Fatigue, irritability, headache, nausea, and headache are just a few of the symptoms of a hangover. These very often occur after a heavy night of drinking alcohol. While many hangover cures and myths exist, only certain ones are backed by science.
Certain foods and supplements can help to prevent hangovers as well as cure them the next day, too. The following are the best vitamins, supplements, and minerals to take for hangover symptoms.
Why Supplements are Helpful for Hangovers
Hangovers specifically are caused by dehydration. As alcohol is a diuretic, it causes unpleasant side effects such as headaches and dizziness. Drinking alcohol also affects the body’s electrolyte levels, blood sugar levels, and blood levels leading to poor sleep, fatigue, and nausea.
Congeners, found in alcoholic drinks, such as methanol and tannins are associated with more severe hangovers – the darker the alcohol the more congeners there are in it. High congener drinks create more negative effects.
Supplements can help to decrease hangover severity by helping the body to produce antioxidants, boost metabolism, and eliminate toxins. Some supplements can even be taken before a night of drinking alcohol to help with the feeling of intoxication and hangover symptoms.
Best Supplements for Hangover
When the body consumes alcohol, it depletes natural vitamins, fatty acids, enzymes, and amino acids. The feeling of a hangover is the body fighting the toxic substances.
Below are the best vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and herbs to prevent and cure a hangover.
Vitamin B Complex
Vitamin B complex is made up of Vitamin B1, B2, B3, B6, B7, and B12. It is popular for helping the body avoid symptoms of a hangover. When the body begins to metabolise alcohol, Vitamin B stores are reduced.
Alcohol can, in some cases, inhibit some B vitamins. This is what causes the feeling of tiredness. Taking B Vvtamins can help the body break down fats into energy, keep the digestive system healthy, and produce neurotransmitters such as dopamine.
Taking a Vitamin B Complex supplement helps to support recovery and ease symptoms of a hangover. While certain foods contain Vitamin B, a complex supplementation ensures all the necessary B vitamins are consumed.
L-cysteine is an antioxidant known to increase glutathione levels in the body. It helps to promote liver detoxification – something understandably important after alcohol consumption.
Alcohol consumption lowers glutathione levels, which makes the body much more vulnerable to acetaldehyde – the byproduct of alcohol metabolism.
A study found that L-cysteine can alleviate hangover symptoms
and even prevent them from occurring. In particular, L-cysteine helps with symptoms such as nausea, anxiety, and headaches.
Vitamin C is involved in important body processes such as immune system function, collagen production, and wound repair. It has also been found to promote liver health.
Some research has even found that excessive alcohol consumption inhibits the body’s ability to absorb vitamin C. Vitamin C is always recommended when trying to cure a hangover, hence why orange-based food and drink are popular hangover products.
The body doesn’t produce vitamin C, meaning supplementation is necessary or a diet rich in citrus fruits. Vitamin C is one of the essential vitamins with multiple health benefits.
Magnesium is essential in more than 300 biochemical reactions in the body. For instance, it is involved in energy metabolism and DNA synthesis. Magnesium has been found to help treat headaches, support healthy blood sugar levels, boost exercise performance, and support better sleep.
Since alcohol consumption inhibits the body’s ability to enter deep sleep, magnesium can help combat this, helping to reduce the risk of fatigue and sleepiness.
Furthermore, a hangover is commonly caused by dehydration. Magnesium works with other electrolytes to maximise hydration, ultimately helping with hangover symptoms.
Vitamin D is one of the most essential vitamins, important for the absorption of calcium and phosphorus. It is also critical in keeping the immune system functioning normally.
Drinking alcohol can cause Vitamin D deficiency and completely disrupt the digestive system – hence why the stomach suffers astronomically when too much alcohol is consumed.
Taking Vitamin D after a night out can help elevate hangover symptoms as well as just keep the body healthy, reducing the harm consuming drinks can do to the whole body.
Calcium is known for keeping bones strong and healthy, but it also helps to keep the body’s electrolyte balance in equilibrium. For this reason, calcium supplements should be considered after heavy alcohol consumption.
Excessive drinking over time can damage your liver and prevent it from producing an enzyme needed for the body to absorb calcium. For this reason, calcium is important for healthy liver function.
While taking calcium supplements does not prevent a hangover itself, it does assist in the body’s hydration and also ensures the damage caused by alcohol is lowered.
