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Evidence based

Zofran (Ondansetron) For Hangovers: Is It Good For Nausea?

Afterdrink Author Dewey Jhon
Dewey Jhon

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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 Zofran when hungover and does it help with nausea and other symptoms? This is a surprisingly common question with an answer that’s not exactly straightforward.

Zofran is a drug prescribed by doctors for various causes of nausea.

So naturally, you may be wondering if Zofran is good for hangover nausea as well?

And that’s exactly what we’re going to take a look at today. In this article, we’re going to examine how Zofran works and whether you can take it after drinking alcohol.

We’ll also look at whether it can be used for nausea associated with a hangover and if there are any side effects to be aware of.

So, with the introductions out of the way, let’s start taking a closer look at whether the Zofran you may have in your drugs cupboard can / should be used for hangovers.

Table of contents

What Is Zofran?

Also known as Ondansetron, Zofran is a prescribed medication for nausea. Ondansetron being the actual drug name and Zofran the brand or trade name.

The main indication for using Zofran is for chemotherapy-induced and post-operative nausea. It works by blocking 5HT3 receptors in the gastrointestinal tract and in the brain. And this receptor is an important mediator in certain causes of nausea.(1)

Aside from this, Zofran is also used for many other causes of nausea such as gastroenteritis. With that said, it’s not very effective for motion sickness (i.e seasickness).

It’s important to note that there are many pathways and receptors that are involved in the symptom of nausea and several other drugs are used when it comes to treating nausea.

Now that we’ve got some of the basics out the way, let’s take a closer look at Zofran for hangovers.

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Is Zofran good for hangover nausea?

So, will Zofran help with hangover nausea?

The simple answer is, yes, it’s likely to help.

However, it’s not a recommended use for this drug. Medication like Zofran should only be used as directed by your doctor. Using them to treat symptoms that are unrelated to what it’s prescribed for is not an appropriate use and comes with risks.

A much better option that is safe and effective is to use ginger. Either by making yourself a ginger tea or investing in ginger supplements.(2)

Ginger is a research-backed anti-nausea remedy and you can read more about how it’s a good option in our article about hangover nausea.

In most cases, hangover nausea settles by itself after a few hours. And all that’s required is rest and rehydration to ease the symptoms. It’s also a sign that you’ve had way too much alcohol for your body to handle. So the best approach is to reduce your alcohol intake to prevent hangover nausea.

Zofran is likely to reduce symptoms of nausea associated with a hangover. However, this is not an appropriate use of this drug. Medication should only be used as prescribed by your doctor.

Is Zofran safe to take when hungover?

For the most part, Zofran is a well-tolerated drug and most people don’t experience side effects. But at the end of the day, it is a drug that comes with several side effects, and some of them dangerous.

Although uncommon, severe allergic reactions are a possibility if you’ve never taken Zofran before as well as the risk of developing heart arrhythmias.

As with all medications, the side effect lists are extensive and a comprehensive guide will be present on the information leaflet.

It’s especially important if you’re taking any other medication or have underlying health issues. In which case discussing your physician first is a must.

Does Zofran help with other hangover symptoms?

No, Zofran has no benefit for any other symptom of a hangover.

Can you take Zofran after drinking alcohol?

There is no specific contra-indication against taking Zofran if you’ve had alcohol. However, generally speaking, taking medication with or soon after alcohol is not recommended. That’s because they haven’t been tested in this scenario and not enough is known about the interactions.

Another thing to consider is that if you’re feeling sick after drinking alcohol, it usually means that your blood alcohol concentration is high enough that it’s starting to disrupt the normal functioning of your body.

In other words, it’s one of the first signs of alcohol poisoning. Therefore, taking Zofran to remedy nausea after drinking alcohol is the wrong approach.

Anything else to consider?

We’ve said it before; hangovers are a sign from your body that you’ve been drinking too much alcohol for your body to handle.

The best way to treat nausea after drinking is by preventing a hangover in the first place. Drinking less alcohol, at a slower pace, eating before going out, and keeping well hydrated is all that’s required.

Taking Zofran or any other drug to remedy the symptoms only masks the underlying problem.

