in Seattle has been sold to Anheuser-Busch. ...read more ›

by The Drink Nation Jan 23, 2015
Follow Grapes from Seed to Bottle in New Film 'A Year in Champagne'

Follow Grapes from Seed to Bottle in New Film 'A Year in Champagne'

This David Kennard film explores the story of the Champagne region and the 'magical transformation' of grapes ...read more ›

by Kate Monzo Jan 22, 2015
Where to Get Caffeinated in DC with a Boozy Twist

Where to Get Caffeinated in DC with a Boozy Twist

Sometimes you need a little boost to get through your day. ...read more ›

by Mara Kurlandsky Jan 22, 2015
SPONSORED
Read The Drink Nation Anywhere You Are
View all Articles

Sign up to get weekly drinking news, bar reviews, events and more sent directly to your inbox!

Close