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Evidence based

Advil (Ibuprofen) For Hangovers: Should You Take It After Drinking?

Afterdrink Author Kathy Caldwell
Kathy Caldwell

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AfterDrink Content Standards

  1. This article is based on currently available scientific evidence at the time of writing and fact checked.
  2. All referenced studies and research papers are from reputable and relevant peer-reviewed journals or academic associations.
  3. Some peer-reviewed papers have stronger study designs and are more robust in terms of quality and reliability. We will make every effort to highlight weak evidence.
  4. This article contains scientific references. The numbers in the parentheses (1, 2, 3) are clickable links to peer-reviewed scientific papers.
  5. The information in this article is NOT intended to replace a one-on-one relationship with a qualified health care professional and is not intended as medical advice.

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Evidence based

Can you take medication like Advil after drinking alcohol, and are they good for reducing hangover symptoms?

If you’re asking these questions, then chances are you’ve had a few too many at happy hour but aren’t sure whether you can mix Advil with alcohol.

Advil is the brand name for the drug Ibuprofen which belongs to a “class” of medicines called non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAID).

In this article, We’re going to take a closer look at whether you can take Advil after drinking alcohol and if helps with reducing hangover symptoms. We’ll also focus on some of the interactions and dangers of taking NSAIDs like Advil with alcohol.

So, with the introductions out the way, let’s start taking a closer look at whether taking Advil a hangover is a good idea or not.

Table of contents

How does Advil work?

We mentioned earlier Advil belongs to a group of medicines called NSAIDs.

They block cyclooxygenase which is a prostaglandin. In simple terms, prostaglandins are inflammatory chemical messengers, and blocking them reduces inflammation. That’s why these drugs are used as painkillers.

Other commonly known NSAIDs include Aspirin, Naproxen and Diclofenac. They work in very similar ways and much of what’s included in this article also applied to these drugs.

You should never take NSAIDs together. That means you shouldn’t mix Advil with Naproxen or Diclofenac or high dose Aspirin (300mg) in any combination. That’s because it increases the risk of side effects and overdose.

It’s important to mention that Advil is a brand name for the drug Ibuprofen. So you shouldn’t take Advil and Ibuprofen together as you’ll be double dosing.

So, with the science out the way, let’s take a closer look at whether these medicines are good to take for a hangover.

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Advil and alcohol interactions

Advil and alcohol don’t technically “interact” with one another. However, that doesn’t mean there aren’t any dangers when taking this drug with alcohol.

Advil has a long list of side-effects which we won’t go into as it’s beyond the scope of this article. But there’s one that’s particularly relevant when it comes to taking Advil with alcohol.

Your stomach has a mucus lining that protects it from the harsh and acidic environment created by stomach acid. NSAIDs, like Advil, reduce the stomach’s mucus lining. Therefore, exposing your stomach acid which is corrosive. In other words, increasing the risk of developing stomach ulcers.

The worry is that stomach ulcers in combination with drinking alcohol can increase the risk of severe bleeding.

With all that said, these risks are mainly associated with the regular use of drugs like Advil in combination with excessive alcohol consumption.

So, if you don’t have a history of stomach ulcers and don’t suffer from indigestion, taking a couple of Advil after a few drinks is unlikely to cause any problems. (1)

NSAIDs, like Advil, should ideally not be taken with alcohol. This is especially the case if you have a history of stomach ulcers or bleeding disorders.

Should I take Advil for a hangover?

By the time you wake up hungover, the alcohol levels in your bloodstream should be close to zero. Obviously, if you wake up drunk, then that’s a different story.

So, can you take Advil when you’re hungover?

Well, the manufactures say no.

Here’s some info from the Advil website: “We don’t recommend taking Advil if you have a hangover. NSAIDs, like Advil, can cause severe stomach bleeding, especially if taken at higher doses. Those chances become even higher if you have 3 or more alcoholic drinks a day while taking Advil.”(2)

The answer is pretty clear. Note that the emphasis is on taking Advil when drinking over recommended limits. i.e daily and/or more than two drinks a day.(3)

How long should you wait before taking Advil after drinking alcohol?

There are no hard and fast rules about this. But the important thing to appreciate is that your gastrointestinal tract is left in a fragile state after binge drinking. And we mention binge drinking specifically because that’s what usually causes a hangover. For most of us, a couple of glasses of wine with dinner doesn’t usually leave you feeling rough in the morning.

That’s why you hangover nausea is a real problem after a you’ve had a few too many at happy hour.

So, if you’ve woken up with a hangover, it’s best to wait until you’re feeling well enough to have a meal and get some fluids in you before popping an Advils.

Is Advil good for a hangover?

Side-effects aside, is Advil actually good for a hangover?

If your goal is to reduce some of the body aches and headaches associated with a hangover, then yes it definitely helps.

It’s a “painkiller” and would, therefore, ease some of the pain caused by a hangover.

On the other hand, it could make hangover nausea worse especially if you take it on an empty stomach in the morning.

As for the other 47 symptoms of a hangover, Advil will have zero effect.

Anything else to consider?

Hangovers are a sign from your body that you’ve been drinking too much alcohol for your body to handle. Taking painkillers like Advil will certainly help reduce some of the pain, but prevention is always the best approach.

Aside from drinking less alcohol, making sure you keep well hydrated and eating before going out is key.

You could also consider natural hangover supplements that can support your body during periods of over indulgence.

If you’re taking any medication or have a history of any bleeding disorders, ulcers or indigestion, it’s best to speak to your doctor first before taking Advil.

Taking Advil after alcohol and for hangovers – Final verdict

That brings us to the end of our look into whether you can take Advil and drink alcohol as well as if you’ve got a hangover the next day.

The answer is, ideally not if you can avoid it. Advil reduces the mucus lining of your stomach leaving it vulnerable to stomach acid. Regular use of Advil and alcohol in combination is particularly dangerous.

However, if you’ve got no medical history and don’t drink regularly, taking a couple of Advil when hungover or after drinking is unlikely to cause any problems.

Remember, prevention is key when it comes to hangovers. And if it’s too late for this already, check out our article on the best hangover cure drinks that’ll help kickstart your day.

Evidence based

Is Prickly Pear Good For Hangovers?

Afterdrink Author Kathy Caldwell
Kathy Caldwell

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AfterDrink Content Standards

  1. This article is based on currently available scientific evidence at the time of writing and fact checked.
  2. All referenced studies and research papers are from reputable and relevant peer-reviewed journals or academic associations.
  3. Some peer-reviewed papers have stronger study designs and are more robust in terms of quality and reliability. We will make every effort to highlight weak evidence.
  4. This article contains scientific references. The numbers in the parentheses (1, 2, 3) are clickable links to peer-reviewed scientific papers.
  5. The information in this article is NOT intended to replace a one-on-one relationship with a qualified health care professional and is not intended as medical advice.

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Evidence based

If you’ve landed on this article, chances are you know a thing or two about herbal hangover remedies.

Prickly pear is the fruit of a cactus plant and is hailed for its anti-inflammatory properties.

It’s also a popular ingredient you’ll see in hangover supplements.

But is prickly pear actually good for hangovers?

In this article, we’re going to take a closer look at the benefits of prickly pear and whether it can help with hangovers.

Table of contents

What is prickly pear?

Prickly pear fruits come from the prickly pear cactus (also known as the Nopal cactus).

It’s found natively in the southwestern regions of the United States and in Mexico.

The colorful fruits are packed full of polyphenols. Polyphenols are organic compounds that are found in colorful fruits such as berries, citrus fruits, and apples to name a few.