Zofran for hangovers – Takeaway points

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

Zofran is an anti-nausea medication and should, in theory, reduce hangover nausea.

However, it’s not appropriate to use this medication for this reason and it comes with side effects and interactions like any other medication that you should familiarise yourself with.

A better and safer option for hangover nausea is ginger. It’s known to work and is research-backed. That’s why we’ve included it as a key ingredient in AfterDrink.

The Best Hangover Cure Drinks: Top Picks With Recipes

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.

What is the best hangover cure drink? If you’ve landed on this page, chances are you’ve woken up feeling rough after a big night out.

We’ve all been there. Waking up and instantly regretting those extra shots you did the night before. You’ve got a headache, you’re dehydrated, and you’re desperate to try anything that’ll help.

While food may not sound appetizing, a hangover drink is a delicious and nutritious way to start your day.

In this article, we’re going to examine the best drinks for a hangover that’ll give you the boost you need. We’ll also give you a few recipes to try along the way.

So, with the introductions out the way, let’s start taking a closer look at the best hangover cure drinks.

Table of contents

What to look for in a hangover cure drink

The science of hangovers is complicated. Dehydration, inflammation, and reduced sleep quality all play a part in your hangover symptoms.

The best hangover cure drink should be able to replenish some of the nutrients lost from drinking too much alcohol, rehydrate and energize you for the day.

It’s important for us to mention that no drink is going actually to “cure” your hangover. That said, if you pick the right ingredients, you may feel slightly better.

Ideally, you need to include ingredients that are packed with vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants to support your body in dealing with the by-products of alcohol metabolism.

So without further ado, let’s get straight into our top picks.

Ginger-based drink

The best hangover cure drink will be something that is ginger based. Hands down, it beats anything else. And there are a few reasons for it.

Ginger is a research-backed anti-sickness remedy. Several studies have shown that it reduces nausea and settles upset stomachs.(1)

In fact, doctors still recommend ginger as a first-line remedy before medication for morning sickness.

Seeing as nausea and vomiting is one of the worst symptoms of a hangover, ginger always makes it top of our list of best hangover drinks.

You can read more on the benefits in our article about ginger for hangovers.

RECIPE: Ginger lemon and mint drink

ginger hangover drink


This hangover drink combines the goodness of ginger with a little zing from lemon to lift you up in the morning.

-About half a cup of chopped peeled ginger
-10 leaves of fresh mint
-4 cups water (initially boiled)
-1 large lemon, juiced
-Few spoons of sugar – (adjust depending on personal preference)

You’ll first want to blend the chopped ginger before adding it to boiled water. This way, you’ll accelerate the infusion of ginger into your drink. You can then pass the mix through a sieve before chilling.

Afterward, just add the mint, squeezed lemon, and sugar for your perfect ginger hangover drink.

Water + Rehydration salts


There’s no way a list of best hangover cure drinks can be made without the inclusion of water. Dehydration is a big part of hangovers because alcohol is a diuretic. That means, it makes your kidneys flush out water. You can find out more about this in our article on why alcohol causes dehydration.

That’s why making sure you get enough fluids in the morning is key. Plain water is great, but you can supercharge it into a true hangover cure drink by adding rehydration salts.

They contain minerals and electrolytes that facilitate speedy rehydration.

You can find these in any health store or pharmacy. That means you’ll need to be prepared for your night of drinking to make sure you have some at home.

In addition, taking rehydration salts before the dehydrating damage from alcohol happens is even better. By this we mean taking your rehydration salts after your night out and not waiting until the morning.

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Supergreens drink

Green juices are all the rage nowadays. There’s no official recipe, but common ingredients include celery, kale, Swiss chard, spinach, wheatgrass, cucumber, parsley, and mint.

Given that green juice tends to taste bitter, most recipes add small quantities of fruit — which may or may not be green — to sweeten it and improve its overall palatability. Popular fruit options include apples, berries, kiwi, lemons, oranges, and grapefruit.

So why is a supergreen juice a good hangover drink?

Well, it’s packed full of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants which will support your body recover. In fact, it may be better to have your green juice before a hangover. By that we mean after your night out.