Potassium is a necessary mineral for the proper functioning of the body’s cells. It helps to regulate blood pressure, and heartbeat and ensures the proper function of nerve cells and muscles. It is also an essential mineral for the metabolism of carbohydrates.
Alcoholic drinks reduce the body’s ability to retain water, leading to the loss of electrolytes and dehydration. Essentially, potassium is lost as a result of heavy drinking.
Simply taking potassium helps to replace what was lost from alcohol consumption. It is recommended that this is combined with other electrolytes and vitamins such as sodium.
Zinc is a trace mineral that aids with wound healing, the body’s metabolism, and immune system function. It is important in the oxidation of ethanol into acetaldehyde.
In short, zinc helps the body to absorb alcohol better and breaks it down more effectively, too. This ultimately makes the hangover symptoms much more manageable. Of course, eating a hearty meal and drinking plenty of water before drinking alcohol can highly reduce the symptoms of a hangover for this very reason.
Alcoholic drinkers who eat foods high in zinc are less likely to have less severe hangovers. It is one of the most recommended minerals for those who engage in binge drinking. Foods such as oysters, cashew nuts, and pork are high in zinc.
Are Natural Supplements More Effective Than Traditional Ones for Hangover Relief?
When it comes to alleviating the symptoms of a hangover, many people turn to natural hangover relief supplements for a gentler alternative to traditional remedies. These natural supplements, often containing ingredients like ginger and milk thistle, are believed to be more effective in easing nausea and boosting energy levels after a night of overindulgence.
N-acetyl-cysteine (NAC) is considered to be one of the best supplements to combat a hangover. NAC increases your body’s ability to produce glutathione – an antioxidant that reduces the toxicity leading to a painful hangover.
NAC also balances the activity of neurotransmitters in the brain
, helping to reduce anxiety – another common symptom of a hangover.
NAC also helps support liver health, making it an important nutrient to take which doesn’t increase the risk of drowsiness or nausea. It is recommended that NAC is taken about 30 minutes before drinking an alcoholic drink to make it the most effective.
Avoiding hangover symptoms is possible with the help of supplements and vitamins. The best way to avoid a hangover is to drink alcohol in moderation consuming rich foods, and drinking water.
While hangover supplements may provide relief
from some hangover symptoms, the most effective way to avoid a hangover is to consume alcohol responsibly and in moderation.
Supplements should also not be used to balance out a substance abuse problem or other mental health disorders. Excessive drinking of alcoholic beverages should be addressed and prevented.
What are hangover supplements, and how do they work?
Hangover supplements are dietary supplements designed to alleviate the symptoms of a hangover, such as a headache, nausea, and fatigue. They typically contain a combination of vitamins, minerals, and herbs that can help your body recover from the effects of alcohol consumption.
The effectiveness of hangover supplements can vary from person to person. While some individuals may find relief from these supplements, they are not a guaranteed cure for a hangover. They can help replenish nutrients that alcohol depletes, but the best way to avoid a hangover is to drink responsibly and in moderation.
When should I take hangover supplements?
It’s generally recommended to take hangover supplements before or during alcohol consumption to help mitigate the effects of alcohol. However, you can also take them the morning after to alleviate hangover symptoms.
It’s generally safe to take hangover supplements with alcohol, but it’s important to follow the recommended dosages.
Are natural remedies, such as drinking water or consuming certain foods, just as effective as hangover supplements?
Remember to stay hydrated and eat certain foods that can help alleviate hangover symptoms. Drinking water, consuming electrolyte-rich foods, and eating a balanced meal before drinking can all contribute to reducing the severity of a hangover. However, hangover supplements are designed to provide a concentrated dose of specific nutrients that can be beneficial.
Drinking in moderation, pacing yourself, staying hydrated, eating before drinking, and getting enough sleep are all important steps to prevent or alleviate a hangover. Hangover supplements can complement these efforts but are not a substitute for responsible drinking habits. Coconut water, pickle juice, and milk thistle are also considered hangover cures.
How do I choose the best hangover supplement for me?
To find the best hangover supplement, consider your specific needs and preferences. Look for supplements with ingredients that address the symptoms you commonly experience during a hangover. Reading reviews and consulting with healthcare professionals can also help you make an informed choice.