Diets rich in fruits which contain high amounts of polyphenols have been linked to several health benefits.(1)

And these benefits are thought to be because polyphenols are antioxidants which reduce levels of inflammation among other things.

With that said, the research is still ongoing and there’s a lot that is unknown about the role of antioxidants such as polyphenols in health.

You can get prickly pear as an extract in supplements and also pressed as a juice.

So, with the basics out the way, next up we’ll take a closer look at how alcohol affects the body and where prickly pear fits into the picture.

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Causes of a hangover

Before we get into whether prickly pear is good for a hangover or not, we first need to go over how alcohol causes hangovers.

After all, without knowing why we get hangovers, it’ll be hard to know if anything works.

Hangovers are ultimately caused by drinking too much alcohol, too quickly. Your liver breaks down alcohol from your bloodstream to get rid of it from your system. When your liver is overrun, your blood alcohol levels rise which is when the problems start.

Firstly, alcohol is a diuretic, which means it makes your kidneys flush out extra water. over the course of a night out, drinking too much alcohol can lead to dehydration as you pee out more fluid than you are consuming.

Secondly, when alcohol is metabolised in your liver, toxic by-products are formed such as acetaldehyde. These are also known as free radicals which react with your cells causing inflammation.

Finally, alcohol significantly reduces your sleep quality. Even small amounts of alcohol can prevent your brain from reaching the deep stages of sleep which is also known as the REM stage. Despite the fact that alcohol can help you fall asleep easier, the actual sleep quality is massively reduced.

In summary, dehydration, inflammation and poor sleep quality are just some of the main causes of a hangover. So it’s important to appreciate there are a combination of factors that all play a part.

So, with the science out the way, let’s move onto whether prickly pear can help with hangovers.

Is prickly pear good for hangovers?

So, now on to the all-important question, is prickly pear good for hangovers?

Prickly pear is one of few hangover remedies which has actually been tested in a clinical trial.

In 2004, 64 healthy young adults received either prickly pear cactus extract or placebo 5 hours before drinking alcohol.

Prickly pear cactus extract did not reduce overall hangover symptoms, but it did reduce the risk of having a severe hangover by 50%.

In addition, the groups receiving prickly pear reported less hangover nausea and dry mouth. However, symptoms such as hangover headache and shakes were the same.

The researches also found that levels on inflammation were reduced in those who took prickly pear before drinking alcohol.

So, to answer the question, is prickly pear good for hangovers?

Perhaps…

These initial results are promising. But as with all research studies, larger numbers of people are required for studies and it needs to be repeated.

Despite the research results showing promising results for the use of prickly pear as a hangover remedy, a lot more research needs to be done to show it works.

When should I take prickly pear for hangovers?

At the time of writing, we only have the research study mentioned above to to give us an idea of when to take prickly pear for hangovers.

With that in mind, taking prickly pear before drinking alcohol is what they went with.

And it seems like a logical approach. That’s because, by the time you’ve woken up with a hangover, alcohol has wreaked havoc on your insides already.

Is prickly pear a hangover cure?

No. Prickly pear is definitely not a hangover cure.

In fact, a hangover cure doesn’t exist and is unlikely to every do so. The reason being, we explained earlier that the cause of hangovers is complicated and involves several different damaging pathways.

At the very most, prickly pear may support your body’s antioxidant system.

Anything else to consider?

Hangovers are a sign from your body that you’ve been drinking too much alcohol for it to handle. Taking prickly pear to help hangovers is the wrong approach.

The best way to help hangovers is to prevent them from happening the first place. Drinking less alcohol is usually all that’s required.

Aside from this, eating before going our and making sure you keep well hydrated is also very important.

Prickly pear for hangovers – The verdict

Whether prickly pear is good for hangovers or not is still up for debate. There’s one promising study that has shown it can reduce the severity of hangover symptoms.

That means, a lot more research needs to be done to prove that it works.

Nevertheless, prickly still makes it onto our list of best supplements for a hangover.

If you’re interested in this topic, you should also check out article on the best vitamins for a hangover.

Evidence based

Is NAC Good For Hangovers?

Afterdrink Author Dewey Jhon
Dewey Jhon

X

AfterDrink Content Standards

  1. This article is based on currently available scientific evidence at the time of writing and fact checked.
  2. All referenced studies and research papers are from reputable and relevant peer-reviewed journals or academic associations.
  3. Some peer-reviewed papers have stronger study designs and are more robust in terms of quality and reliability. We will make every effort to highlight weak evidence.
  4. This article contains scientific references. The numbers in the parentheses (1, 2, 3) are clickable links to peer-reviewed scientific papers.
  5. The information in this article is NOT intended to replace a one-on-one relationship with a qualified health care professional and is not intended as medical advice.

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Evidence based

Is NAC good for hangovers? In this article, we’re going to take a detailed look at whether NAC can be used to support hangover recovery.

If you’re reading this article, the chances are that you already know a thing or two about NAC and are looking to learn more about using it for hangovers.

NAC, which is short for N-Acetyl- Cysteine is an amino acid that’s found in dietary supplements and used as a medicine in hospitals.

It’s particularly known for its detoxifying properties. So naturally, you may be wondering if NAC also helps with hangovers.

And that’s what we’ll be focusing on today. First, we’ll take a detailed look at what NAC is and examine its potential health benefits. Then we’ll take a closer look at whether NAC is good for hangovers or not.

So, with the introductions out of the way, let’s start taking a closer look at NAC for hangovers.

Table of contents

What is NAC?

NAC has a few different names:
– N-acetyl-cysteine
– Just “acetylcysteine”
– Acetyl-L-Cysteine

However you want to call it, it’s all the same thing.

N-acetyl cysteine (NAC) is a supplement form of cysteine. Cysteine is found in most high-protein foods, such as chicken, turkey, yogurt, cheese, eggs, sunflower seeds, and legumes.

NAC is an amino acid that is best known for its role in replenishing glutathione levels. And glutathione is one of the most powerful antioxidants in our bodies.

Glutathione is made from three amino acids: cysteine, glycine, and glutamine.

The reason why cysteine is the most important of the three is that you need to get some of it from your diet. That’s why it’s considered semi-essential because your body can produce it from other amino acids, namely methionine, and serine. It becomes essential only when the dietary intake of methionine and serine is low.

On the other hand, glycine and glutamine are non-essential amino acids because your body can make it if needed.

Next up, we’ll take a closer look at what the causes of a hangover are before seeing if NAC can help prevent or treat them.

NAC is the supplement form of the amino acid cysteine. It’s a “semi-essential” amino acid that is important in the production of glutathione which is a powerful antioxidant.

Causes of a hangover

Before we get into whether NAC is good for hangovers or not, we’ll first need to understand how alcohol causes hangovers.

Although dehydration is one of the main causes of a hangover that everyone knows about, it’s not the only one:

It’s true that alcohol is a diuretic which means it makes your kidneys flush out extra water. Clearly, NAC isn’t going to help with hangover related dehydration because only water can solve that problem.

Aside from this, the by-products of alcohol metabolism are another reason why we get hangovers. When alcohol is broken down in your liver, toxic substances such as acetaldehyde are formed. These are highly reactive and damage the cells they come into contact with causing inflammation.

Antioxidants, such as glutathione, neutralize some of these by-products before they cause damage.

And this is where it’s thought NAC could help with hangovers.

Is NAC good for hangovers?

So, now on to the all-important question, is NAC good for hangovers?

Unfortunately, there are no good human studies that have shown NAC is good for hangover prevention. It’s the same case with most natural ingredients as the interest in natural hangover remedies is limited.