Sound odd?

The reason is, the nutrients in your supergreens drink are much more likely to be beneficial while alcohol and the toxic by-products being produced are still circulating in your system. Although not completely useless, it’s probably a better hangover prevention drink than “cure” drink.

RECIPE: Kale, cucumber and ginger juice


You can even add ginger to your recipe to boost your green juice

1 bunch curly kale roughly chopped
half lime peeled and quartered
1 inch ginger peeled
1 large cucumber
2 large granny smith apples cored and sliced
4 whole celery stalks

Simply add the lot in a blender and whizz away.

Orange juice

Well, this hangover drink needs no introduction. If you know you know.

Fresh orange juice squeezed with a few ice cubes is another favourite hangover cure drink of ours. It’s packed with vitamin C, tastes amazing and is cool and refreshing.

You can see our in-depth review of orange juice for hangovers for more information.

RECIPE:


The less said the better. You don’t need anything fancy for this hangover drink. Just fresh oranges cooled in a fridge. If not, just add a few ice cubes once your squeezed the juices in a glass.

Prickly pear juice

What is prickly pear juice!?
It’s the juice from the fruit of a cactus plant.

The reason why it makes in our list of best hangover drinks is that studies have shown that it reduces hangover symptoms.(2)

Taken before drinking alcohol, the study showed that most people reported less severe hangovers. And the researchers think that’s to do with the fact it’s full of polyphenols.

Polyphenols are antioxidants that have the ability to reduce inflammation.

RECIPE: Prickly pear juice

Prickly pear drink recipes are a little trickier. It’s the hangover drink that you’ll need to prepare for before going out. Some stores will have prickly pear juice ready-made which you can buy

Lemon water

Lemon water means different things to different people. For some, it means slicing a few pieces and dropping it in a jug of water. For others it means squeezing a whole lemon into water.

Citrus fruits, like lemons, are some of the most nutritious you’ll find on the fruit stand, making them the perfect addition to any hangover cure drink.

With that said, if you’re just slicing a few pieces and adding it to a jug of water, it’s mainly the of lemon you’ll get. Rather than any benefit from the nutrients in lemon itself.

Nevertheless, it’s a good drink to have when hungover, even if it makes plain water more palatable

RECIPE: Homemade lemonade (i.e lemon with soda water and sugar)

The tastiest way to have lemon water is to essentially make a lemonade.

-5 Fresh lemons squeezed
-125g granulated sugar
-1 ltr soda
-ice cubes

You can’t go wrong!

Coconut water

This hangover drink contains more than meets the eye. Coconut water is packed full of vitamins and minerals that will rehydrate and replenish depleted reserves.

With that said, if you’re buying coconut water from the label, make sure to check the label to see what the actual coconut water content is and how much sugar has been added.

While coconut water is not a hangover “cure”, it may be a more palatable drink to have in the morning.

RECIPE: Coconut and Lemon thirst quencher

Coconut water
Coconut water is another drink that doesn’t need a recipe. It’s a hangover drink you can drink straight from your fridge if you have some.

If you want to jazz things up a bit, try this coconut lemon thirst quencher.

2 Tbsp fresh lemon juice
1½ cup coconut water
½ cup water
1 tbsp honey
½ tsp grated ginger root

As you can see, this hangover cure drink contains a little bit of all the good things you need to pick you up in the morning. Check out our article on coconut water for hangovers for more information on its benefits.

Sprite

sprite for hangovers

In 2013, a research group from China tested various drinks to see if any would speed up or slow down alcohol metabolism. Interestingly, they found that a drink that’s similar to sprite sped up alcohol metabolism.(3)

This was picked up by the media and several outlets hailed sprite as the next hangover cure drink. But before we all get excited, it’s important to mention that the test was carried out in a lab in test tubes and not tested in humans. Also, speeding up alcohol metabolism doesn’t necessarily mean hangover symptoms are improved.

Nevertheless, we’ve given it an honorary mention in our list of hangover cure drinks because of the media attention to clear a few things up. We discuss it in detail in our article about sprite for hangovers.

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 treat it with a hangover cure drink is the wrong approach.

