Last modified: May 13, 2019
Last modified: May 13, 2019
If you’re someone who suffers badly from hangovers, there’s a good chance you’ve been trying and testing all different methods to reduce some of the discomfort.
But have you ever considered natural vitamins to reduce the pain of the morning after?
In this article we’re going to take a closer look at the best vitamins and minerals for hangovers and evaluate the research behind them.
To understand how they all work, we need to explain how hangovers effect your body in the first place.
When you drink, alcohol levels start to build in your bloodstream. At the same time, your liver is working away to break down this alcohol to produce energy from it – much like everything we eat.
However, your liver can only process one drink per hour.
As a result, you start to feel drunk as alcohol reaches your brain. This is usually the desired effect!
But it’s also where your hangovers start to kick in…
As your liver struggles to break down the alcohol, toxic by-products also start to build up. One of the main harmful ones is called acetaldehyde.
Acetaldehyde is a highly reactive molecule which rapidly breaks down to form “free radicals” which react with the cells they come into contact with.
Studies have shown a strong correlation between the blood acetaldehyde and the severity of hangovers.
In addition to this, you’ll know that dehydration is a big factor in causing your hangover symptoms. This is because alcohol is a diuretic.
This means that it increases the amount of urine you produce which leads to a net loss of fluid.
In fact, for every bottle of beer you drink, you’ll lose around 10-20% more water from your body.
Typical hangover symptoms include:
Free radicals are actually produced by your body every second of every day.
In fact, there’s a constant balance between free radical production and neutralization your whole life.
Your body uses antioxidants produced by your liver or directly from your food to clear free radicals before they cause too much damage.
Periods of over indulgence can tip this balance over the edge and result in more free radical damage.
This is where vitamins and minerals come into play.
There are several naturally occurring nutrients that act as powerful antioxidants to help support this imbalance.
So without further ado, lets take a closer look at the best antioxidant vitamins and minerals which can help with hangovers.
Vitamins B Complex
B-vitamins are crucial components for human metabolism. Each one acts as either a cofactor or a precursor for major metabolic processes in your body.
When it comes to alcohol and hangovers, B-vitamins are crucial for your liver to break down alcohol and its toxic by-products.
B-vitamins are used by your liver to produce antioxidants in order to protect your cells from free radical damage.
The best B-vitamins for a hangovers include, B1 (thiamine), B2 (Riboflavin), B3 (Nicotinamide) and B6 (Pyridoxine).
Vitamin E is purely an antioxidant vitamin. Its main function is to clear up “reactive oxygen species”, also known as free radicals.
Deficiency in vitamin E is rare and usually only occurs in people who aren’t able to absorb it properly.
You’re probably more used to knowing about vitamin C with its role in the immune system than to do with hangovers.
Vitamin C functions as an essential part in many of the metabolic functions in your body including promoting wound healing and collagen production.
Aside from this, it’s a powerful antioxidant.
In fact, it works in harmony with Vitamin E because one of its functions is to restore and regenerate the antioxidant function of vitamin E.
It’s well researched that alcohol can cause depleted magnesium stores from your cells.
Therefore restoring magnesium levels may help some way in your hangover recovery regime.
Copper, Chromium, Selenium, Zinc
Collectively, these are known as “trace elements”. They are antioxidant activators and even small changes in their levels can cause disturbance in their metabolism.
You’ll find them in pretty much everything you eat. Once again, alcohol can deplete trace elements, in particular with regards to zinc levels.
When it comes to hangovers – prevention is key.
By this we mean taking all measures before the hangover has fully set in. If you’re going to take vitamins with the aim of hangover prevention, taking them after your last drink (and not the morning after) is an important factor.
If you’ve woken up with a hangover, the damage is already done. The only thing that’ll help is rest, rehydration and time.
Nowadays, you’ll be able to take vitamins in all different ways and doses. You can stick to the traditional methods of eating fruit and vegetables to get your top up, but this has its obvious drawbacks after a night out.
The best way to take vitamins is mainly dependent on your personal preference. However, which way you choose can have big differences in cost, dosing and effectiveness.
So lets take a closer look at the different options on the market today.
You’ll be able to find IV hangover companies in most big US cities. They work by supplying the vitamins mentioned above with additional fluid directly into your blood stream.
As a result, the concentration of vitamins administered in this way is significantly higher than any other solutions because it by-passes “first pass metabolism”.
This means that the nutrients are not metabolised by your liver before reaching your cells and have direct access to restore and replenish reserves.
That being said, there are a few downsides to IV drip therapy that you should consider.
Firstly, it’s very expensive so it won’t be suitable for everyones budget. A single bag of vitamin infused IV water will cost between $150-$300 depending on which company you go for.
Secondly, it takes around one hour to infuse a litre of fluid in addition to the set up and cannulation process.
Another thing to consider is that the infusion is usually given the day after a big night out. This means your hangover has taken hold and quite a lot if damage has already been done by the time you have your infusion.
IV drip pros and cons:
Vitamin patches work by supplying nutrients “transdermally”. You have little capillaries (small blood vessels) just under the outermost skin layer which are able to absorb nutrients.
These patches infuse vitamins over a longer period of time and are easily applied. They’re often see-through as well so its very discrete.
Vitamin patches are easy to transport as well and can be applied anywhere, anytime which makes them versatile.
The amount of vitamins you get from a patch are comparatively small. Theres only so much that can fit in a patch and also the amount absorbed from your capillaries will be limited.
Another thing to consider is that allergic reactions to the adhesive used to stick onto your skin are common. This usually results in local redness / itchy skin.
Vitamin patch pros and cons
There are hundreds of vitamin drinks to chose from nowadays so we’ll use vitamin water as an example.
Drinking a vitamin water at the end of your night is easy to do and also tastes good. It’s also an easy way to rehydrate at the end of your night.
That being said, if you take a close look at the ingredients labels, they’ll usually have low doses of vitamins and often don’t include more than a handful of them.
Vitamin drink pros and cons
Taking a traditional supplement in pill or capsule form is also another option. You’ll easily find supplements which contain all the essential vitamins, minerals and more.
Most hangover supplements will also contain an array of antioxidant herbal extracts and amino acids to provide a more all-round solution.
Hangovers are a sign from your body that you’ve drank too much. Although vitamins could help, they’re certainly no magic cure.
The only real way to prevent a hangover is drinking within your limits and making sure you give your liver a chance to clear alcohol and its by-products before they cause too much damage.
Drinking plenty of water throughout your night and having a full meal before going out can go a long way in preventing the worst hangovers.
In addition, sticking to lighter coloured drinks can also help a lot.
The reason is, darker drinks like whisky and red wine have high concentrations of congeners.
These are inflammatory compounds which have been shown to significantly increase hangover severity.
In fact, bourbon was found to the worst offender when it comes to congener concentration.
So, that brings us to the end of our selection of the best vitamins for hangovers.
We’ve walked you through the basics of how hangovers affect your body and explained how some vitamins and minerals work to support your bodies normal metabolism.
We have also taken a close look at the different ways you can decide to take your vitamins.
Remember, supplements are here to support your goals but they must be combined with a healthy lifestyle overall. No supplement can beat sticking to drinking within your limits and plenty of rest.
Follow us on social:
This product does not prevent intoxication or protect against alcohol related damage that may be caused by excessive or long term drinking. AfterDrink is not a Hangover cure. The only way to reliably prevent a hangover is to drink in moderation and within recommended limits. Hangovers are usually caused by drinking too much in a short period of time. If you are pregnant, breastfeeding or taking any prescribed medication or have any medical conditions including food allergies, it is best to consult your doctor before taking food supplements.
|There are no products|