And for good reason. It’s because the best way to prevent hangovers is to drink less alcohol. There’s an obvious solution.

With that said, there are some animal studies that have shown that NAC can reduce alcohol-induced inflammation. This is by increased the amount of glutathione your liver produces which neutralizes free-radicals.(1)(2)

In fact, NAC is used in hospitals around the world to prevent liver damage from acetaminophen overdose in the same way – By boosting glutathione levels.

In summary, it’s not known whether NAC is good for hangover prevention or not because it’s not been researched. However, there’s a lot of interest in NAC because of its well-known detox properties.

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Does NAC protect the liver from alcohol?

The answer to this question is, absolutely not.

NAC will not protect the liver from alcohol. In fact, nothing in the world exists that can protect the liver from alcohol.

NAC side effects

As with most supplements, side effects with NAC are uncommon. But they do happen. These include:

  • diarrhea
  • fatigue
  • nausea
  • a skin rash
  • vomiting

Side effects are more commonly seen when NAC is given in hospital at high doses with an IV infusion.

Anything else to consider

Hangovers are a sign from your body that you’ve been drinking too much alcohol for your liver to handle. Taking NAC to prevent hangovers is the wrong approach.

The best way to prevent hangovers is to drink less alcohol. Second, to this, making sure you eat before going out and keeping well hydrated are also important.

Sticking to lighter colored drinks may also help. That’s because they contain fewer congeners which have been shown in studies to make hangovers more severe. You can read more about this in our article about congeners.

NAC for hangovers – Final verdict

That brings us to the end of our look into NAC for hangovers.

There are many hangover prevention supplements on the market that include NAC in their formula. However, the benefits of NAC for hangovers is anecdotal at best.

What is certain is that NAC will not protect the liver from the damaging effects of alcohol.

If you’re interested in this topic, check out our article on the best supplements for hangovers.

Evidence based

Working Out Hungover: Is It A Good Idea?

Afterdrink Author Kathy Caldwell
Kathy Caldwell

X

AfterDrink Content Standards

  1. This article is based on currently available scientific evidence at the time of writing and fact checked.
  2. All referenced studies and research papers are from reputable and relevant peer-reviewed journals or academic associations.
  3. Some peer-reviewed papers have stronger study designs and are more robust in terms of quality and reliability. We will make every effort to highlight weak evidence.
  4. This article contains scientific references. The numbers in the parentheses (1, 2, 3) are clickable links to peer-reviewed scientific papers.
  5. The information in this article is NOT intended to replace a one-on-one relationship with a qualified health care professional and is not intended as medical advice.

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Evidence based

Should you work out if you have a hangover or Is working out good for hangovers?

These are common questions and ones that don’t exactly have simple answers.

Studies have shown that people are more likely to workout from Thursday through to Sunday. This encapsulates the weekend which is when most of us drink more alcohol.

So although you may assume that working out after drinking is an unlikely pairing, it’s actually more common than you’d think.

In this article, we’re going to take a closer look at how alcohol affects your body before moving onto whether we should be working out when hungover.

Some people even swear by working out as a hangover cure. So, we’ll also take a closer look at whether exercise can reduce hangover symptoms as well.

Table of contents

Causes of a hangover

Before we get into whether working out when hungover is a good or bad idea, we first need to go over how hangovers affect your body.

Ultimately, hangovers are caused by drinking too much alcohol, too quickly. You’re only able to metabolize alcohol at a certain rate. This is usually around one standard drink per hour. But this number varies greatly between individuals and factors such as your age, weight, and gender all play a part.

Drinking faster than this means that your blood alcohol levels start to rise. This is where you start to feel the pleasurable effects of alcohol. It’s also when the negative effects of drinking alcohol start:

Dehydration

Alcohol is a diuretic. This means it makes your kidneys flush out water. It does so by blocking a hormone called vasopressin which is responsible for water regulation. That’s why drinking too much alcohol can cause dehydration.

Inflammation

When alcohol is metabolized in your liver, toxic by-products such as acetaldehyde are formed. In simple terms, these react with your cells causing inflammation.

Sleep disturbance

Alcohol blocks your brain from reaching the REM stage of sleep. This is the deepest stage of sleep and where dreams happen. Aside from this, it’s important to have undisrupted REM sleep to have a fully rested mind.

As a consequence of the above mentioned damaging effects of alcohol, you wake up with hangover symptoms which we are all familiar with.

So, now that we’ve got some of the science out the way, let’s move onto how this is all relevant when deciding if it’s good to work out when hungover.

Should you work out when hungover?

Now on to the all-important question, should you work out when hungover?

While working out after a night of drinking might seem like the best way to make up for last night’s debauchery, it might not actually be the best idea.

Let’s face it, you’re not going to be at your sharpest when hungover. You’ll be dehydrated and your levels of tissue inflammation will be much higher than normal. That means your energy levels, focus and endurance are massively reduced.

Here are some of the ways in which working out when hungover can do more harm than good:

1) Working out exacerbates dehydration

We mentioned earlier that alcohol is a diuretic. Clearly, working out will exacerbate dehydration by making you sweat.

You can obviously counteract this by drinking more water. But by the time you’ve woken up with a hangover, your body has a significant water deficit that needs to be replaced over a longer period of time.

Downing a couple of litres of water before working out isn’t going to solve the problem. And doing so will only make you feel bloated and uncomfortable.

2) Clumsiness or “Brain fog” increases the risk of injuries

We all know the feeling, waking up hungover everything works in slow motion. “Brain fog” and reduced mental alertness are a real problem and studies have shown that cognitive function when hungover is significantly reduced.(1)

As a result, the risk of having accidents is naturally higher. Especially if you’re working out hungover with heavy weights.

3) Muscle recovery is reduced

There’s a good reason why top athletes don’t drink before or soon after sporting events. It’s well known that alcohol reduces muscle strength output and greatly increases recovery times.(2)

Ultimately, working out hungover is not going to have the same benefits for your athletic gains.

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4) Added pressure on your heart

Ever felt that your heart is beating faster when hungover? It’s because your resting heart rate is higher than usual after a big night out. There are several different reasons for it including dehydration and the effects of alcohol on your nervous system.(3)

Working out when hungover will only push your heart rate up further adding to the pressure on your body. With that said, it’s unlikely to do any long term damage. But it may not feel great while working out.

In summary, working out when hungover is probably best avoided. It adds unnecessary pressure on your body and there’s an increased risk of injury.

Does working out help with hangovers?

Some people work out to get rid of their hangover symptoms. You may have heard of the phrase “sweating out toxins” when hungover.

Unfortunately, it doesn’t work. That’s because there are no toxins to “sweat out”.

By the time you’ve woken up with a hangover, the damage from alcohol has been done. As we mentioned before, dehydration, inflammation, and a lack of good quality sleep are the main causes of a hangover. Working out is clearly not going to counteract or replenish any of these.

On the other hand, working out will increase the release of endorphins to give you a short-term analgesic effect.

Overall however, working out when hungover is unlikely to help with the myriad of hangover symptoms you’ll have after night out.

There is no scientific basis for “sweating out toxins or alcohol” when hungover.

Anything else to consider?

Hangovers are a sign from your body that you’ve been drinking too much alcohol for your liver to handle. Working out to cure a hangover is the wrong approach and could be detrimental rather than beneficial.

When it comes to hangovers, prevention is key. Aside from drinking less alcohol, eating before going out, and making sure you drink plenty of water while you’re out, also helps.

Working out when hungover – Final verdict

That brings us to the end of our look into working out hungover.

We’ve walked you through all the ways in which alcohol causes hangovers as well as the downsides to working out after drinking alcohol.