The best way to “cure” a hangover is by preventing it from happening in the first place. That means, drinking less alcohol, at a slower pace, keeping well hydrated, and eating before going out.

Darker colored drinks also make hangovers more severe. It’s because they contain higher concentrations of congeners which studies have shown intensify hangover symptoms. That’s why sticking to lighter colored drinks may also help.

Hangover cure drinks – Final words

That brings us to the end of our look into the best hangover cure drinks.

We’ve walked you through the most nutritious and hydrating drinks you’ll need to help you recover.

With that said, it’s important for us to reiterate that a true hangover “cure” drink doesn’t exist. Ultimately, hangovers are caused by drinking too much alcohol, and drinking less is the only solution.

If you’re interested in this topic, check out our article on hangover supplements which can also help recovery.

Lemon Water For Hangovers: Is It Any Good?

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.

Is lemon water good for hangovers? If you’re asking this question, chances are you’ve tried most hangover cure remedies in the past, but nothing’s worked well.

Well, you’re not alone. With so many hangover cure myths out there it’s hard to separate the truth from the health fads.

Now you’ve heard that lemon water can help reduce symptoms, you’re wondering if the same is true for this hangover remedy.

In this article, we’re going to take a closer look at the benefits of lemon water before moving onto whether it’s for a hangover.

Table of contents

What is lemon water and what’s in it

So, before we can answer the question about whether Lemon water is good for a hangover, it’s first important to make sure that we have the same definition of what it is.

Some people consider Lemon water to simply be a glass or bottle of water which has had a few slices of lemon added to it.

Other people, however, would also consider lemon water as squeezed fresh lemon in water.

The truth is that there is some difference between these two methods. That’s because squeezing a fresh lemon will provide much more actual lemon than if it’s just sliced.

Other than the fact that lemon water (like plain water) is a source of hydration, lemons also contain vitamin C and antioxidants.

And squeezing a fresh lemon into water will naturally provide higher amounts of these nutrients compared to just sliced lemons.

In summary: Lemon or Lime water is a popular drink made by either adding slices of lemon or lime to a glass of water or squeezing the juice into the drink. Drinking Lemon water could have some benefits for hydration with additional Vitamin C.

Is lemon water good for hangovers?

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

The simple answer is, it’s as good as any other fruit infused water.

To explain this further, we first need to go over how alcohol affects your body. In truth, the science of hangovers is complicated and many different factors contribute to the cause of your hangovers.

Firstly, alcohol is a diuretic, which means it makes your kidneys flush out more water. Over the course of a night out, this can lead to dehydration

Secondly, alcohol is broken down in your liver into acetaldehyde (toxic) before being converted to acetic acid (harmless). Unfortunately, the middle step of this process causes problems because acetaldehyde reacts with your cells causing inflammation.

Finally, alcohol blocks your brain from reaching the REM stage of sleep. This is required for feeling fully rested.

In summary, hangovers are causing by a combination of the above mentioned damaging effects of alcohol.

When it comes to lemon water for hangovers, it’s clear that it won’t help with sleep. That said, it’s a tasty drink that will help rehydrate you.

Furthermore, antioxidants and vitamin C may support your body’s antioxidant system. With that said, it’s likely to be a negligible effect because the amount you’ll get from slices (or squeeze) of fresh lemon will be tiny.

Lemon water only contains a fraction of the goodness of a whole lemon. Lemon infused water should be seen as flavouring rather than having any health benefit. That said, it may be nicer to drink lemon rather than plain water when hungover.

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Is lemon water a hangover cure?

You’ve probably guessed the answer to this question already. Lemon water is not a hangover cure.

In fact, a real hangover cure doesn’t exist.

You may find that certain vitamins and herbal extracts can help hangovers, but nothing will be a “cure”.

Are there any negatives?

Lemon’s, like other citrus fruits, contains citric acid. Acids are acidic, obviously.

However when citric acid is digested, it can produce alkaline by-products.

Without getting into the science too much, once lemon is digested and metabolized, lemon juice produces alkaline byproducts, which make the urine more alkaline. This is why it is thought of as alkalizing, despite its acidic pH before it is digested.