There are quite a few negatives to consider and working out hungover can be detrimental instead of beneficial for your body.

Alcohol and hangover put a lot of pressure on your body. Therefore, giving your body a chance to recover before working out is probably the best way forward.

If you’re interested in reducing the severity of hangovers, check out our article about hangover supplements that could help.

Evidence based

What Electrolytes Does Alcohol Deplete?

Afterdrink Author Dewey Jhon
Dewey Jhon

X

AfterDrink Content Standards

  1. This article is based on currently available scientific evidence at the time of writing and fact checked.
  2. All referenced studies and research papers are from reputable and relevant peer-reviewed journals or academic associations.
  3. Some peer-reviewed papers have stronger study designs and are more robust in terms of quality and reliability. We will make every effort to highlight weak evidence.
  4. This article contains scientific references. The numbers in the parentheses (1, 2, 3) are clickable links to peer-reviewed scientific papers.
  5. The information in this article is NOT intended to replace a one-on-one relationship with a qualified health care professional and is not intended as medical advice.

Posted on

Evidence based

What electrolytes does alcohol deplete? It’s a surprisingly common question and one that doesn’t exactly have a straightforward answer.

There’s a lot of interest in electrolytes for health at the moment, especially when it comes to hydration.

In fact, electrolytes are involved in most essential processes in your body.

So, can drinking alcohol deplete electrolytes?

If so, what electrolytes does alcohol deplete?

That’s what we’re going to take a closer look at in this article. We’ll see how alcohol affects your water and electrolyte balance and what you can do to counteract it.

Table of contents

What are electrolytes?

First things first, what actually are electrolytes?

“Electrolyte” is an umbrella term for particles that are negatively or positively charged in a solution.

In nutrition, the term refers to essential minerals found in every cell of your body which are involved in every metabolic process.

For this reason, electrolyte levels are kept within a strict range in your body.

That means it’s highly unusual to be “deficient” in electrolytes because small deviations outside the normal range result in very serious health problems.

Electrolytes found in your body include:

  • Sodium
  • Potassium
  • Chloride
  • Calcium
  • Magnesium
  • Phosphate
  • Bicarbonate

So, now that we’ve got some of the basics out the way, let’s take a closer look at whether drinking alcohol affects electrolyte levels.

Alcohol and electrolytes

Alcohol is a diuretic. This means it makes your kidneys flush out water.

It does so by blocking the release of a hormone from your pituitary gland (in your brain) called vasopressin.

Vasopressin is a chemical messenger that tells your kidneys to reabsorb water. Therefore, preventing water loss.

Therefore, when alcohol blocks the release of vasopressin, your kidneys flush out extra water. That’s why drinking too much alcohol can cause dehydration.

Your kidneys are responsible for regulating your body’s water levels. Aside from this, they’re also responsible for electrolyte balance.

The kidneys control electrolyte levels by fine-tuning how much of is lost in your urine vs how much held back in your bloodstream.

That’s why alcohol can disrupt electrolyte balance by interfering with the normal functioning of the kidneys.

What electrolytes does alcohol deplete?

Now on to the all-important question, what electrolytes does alcohol deplete?

The answer depends on the level of alcohol consumption.

Drinking within the recommended guidelines will not deplete electrolyte levels.

That’s because your kidney is extremely adept at adjusting to external pressures in order to keep electrolyte levels within certain limits.

In fact, even if drinking over your usual limits, your electrolyte levels won’t be depleted by alcohol.

On the other hand, chronic alcohol use can deplete certain electrolytes. These include magnesium, zinc and sodium.(1)(2)

With that said, it doesn’t mean replacing electrolytes will solve the problem. Next up, we’ll explore why this is in more detail. more in the next section.

How to prevent electrolyte depletion

In chronic alcohol use, it’s not as simple as just replacing depleted electrolytes.

That’s because the mechanism behind electrolyte loss differs between individual electrolytes. By that we mean, the cause for the loss of sodium is completely different from the reasons why chronic alcohol use depletes magnesium.

Without getting too technical and scientific, the best way to prevent or restore electrolyte loss is first, by drinking less alcohol.

We mentioned before that your body is capable of restoring the electrolyte balance by itself without supplementation.

Anything else to consider?

The important thing to realize that electrolyte levels are not going to be affected by having a few drinks. Even if you’ve had a few too many at happy hour, it’s still highly unlikely to deplete electrolytes.

With that said, if you’re dehydrated, electrolyte-rich solutions and drinks can help with hydration.

That’s why oral rehydration salts are used for things such as dehydration caused by diarrhea.(3)

Alcohol starts to affect electrolyte levels in chronic alcohol abuse. And it’s a sign that the amount of alcohol being consumed is having profound effects on the normal functioning cells.

Alcohol and depletion of electrolytes – Final words

That brings us to the end of our look into what electrolytes alcohol depletes.

It can be hard to talk about “electrolyes” as there are many of them and all have different functions in your body.

Your body keeps all electrolyte levels within strict boundaries because deviations from the norm have a profound negative impact on the normal metabolic functions of your body.

The answer to the question is that social drinking within recommended guidelines will have no negative impact on electrolyte levels.

Problems normally arise in long term chronic alcohol use and electrolyte depletion is a serious sign.

Evidence based

What Alcohol Is Easiest On Your Liver?

Afterdrink Author Dewey Jhon
Dewey Jhon

X

AfterDrink Content Standards

  1. This article is based on currently available scientific evidence at the time of writing and fact checked.
  2. All referenced studies and research papers are from reputable and relevant peer-reviewed journals or academic associations.
  3. Some peer-reviewed papers have stronger study designs and are more robust in terms of quality and reliability. We will make every effort to highlight weak evidence.
  4. This article contains scientific references. The numbers in the parentheses (1, 2, 3) are clickable links to peer-reviewed scientific papers.
  5. The information in this article is NOT intended to replace a one-on-one relationship with a qualified health care professional and is not intended as medical advice.

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Evidence based

What alcohol is easiest on your liver? It’s a surprisingly common question and one that doesn’t exactly have a straightforward answer.

If you’ve landed on this article, chances are you’re looking for a healthier way to drink alcohol.

Many years of liver neglect may be catching up on you. Thankfully, the liver is one of the most regenerative organs in the body so it’s never too late to start changing your drinking habits.

In this article, we’re going to take a closer look at which alcohol is easiest on your liver. To do so, we’ll need to go over how alcohol affects your liver in the first place.

Table of contents

How does alcohol affect the liver?

Alcohol is metabolized (broken down) in the liver. The process involves enzymes that break down ethanol (alcohol) into acetaldehyde which is further broken down into acetic acid.

Acetaldehyde is a noxious substance because it readily breaks down into “free-radicals”. These are highly charged particles that react with your cells causing inflammation.

But the main cause of alcohol-related liver disease is the build-up of fat in the liver. In simple terms, the metabolism of alcohol produces by-products that increase fat deposits in the liver. Over many years, this fuels inflammation and damage to the liver cells which ends up in scarring (aka cirrhosis). (1)

It’s important to note that these changes occur over many years with chronic alcohol consumption over the recommended guidelines. And these changes are not seen if drinking in moderation (within national guidelines).(2)

Which alcohol is easiest on the liver?

So, now on to the all-important question, which alcohol is easiest on the liver?

The quick answer is, none of them.

The reason being, the main liver-damaging ingredient in all types of alcohol is ethanol. It doesn’t matter which alcohol you chose, be it weak beer or grain alcohol.

Ultimately, the main thing that matters when it comes to deciding which alcohol is easiest on your liver is the strength and volume of alcohol consumed.

In the United States, a “standard drink” is defined as any beverage containing 0.6 fl oz or 14 grams of pure alcohol.

That means 12 fl oz of 5% beer (a small can) has the same amount of alcohol as 1.5 fl oz of 40% vodka (a shot glass). (3)

Therefore, drinking five cans of beer and 5 shots of vodka will put the same amount of alcohol-related pressure on your liver. Despite the volume of fluid from five cans of beer being a lot more than five shots.

In summary: There is no type of alcohol that is easier on your liver. The concentration of alcohol and volume consumed is the key differentiating factor. If you drink enough of any type of alcohol (even weak ones), it will be damaging to the liver.

Other factors to consider when deciding which alcohol is easiest on the liver

Fatty liver disease is another major cause of inflammation and long term morbidity to be aware of. In fact, fatty liver is one of the most common causes of liver disease.(4)

That’s why the amount of calories your drink contains is also important to consider.

Cocktails and carbonated mixers can be packed with carbohydrates (sugars) which are ultimately stored in your liver as fat.

In addition, drinks such as beer naturally contain much more calories compared to spirits. With that said, if you mix your whiskey with full sugar standard coke, it’s equally as bad.

In summary: Considering the calories in your drink is an important factor when deciding what alcohol is easiest on your liver overall.

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How to improve liver health

So, now that we’ve gone over which alcohol is easiest on your liver (none of them) and other factors that are important to consider, let’s look at the best ways to improve liver health.

Drink less alcohol

Until recently, it was thought that drinking small quantities of alcohol is good for your health.

The health benefits were particularly attributed to alcoholic drinks like red wine. And that’s because they are high in antioxidants such as resveratrol which have been shown in some studies to improve cardiovascular health.

With that said, opinions are starting to change. That’s because recent research has shown that there is no “healthy” amount of alcohol. And not drinking at all is healthier than drinking, even in small quantities.(5)

That’s why, drinking no alcohol is “easiest on your liver”.

Exercise and a healthy diet

It sounds obvious, but a low carbohydrate diet as well as limiting intake of processed foods can do wonders for your liver long term.

Of course, exercise can also help in improving overall health as well as weight loss.

We mentioned before that your liver is one of the most regenerative (if not the most regenerative) organ in the body.

Therefore it’s a forgiving organ and it’s never too late to start taking action.

Vitamins

If you eat a healthy balanced diet, you’ll get all the vitamins you need through what your diet. Therefore, there usually isn’t a need for regular supplementation.

However, chronic alcohol use is well-known to increase the requirements of certain vitamins. These mainly include vitamin B1, B2, B3, and B6.

Which alcohol is easiest on the liver – Final verdict

That brings us to the end of our look into what alcohol is easiest on the liver.

Unfortunately, there is no type of alcohol that is easier on your liver. Overall, the amount you drink is what matters.

At the end of the day, the damaging ingredient in alcohol is “ethanol” and all alcoholic drinks contain it. The only difference is how much ethanol is in it.

That’s why it’s not as simple as comparing if liquor is worse for your liver than beer. Or vice versa

Chronic alcohol consumption of any type of alcohol will be damaging to the liver and the body in general.

Thankfully though, drinking within recommended guidelines and keeping a healthy lifestyle is unlikely to put any excessive pressure on the liver.

Evidence based

Is Alka Seltzer Good For Hangovers?

Afterdrink Author Dewey Jhon
Dewey Jhon

X

AfterDrink Content Standards

  1. This article is based on currently available scientific evidence at the time of writing and fact checked.
  2. All referenced studies and research papers are from reputable and relevant peer-reviewed journals or academic associations.
  3. Some peer-reviewed papers have stronger study designs and are more robust in terms of quality and reliability. We will make every effort to highlight weak evidence.
  4. This article contains scientific references. The numbers in the parentheses (1, 2, 3) are clickable links to peer-reviewed scientific papers.
  5. The information in this article is NOT intended to replace a one-on-one relationship with a qualified health care professional and is not intended as medical advice.

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Evidence based

Is Alka Seltzer good for hangovers? It’s a surprisingly common question and one that doesn’t exactly have a straightforward answer.

Alka Seltzer comes as effervescent tablets that you drop into water. It’s marketed as an antacid and pain reliever combo.

Many people use it for hangovers as well.

But is Alka Seltzer actually good for hangovers or is it another hangover cure myth?

In this article, we’re going to take a closer look at what Alka Seltzer is made of and whether it has any benefits for a hangover.

Table of contents

What is Alka Seltzer?

Alka Seltzer is an over-the-counter drug made of three key ingredients:

  • Anhydrous citric acid (Antacid)
  • Sodium bicarbonate (Antacid)
  • Aspirin (anti-inflammatory pain killer)

As you can see, two of the ingredients are antacids and the other is Aspirin.

That’s why its sold as both a medication for indigestion and as an analgesic.

Unusually, People with indigestion are advised to avoid medication that includes Aspirin in it. In fact, any drug that belongs to the same class of medicine as Aspirin should be avoided.

The name of the class being “non-steroidal anti-inflammatories” and includes medication such as Ibuprofen.

The reason why it’s not recommended in people suffering with indigestion is because there’s a risk of serious bleeding from stomach ulcers. The FDA has also issued a warning about this.(1)

So, with the basics out the way, let’s take a closer look at the symptoms of a hangover to see if Alka Seltzer can help.

Symptoms of a hangover

Before we get into whether Alka Seltzer is good for hangovers or not, we first need to go over the causes and symptoms of a hangover.

The science of hangovers is complicated and contrary to popular belief, dehydration is not the only cause.

In fact, inflammation, poor sleep quality and congeners are just some of the additional factors that all play a part.

Ultimately, hangovers are caused by drinking too much alcohol and results in the following symptoms of a hangover.

  • Headache/body aches
  • nausea and vomiting
  • Inability to concentrate
  • Anxiety
  • Indigestion

Next up, we move onto the all-important question: Is Alka Seltzer good for hangovers?

Is Alka Seltzer good for hangovers?

Alka Seltzer may help ease some of the symptoms of a hangover. Firstly it has Aspirin in it and can therefore ease pain.

With that said, medicines like aspirin can irritate the stomach lining. Especially if your stomach is already in a fragile state.

Similarly, If you are suffering from a bit of hangover heartburn in the morning, it may also help with this.

However, we did mention earlier that medicines like aspirin can make heartburn worse.

In summary, it can be a little confusing when it comes to deciding whether Alka Seltzer is the right choice for hangovers.

Ultimately, it depends on your symptoms and what you’re trying to achieve.

If headache and body aches are the main problems for you when hungover, then the Aspirin in Alka Seltzer should help. However, taking acetaminophen and Ibuprofen will also do the job.

Similarly, Alka Seltzer may help settle heartburn because it’s an antacid.

An important thing to mention is that regardless of taking Alka Seltzer for hangovers or any other medicine, it’s not going to “cure” your symptoms.

At the very most, you’ll get some temporary relief from headaches and indigestion. Furthermore, it won’t have any effect on all the other symptoms of a hangover.

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Alka Seltzer for hangover nausea

Lots of people take antacids like Alka Seltzer to help with hangover nausea. That would suggest that indigestion is the main cause of feeling sick when hungover.

Although indigestion may very well be a contributing factor, it’s unlikely to be the only cause.

Alcohol is a toxin that inflames and irritates the stomach lining. In addition, it slows down the motility of your gut which means food sits in your stomach for longer.(1)

A combination of all these factors is likely responsible for hangover related nausea. Furthermore, nausea is a common side-effect of Aspirin (which is one of the ingredients in Alka Seltzer).