The bottom line is that for some people, drinking lemon water can bring about indigestion or reflux. So, if you’re someone who is prone to getting acid reflux, lemon water may exacerbate hangover heartburn.

Anything else to consider?

Hangovers are a sign from your body that you’ve been drinking too much alcohol for it to handle. Drinking lemon water for a hangover is the wrong approach.

When it comes to hangovers, the best cure is to prevent getting one in the first place. And all that’s required is to drink less alcohol, drink plenty of water on your night out and eat before going out.

In addition, you may want to consider sticking to lighter colored drinks that have fewer congeners. That’s because darker colored drinks that have more congeners are known to make hangovers more severe.

You can read more about this in our article about congeners.

Lemon water for hangovers – Final verdict

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

We’ve walked you through some of the basic things you need to know about why alcohol causes hangovers and the nutritional benefit of lemon water.

Unfortunately, it’s very unlikely that lemon water is going to have any particular benefit for hangovers. Aside from the fact it will rehydrate you.

Other than that, for some people it’s a more palatable drink than plain water when hungover. And if that’s the case for you, lemon water is a good hangover drink option for you.

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

Evidence based

How To Stop Overeating When Hungover

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.

Posted on

Evidence based

How do I stop overeating when hungover? If you’re asking this question, chances are you’re prone to a hangover feast and know you’ll regret it afterward.

Well, you’re not alone. Overeating when hungover is very common and can leave you feeling worse than the hangover itself.

But why do you overeat when hungover and how can you stop it?

In this article, we’re going to take a closer look at how alcohol affects the body and how that can lead to insatiable hunger. After that we’ll move onto all the things you can do to stop overeating.

Table of contents

Why does alcohol make you hungry the next day?

The science of how alcohol makes you hungry the next day isn’t as you’d think. There are many different factors that come into play.

Next up, we’ll go over the four reasons why alcohol makes you so hungry the next day.

1) Binge drinking drops blood sugar levels

Binge drinking is defined by CDC as more than 5 drinks in men and 4 in women. That said, this number varies between individuals because it massively depends on your metabolism, age, and weight. But generally speaking, these numbers are a good benchmark.(1)

Drinking more than this in a single sitting wreaks havoc on your hormonal systems. In particular, the release of insulin which controls your blood glucose.

It’s well-known that binge drinking can drop blood sugar levels. And it’s thought to be because alcohol disrupts insulin release as well as your cells’ sensitivity to it.(2)(3)

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2) Alcohol stimulates appetite

Several studies have shown that drinking alcohol makes you more hungry. Scientists have shown that giving even small amounts of alcohol stimulates your appetite.(4)(5)

Perhaps this partly explains why many of us binge after a night out.

With that said, the fact that alcohol stimulates appetite may be less relevant when hungover. Because by the time you’re hungover, we can assume that it’s been several hours since your last drink.

3) You haven’t eaten a meal for some time

The simplest reason why you’re so hungry when hungover is simply that you haven’t eaten for a long time.

Let’s face it, if you’ve been out all night, the chances are you’ve not had a proper meal for a while. You may have had a light dinner, then partied all night, and then by the time you’ve woken up it’s approaching the afternoon.

No wonder you’re overeating when hungover. You’ve not had any proper food for so long!

Binge eating when hungover – Why it happens


So, why do you binge / overeat when hungover?

As we discussed in the points mentioned above, drinking too much alcohol leaves you in a fragile state. Naturally, you’re going to feel hungry in the morning.

In addition, you’re probably feeling worse for wear and any boost of endorphins (aka happy hormones) will help make you feel at least a little better in the short term. And for all of us, a tasty meal if exactly what triggers the release of these hormones.

In summary, overeating when hungover isn’t necessarily abnormal. It happens to most of us and is brought on by hunger, low blood sugar levels, and hormonal imbalances.

How to stop overeating when hungover

So, now on to the all-important question. How do you stop overeating when hungover?

The easy answer would be to exercise self-control. But we’re all human and it’s not as simple as that right?

That’s we’ve put together a list of practical steps to help you stop overeating when hungover below.