That’s why Alka Seltzer probably won’t help much and could make hangover nausea worse.

You can read more about this topic in our article about hangover nausea.

Alka Seltzer for hangover headache

Alka Seltzer contains 325mg of Aspirin which is an analgesic that can be used for headache.

The fact that Alka Seltzer is mixed in with water will also help rehydrate you.

What about Alka Seltzer XS for hangovers?

Alka Seltzer XS contains acetominophen (paracetamol) and caffeine in addition to the standard ingredients.

So with the addition of acetominophen, it could have a better overall analgesic effect.

With that said, the dose of acetaminophen is Alka Seltzer XS is only 133mg which is almost a 10th of a standard dose (1000mg for adults over 50kg).

Are there any negatives?

All drugs come with side effects. You should read the product labels to familarise yourself with them before taking them. In addittion, you should always speak to your pharmacist before trying new over the counter medicines.

If you have any medical condition or are taking any medical conditions, you should always speak to your doctor or pharmacist first as there could be interactions.

Anything else to consider?

Hangovers are a sign from your body that you’ve been too much alcohol. Trying to remedy your symptoms with Alka Seltzer, or anything else, is the wrong approach.

The best way to treat a hangover is to prevent getting one in the first place. Aside from drinking less alcohol, eating before going out and making sure you keep well hydrated throughout your night is also important.

Alka Seltzer for hangovers – Final verdict

That brings us to the end of our look into Alka Seltzer for hangovers.

Alka Seltzer is a drug that works both as an antacid and analgesic.

In summary, taking Alka Seltzer will:
– Help with aches and pains/indigestion
– Will not prevent or “cure” a hangover
– Does not help other symptoms of a hangover

It contains aspirin which comes with side effects you should be aware of. Particularly if you have any underlying medical conditions or are taking regular medicines.

Evidence based

The Best Alcohol For No Hangover: What To Drink On A Night Out

Afterdrink Author Kathy Caldwell
Kathy Caldwell

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AfterDrink Content Standards

  1. This article is based on currently available scientific evidence at the time of writing and fact checked.
  2. All referenced studies and research papers are from reputable and relevant peer-reviewed journals or academic associations.
  3. Some peer-reviewed papers have stronger study designs and are more robust in terms of quality and reliability. We will make every effort to highlight weak evidence.
  4. This article contains scientific references. The numbers in the parentheses (1, 2, 3) are clickable links to peer-reviewed scientific papers.
  5. The information in this article is NOT intended to replace a one-on-one relationship with a qualified health care professional and is not intended as medical advice.

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Evidence based

What alcohol is least likely to give you a hangover?

If you’ve landed on this article, the chances are you’ve had bad experiences with most types of alcohol and wondering what the best alcohol for a hangover-free morning is.

For some of us, even small amounts of alcohol can cause bad hangovers. On the other hand, up to 20% of people don’t get hangovers.

In this article, we’re going to take a closer look at which type of alcohol is the least likely to give you a hangover.

We’ll also see if “no hangover alcohol” exists.

To do so, we first need to go over the causes of a hangover and then work backward to find out which alcohol is least likely to cause hangovers.

Table of contents

Causes of a hangover

Before we get into which drinks give the least hangovers, we first need to go into detail about why hangovers happen in the first place.

There are two main hangover causing components in the alcohol we drink: Ethanol and congeners

Ethanol is what most of us know as “alcohol”. And congeners are the by-products that are formed when alcohol is made. More specifically, these by-products are formed during fermentation and when certain types of alcohol are aged in barrels (more on this later).

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Ethanol

Drinking too much ethanol, aka alcohol, is the main cause of hangovers. Your liver is only able to metabolize a certain amount of alcohol per hour. Typically, it’s around one drink per hour. But it varies widely depending on factors such as your age, weight, and gender. For example’s sake, we’ll stick to the one drink per hour benchmark.

Drinking any faster than this means that alcohol starts to build in your bloodstream. As it does so, it also builds in your brain which is where the pleasurable effects of alcohol are experienced.

However, at the same time, alcohol starts to exert it’s negative effects on the body as well:

1) Dehydration

Alcohol is a diuretic. That means it makes your kidneys flush out more water. It does so by blocking the release of a hormone from your pituitary gland (in your brain) called vasopressin.

As a result, drinking alcohol over prolonged periods of time means that you continue to lose water at a faster rate than you are drinking. Which consequently ends in dehydration.

You can read about this in more detail in our article about how alcohol causes dehydration.

2) Inflammation

Alcohol is metabolized (broken down) in your liver to form toxic by-products. The main one being acetaldehyde which is highly volatile and causes damage by reacting with your cells.

Your liver quickly breaks down acetaldehyde into acetic acid which is harmless. Thus avoiding a build-up of acetaldehyde which wreaks havoc on your insides.

However, during periods of overindulgence, this process is overrun. Therefore, you get a buildup of acetaldehyde and consequently higher levels of inflammation.(1)

3) Sleep disturbance

Alcohol has profound effects on the sleeping brain. It blocks you from reaching the REM stage of sleep which is essential for waking up fully rested.(2)

That means if you’ve slept 8 hours with alcohol in your bloodstream compared to 8 hours sober, the quality of sleep is wildly different.

You’ve probably noticed that even if you’ve had your usual hours of sleep, the way you feel the next day after a few glasses of wine at dinner is not the same as without any alcohol.

In summary: The above factors are the main reasons why “ethanol” causes hangovers. And next, we’ll move on to how congeners fit into the picture.

Congeners

As we mentioned earlier, congeners are natural by-products that are formed when alcohol is made and aged. They are partly responsible for the taste and aroma of alcoholic drinks.

Examples of congeners include, tannins, aldehydes, esters, and methanol to name a few.

Darker colored drinks naturally contain higher concentrations of congeners. That’s why drinks such as red wine, whiskey, and bourbon have such distinctive tastes.

Unforntautely, congeners make hangovers more severe and studies have shown this to be true. The reason is, congeners are biologically active. That means that they react with your cells causing inflammation.

For a comprehensive insight into this topic, check out our article about congeners and hangovers.

So, with the science out the way, let’s get straight into what the best alcohol for no hangover is.

Best alcohol for no hangover

Now on to the all-important question, which alcohol gives the least hangover?

From everything we’ve explained above, the only factor we have control of when choosing a drink is with regards to congener concentrations.

What we mean by this is that all alcoholic drinks contain ethanol. The ethanol that’s in wine, whiskey, alcopop or beer is all exactly the same. Therefore, the only thing that matters when it comes to hangovers is the amount of alcohol you drink.

However, choosing drinks with lower amounts of congeners could make a difference.

For example, having 3 single vodka tonics could give slightly less of a hangover compared to 3 single whiskey cokes. The alcohol concentration is similar, but the congener concentration is vastly different.

With all that said, if you drink enough vodka tonic, you’ll still wake up with the mother of all hangovers. Regardless of congeners. So, it’s all relative.

On that note, it’s important to mention that alcohol that gives “no hangover” does not exist. If you drink enough of any type of alcohol, you will wake up with a hangover. Period.

Next up, we’ll look at specific types of alcohol to see if there are differences within each group that may give you less of a hangover.

Best beer for no hangover

best beer for no hangover

When it comes to the best beer that will give you the least hangover, it all comes down to the strength of the beer and the color.

The most important factor is the beer alcohol percentage. Standard beers have a strength of 4% to 6%. And although the difference is only 2%, it’s still almost a 35% increase. It all adds up.

You can also find beers that have far higher strengths and obviously, these will give you a much worse hangover.