1) Start off with a sugary drink


As we mentioned earlier, your blood sugars may be low in the morning if you’ve had a few too many at happy hour. Instead of going straight for a big meal, try sipping on a sugary drink first.

Something like a fruit juice would do the job. Not only will it help rehydrate you, but it also provides you with a quick sugar hit.

The sugar in your drink is rapidly absorbed into your bloodstream and doesn’t need to be broken down first by stomach acid and intestinal enzymes. In fact, sugar is absorbed within a few seconds of hitting of your stomach and this should give your body something to work with before you move onto a proper meal.

2) Stick to carb-rich foods


It’s common to crave greasy foods when hungover as they are the most calorie-rich and tasty. Your brain is looking for as much energy as it can get in one go.

But research has shown that simple carbohydrates are as filling as a fatty alternative. In fact, one study showed that plain boiled potatoes are seven times more filling than a croissant. Even though the croissant is made from lots of butter.(6)

Carbohydrate-rich foods are a good starting point because they are broken down easily in your stomach and intestines into glucose which is then rapidly absorbed. Whereas fatty/protein-rich food takes a lot longer to digest. Other examples of carbohydrate-rich food include pasta and rice dishes.

you can read more about this topic in our article about greasy foods for hangovers.

3) Rehydrate

rehydration-sachet


We all know that rehydration is key when hungover. However, it could help stop you from overeating as well.

Rehydration salts are a great way to support rapid hydration as well as provide your body with some essential minerals. Some of them also contain a small amount of sugar which, as mentioned above, also helps.

You’ll be able to find rehydration salts in any pharmacy or supermarket. They’re usually marketed to help people rehydrate who have diarrhea. But they can be used for any cause of dehydration.

For more info on this topic, check out our article about how to rehydrate quickly after drinking.

4) Take is slow

This one’s an obvious point, but nevertheless very important for us to mention. The best way to stop overeating when hungover is to start with a sugary drink, then after 10-15 minutes, move on to a carbohydrate-rich food as mentioned above.

Start off with small portions and then see how you feel thereafter. The likelihood is you’ll realize that you’re actually more full than you think you are which will set you up right for the day ahead.

Anything else to consider?

The best way to stop overeating when hungover is to prevent getting a hangover in the first place. It’s a sign from your body that you’re body has been pushed too far.

And the best way to prevent a hangover is to drink less, eat before going out and drink plenty of water.

In addition, you could consider hangover supplements to support your body during periods of overindulgence.

Overeating when hungover – Takeaway points

That brings us to the end of our look into why we overeat when hungover and everything you can do to stop it.

Ultimately, the best way to stop overeating when hungover is to prevent a hangover from happening in the first place. But if it’s too late and you need some tips right now, follow the steps above to stop yourself from binging.

Now that you know what the best tips to stop overeating are, check out our article on good hangover foods for more information on what meal to chose in the morning.

Milk Thistle For Hangovers: Is It A Cure?

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.

s milk thistle a hangover cure? It’s a surprisingly common question as this herb has been used to combat the negative effects of drinking alcohol for some time.

Since the beginning of time (or when alcohol was first discovered), human beings have been on the search for a hangover cure.

And nowadays, many of us turn to herbal hangover remedies in the hope that nature has the solution.

So, is milk thistle actually good for hangovers?

In this article, we’re first going to take a closer look at the uses and benefits of milk thistle. Before moving onto whether milk thistle has any benefits for a hangover.

Table of contents

What is milk thistle?

Milk thistle is a prickly plant with distinctive purple flowers as seen in the image at the top of this article.

It’s packed full of Silymarin which is thought to have anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties.

Traditionally, it’s been used for hundreds of years to treat liver and gallbladder disorders, as well as overindulgence in alcohol.

Milk thistle has been shown in research studies to protect the liver from various causes of injury from viruses, alcohol, acetaminophen, and fatty liver disease. And in most cases, the studies have shown positive results.(1)(2)

For this reason, you’ll find milk thistle in most “liver health” supplements because it’s thought to protect the liver.