Aside from the strength, the color is also another factor to consider. Darker beers contain higher concentrations of congeners.

Best Vodka for no hangover

Best vodka for no hangover


Vodka is a spirit that is said to give the least hangover. That’s if you drink exactly the same amount and strength compared to something like bourbon.

There’s a lot of debate around whether more premium vodkas gives less severe hangovers. And a lot of it comes down to how many times the vodka has been “distilled” or “filtered”.

You’ll often see certain brands of vodka that are “5x filtered” or “triple distilled”. This essentially means that more impurities have been removed from the vodka. These impurities are also known as congeners.

In the grand scheme of things, the difference is probably marginal. And the effect it has on hangover severity may be even less.

Best Wine for no hangover

best wine for no hangover

The answer to this is simple. Red wine is well-known to give worse hangovers compared to white wine and Rosé.

That’s because red wine has more congeners. In particular, things like histamine and serotonin which are triggers for headaches.

You can learn about this topic in our article about wine hangovers.

Anything else to consider?

Ultimately, hangovers are caused by drinking too much alcohol. It’s a good sign from your body that it was too much alcohol for it to handle.

Looking for a type of alcohol that gives no hangover is the wrong approach. In addition, a no hangover alcohol does not exist.

All types of alcohol will give you a hangover.

The best way to wake up with no hangover is to drink less alcohol and slow down how fast you’re drinking. Other than this, drinking a glass of water between each alcoholic beverage and making sure you eat before going out is also very helpful.

In addition, hangover supplements could also provide a helping hand.

Best drinks that don’t give hangovers – Final verdict

That brings us to the end of our look into the best alcohol for no hangovers.

Unfortunately, a “no hangover alcohol” does not exist. With that said, there are certain types of alcohol that are known to give much more severe hangovers.

And these are linked to the concentration of congeners in them which exacerbate inflammation.

Evidence based

Is Milk Good For A Hangover?

Afterdrink Author Dewey Jhon
Dewey Jhon

X

AfterDrink Content Standards

  1. This article is based on currently available scientific evidence at the time of writing and fact checked.
  2. All referenced studies and research papers are from reputable and relevant peer-reviewed journals or academic associations.
  3. Some peer-reviewed papers have stronger study designs and are more robust in terms of quality and reliability. We will make every effort to highlight weak evidence.
  4. This article contains scientific references. The numbers in the parentheses (1, 2, 3) are clickable links to peer-reviewed scientific papers.
  5. The information in this article is NOT intended to replace a one-on-one relationship with a qualified health care professional and is not intended as medical advice.

Posted on

Evidence based

Wondering if drinking milk is good for hangovers? It’s a popular hangover cure remedy and lots of people drink milk to prevent and treat a hangover.

You may have heard that drinking milk can “line your stomach” acting like a barrier to alcohol.

But is any of this true? Is milk actually good for a hangover?

That’s what we’re going to find out today.

In this article, we’re going to take a closer look at all things to do with milk and alcohol. More specifically, we’re going to answer whether drinking milk can prevent a hangover. And also, whether it can “cure” your symptoms if you’re feeling rough in the morning.

Table of contents

What are the causes of a hangover?

Before we get into whether milk is good for hangovers or not, we first need to go over what the causes of a hangover are. After all, without knowing why we get hangovers, it’ll be hard to know if milk can help.

The science of hangovers is actually quite complicated and involves several different factors:

Dehydration

You may already know that dehydration is one of the main causes of a hangover. Alcohol is a diuretic which means it makes your kidneys flush out water. That’s because it blocks the release of a hormone called vasopressin. That’s why drinking over several hours can result in quite severe dehydration. You can find out more about this in our article about why alcohol dehydrates you.

Inflammation

Inflammation is a less-known cause of hangovers. Alcohol is a toxin and produces ever more toxins after it’s broken down in your liver. One of the main by-products of alcohol metabolism is acetaldehyde. It’s a highly reactive and noxious substance which inflames the cells it comes into contact with.

In fact, several alcohol-related gastrointestinal cancers are linked to repeated acetaldehyde exposure. (1)

Sleep disturbance

Sleep is not the same when alcohol is in your bloodstream. That’s because alcohol greatly reduces the quality of your sleep by blocking your brain from reaching the REM stage. This is the deepest stage of sleep and is essential for fully resting your mind. Even though alcohol will make you fall asleep much easier, the sleep is light and easily disrupted.

In summary: The cause of hangovers is “multi-factorial”. Meaning, there is no single cause. Rather a combination of the damaging and disrupting effects of alcohol are responsible. So, for milk to be good for hangovers, it’s going to have to have some really remarkable health benefits.

Next up, we’ll take a closer look at what milk is made of to see whether anything in it is good for hangovers.

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What is milk made of?

Well, it all depends on what milk you go for. As an example, we’ll compare cows milk and almond milk.

One 240 ml cup of cow’s milk with 3.25% fat provides:

Calories: 150
Water: 90%
Protein: 8 grams
Carbs: 12 grams
Sugar: 12 grams
Fiber: 0 grams
Fat: 9 grams
Vitamin B12
Vitamin B2
Calcium
Phosphorus
Vitamin D

One cup (240 ml) of commercial almond milk provides:

Calories: 39
Fat: 3 grams
Protein: 1 gram
Carbs: 3.5 grams
Fiber: 0.5 grams
Calcium
Potassium
Vitamin D
Vitamin E

The main difference is that cows milk is made from animal protein, more specifically casein. Whereas almond milk is plant-based protein. Also, cows milk has a lot more milk and calcium in it.

On the other hand, almond milk is very high in vitamin E which is an antioxidant.

Is milk good for a hangover?

Now on to the main question, is milk actually good for hangovers?

To explore this more, we’ll split up the answer into drinking milk as a hangover drink first. Then we’ll move onto drinking milk before alcohol for hangover prevention.

Can milk cure a hangover?

The simple answer to this question is no. Milk will definitely not cure your hangover. In fact, nothing on the planet will because a “hangover cure” doesn’t exist.

On the other hand, it may be a tasty, more palatable drink to have than plain water. Also, it provides some essential nutrients and is a good source of energy.

There’s nothing else in it that will reduce the symptoms of a hangover or speed up your recovery though. That goes for almond, cow or any other type of milk for that matter

Does drinking milk before alcohol prevent hangovers?

Once again, the answer is definitely not. If you drink enough alcohol, you’re guaranteed to wake up with a hangover. Milk or no milk.

However, if you’re comparing drinking alcohol on an empty stomach to drinking milk before, then milk is definitely better.

The reason is, drinking on an empty stomach leads to big spikes in blood alcohol concentrations which wreaks havoc on your insides. On the other hand, eating or drinking something nutritious beforehand massively reduces the absorption rate of alcohol.

And in this case, cows milk is probably marginally better than almond milk because it contains more carbohydrate, fat, and protein.

With that said, eating a meal is better than any type of milk. That’s because food sits in your stomach for much longer than a liquid drink.

What about oat milk or chocolate milk (or any other type of milk) for hangovers?

The truth is, the difference is marginal. Milk does not contain magic hangover-curing ingredients. It’s a nutritious drink that will provide you with some energy and hydration.

And more importantly, you may be able to tolerate it better than a meal in the morning when hungover.

But it really doesn’t matter what type of milk you go for.

Anything else to consider?

Hangovers are a sign from your body that you’ve been drinking too much alcohol for your body to handle. Trying to drink milk to prevent or cure your hangover is the wrong approach.

When it comes to hangovers, taking all the steps necessary steps to prevent getting one in the first place is key. Over and above everything, that means drinking less alcohol. Then after that, drinking at a slower pace, keeping well hydrated, and eating before going out is also important.

Milk for hangovers – Final verdict

There are a lot of hangover cure myths out there and drinking milk for hangovers is one of them.

Lots of people drink “milk to line the stomach” before going out. In actual fact, eating any solid food is probably better.

Others drink milk in the morning in the hope that it’ll take away some of their symptoms. Unfortunately, it’s not going to.

We’ve also explained that it doesn’t really matter what milk you go for. It’s all going to have the same non-effect on your hangover.

With all that said, if you’re feeling rough and like drinking milk because it’s easier to hold down, then, by all means, it’s a good drink to start off with. And it certainly won’t do you any harm.

If you’re interested in this topic, check out our article on the best hangover cure drinks.

Evidence based

Pedialyte For Hangovers: Does It Work?

Afterdrink Author Dewey Jhon
Dewey Jhon

X

AfterDrink Content Standards

  1. This article is based on currently available scientific evidence at the time of writing and fact checked.
  2. All referenced studies and research papers are from reputable and relevant peer-reviewed journals or academic associations.
  3. Some peer-reviewed papers have stronger study designs and are more robust in terms of quality and reliability. We will make every effort to highlight weak evidence.
  4. This article contains scientific references. The numbers in the parentheses (1, 2, 3) are clickable links to peer-reviewed scientific papers.
  5. The information in this article is NOT intended to replace a one-on-one relationship with a qualified health care professional and is not intended as medical advice.

Posted on

Evidence based

Is Pedialyte actually good for hangovers? It’s a common question as many people are using this rehydration drink to cure hangovers.

Pedialyte was originally designed as a drink to rehydrate unwell children. Nowadays, it’s widely marketed as a drink for all ages and causes of dehydration. Even as a rehydration drink for sports stars and athletes.

But is Pedialyte also good for hangovers?

Given that dehydration is one of the main causes of a hangover, it’s only natural to presume that Pedialyte could help.

In this article, we’re going to take a closer look at what Pedialtye is made of before answering whether this drink has any benefits for a hangover.

Table of contents

Causes of a hangover

Before we get into whether Pedialyte is good for hangovers or not, we first need to go over the causes of a hangover. After all, without knowing the reasons why drinking alcohol leaves you feeling rough, it’ll be hard to tell what works.

Ultimately, hangovers are caused by drinking too much alcohol for your body to handle. Alcohol is metabolized by your liver at a certain rate. Typically, that’s around one drink per hour for the “average” person. But the rate varies greatly depending on factors such as your weight, gender, and age to mention a few. You can read more about this in our article about how long alcohol stays in your system.

When you drink faster than the rate your liver is able to break down alcohol, levels start to rise in your bloodstream. And this is where the problems start:

Dehydration

One of the main causes of a hangover is dehydration. Alcohol is a diuretic which means it makes your kidneys flush out water. It does so by blocking the release of a hormone called vasopressin. As a result, drinking over several hours can lead to dehydration.

Inflammation

While dehydration plays a big part, it isn’t the only cause. When alcohol is metabolized, toxic by-products are formed. Examples include acetaldehyde which is a highly reactive molecule that damages the cells it comes into contact with.(1)

In normal circumstances, your body breaks down acetaldehyde quickly before it causes damage. In addition, antioxidants help by neutralizing harmful by-products. However, during periods of overindulgence, this system is overrun. Hence why inflammation is another major factor in the cause of hangovers.

Sleep quality

Alcohol massively reduces the quality of your sleep. It blocks your brain from entering the deep stages of sleep which is required to feel fully rested. This stage is also known as the rapid eye movement (REM) stage. Therefore, reduced sleep quality plays a large part in the severity of hangovers.(2)

In summary: The science of hangovers is complicated. It’s caused by a combination of the factors mentioned above.

With the science out the way, let’s take a closer look at what Pedialyte is made of to see if there’s anything in it that can help with hangovers.

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What’s in Pedialyte?

There are many different formulations of Pedialyte available, but the classic version contains:

  • water
  • dextrose, (a form of the sugar)
  • zinc
  • electrolytes: sodium, chloride, and potassium

Essentially, its water with added electrolytes, a small amount of sugar, and zinc.

Is Pedialyte good for hangovers?

So, now on to the all-important question. Is Pedialyte good for hangovers?

At the time of writing, there are no studies looking at Pedialyte as a remedy for hangovers.

With that said, it’s a drink that may help hydrate you when hungover. Whether it’s better than plain water isn’t known. However, it’s unlikely to be any worse.

The important thing to realize is that by the time you’ve woken up with a hangover, the damage caused by dehydration has already been done.

Therefore, the timing of when you drink Pedialyte is more important.

When to drink Pedialyte for hangovers

When it comes to hangovers, prevention is key. That means taking all the necessary steps to help your body deal with the stresses caused by alcohol.

Aside from drinking less alcohol, making sure you rehydrate after drinking alcohol is important. Therefore, drinking Pedialyte at the end of your night out is likely to be more beneficial than when you’ve woken up with a hangover.

Does drinking Pedialyte prevent hangovers?

Although we’ve said that rehydrating after drinking alcohol is important, it doesn’t mean that drinking Pedialtye will totally prevent you from waking up with a hangover.

Perhaps it will help reduce the severity of some of your symptoms. But completely preventing a hangover is unrealistic.

How much Pedialyte to drink for hangovers

So, you’re planning on trying Pedialyte for hangovers. How much should you drink?

There’s no hard and fast rule for this. But drinking a small glass of Pedialyte is unlikely to be of much benefit. Similarly, drinking too much, meaning more than a litre bottle in a short period of time may be excessive.

The best way is to sip on a bottle over a couple of hours with the aim of finishing up to one, 1-liter bottle.

Is Pedialyte a hangover cure?

Regardless of whether you drink Pedialtye before, during, or after drinking alcohol, it’s not going to cure your hangover. The same goes for drinking one cup of Pedialyte versus ten cups.

We mentioned earlier that dehydration is only one of the reasons why drinking too much alcohol causes hangovers.

Therefore, if you plan to drink loads of Pedialyte after a big night out and wake up hangover free, you’re going to be disappointed.

Are there any negatives?

Fortunately, drinking Pedialyte is unlikely to come with any side effects. It’s essentially just water with some minerals and electrolytes.

With that said, drinking litres of it in a short period of time is best avoided. But the same can be said about anything! even plain water.

Anything else to consider?

Hangovers are a sign from your body that you’ve had too much for your liver to handle. Trying to “cure” or “prevent” hangovers with Pedialyte is the wrong approach.

Drinking less alcohol, at a slower pace, and eating before going are the most important steps. Another good tip is to drink a glass of water between each alcoholic beverage.

In addition, darker coloured drinks are known to cause more severe hangovers. That’s because they contain more congeners which, like acetaldehyde, react with your cells. That’s why sticking to lighter coloured drinks may also help. You can read more about this in our article about congeners.

With that said, if you drink enough of any alcoholic drink, dark or light-colored, you’ll wake up with a bad hangover.

Pedialyte for hangovers – Final verdict

That brings us to the end of our look at Pedialyte for hangovers.

It’s a great drink that supports efficient rehydration with added minerals and electrolytes.

Whether it actually helps with hangovers is unclear because it’s not been researched. But the likelihood is, it’s probably a good drink to have at the end of your night to counteract some of the dehydration caused by alcohol.

Unfortunately, it’s not going to prevent or cure a hangover. So, the usual precautions still need to be taken.

If you’re interested in this topic, check out our article about the best drinks for a hangover.

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