With all that said, milk thistle is not licensed to treat any diseases by the FDA. That’s because, despite the promising start, a lot more research still needs to be done in humans before it’s given medicinal status.(3)

So, with the basics out the way, let’s move onto how alcohol affects the body so that we can see if milk thistle is a hangover cure or not.

In summary: Milk thistle is a promising herbal extract with antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties which has been shown in small studies to help liver function.

Causes of a hangover

Before we get into whether milk thistle is a hangover cure or not, we first need to go over the causes of a hangover. After all, it’s hard to tell what works and what doesn’t if we don’t know the underlying reasons why we get hangovers.

In truth, the science of hangovers is complicated and a lot of debate still exists around this topic. But scientists generally agree that the following things play a role:

Dehydration: Alcohol is a diuretic which means it makes your kidneys flush out water.

Inflammation: Alcohol is broken down by your liver, producing by-products like acetaldehyde which are toxic. When drinking in excess, these by-products build up and react with your cells causing inflammation.

Reduced sleep quality: Alcohol blocks your brain from reaching the REM stage of sleep which is required to feel fully rested.

Congeners: Congeners are compounds in alcoholic drinks that give them their characteristic taste and smell. Darker colored drinks contain more congeners. Studies have shown congeners make hangovers more severe by promoting inflammation.

It’s clear that milk thistle isn’t going to help with hydration or sleep. But perhaps it can help with inflammation as it’s one of the things it’s known to help with. More on this next up.

Is milk thistle a hangover cure?

So, now on to the all-important question, is milk thistle a hangover cure?

The quick answer is no.

In fact, a hangover cure doesn’t exist. And the reason for that is alcohol affects the body in so many different ways as we’ve explained above.

With that said, milk thistle could have some hangover related benefits. And people around the world have used milk thistle as a hangover remedy for centuries.

At the time of writing, there are no research studies that have looked at milk thistle as a hangover remedy. So, more research needs to be done to see if it has benefits for a hangover.

However, anecdotally, there are many people that swear by it.

In summary: Milk thistle has been used traditionally as a hangover cure, but currently, there are no research studies that have proven it works.

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Can you take milk thistle after drinking alcohol?

There are no interactions between milk thistle and alcohol. That means you can take it after drinking alcohol. At the doses you’ll find in most reputable supplements, it’s safe to take.

Should you take milk thistle before or after drinking?

There’s no hard a fast rule. It all depends on what your goals are.

When it comes to using it for hangovers, most supplements advise taking it just before or straight after your last drink. The reason is, there’s not much point waiting until you already have a hangover. Because by this stage, the damage from alcohol has all been done!

So, to answer the question, before and after drinking is ideal.

Possible side effects

As with all herbal supplements, you should read the label carefully as they sometimes come with side effects. Milk thistle is regarded as safe to take in doses you’ll find in most reputable supplements. However, everyone is different and may have a reaction.

These include allergic reactions, headache and abdominal discomfort to mention a few. It’s especially important to discuss with your doctor before taking milk thistle if you’re taking any medication or have any medical conditions.

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 cure your hangover with milk thistle is the wrong approach.

Drinking less, keeping well hydrated, and eating before going out is all that’s required to prevent hangovers.

In addition, sticking to lighter colored drinks may also help as they contain fewer congeners.

Milk thistle for hangovers – Final verdict

That brings us to the end of our look into milk thistle for hangovers and specifically as a hangover cure.

Although lots of people around the world use it as a hangover remedy, there arent any research papers to prove it works or not.

That said, it may just be because it hasn’t been researched yet. And perhaps in the future, some decent evidence may come to light.

Nevertheless, it’s included in AfterDrink pills as a key ingredient to support with hangovers.

Check out our article on herbal hangover remedies to find out more about other hangover busting plants.

Evidence based

Wine Before Liquor: Does It Make A Difference?

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.

Posted on

Evidence based

Can you drink wine before liquor or visa versa? It’s a surprisingly common question and one that doesn’t exactly have a straightforward answer.

With so many alcohol-related rhymes out there, it’s hard to keep track of them all. And it’s even harder to know which one (if any) are actually true.

You’re having a few glasses of wine at dinner and are now thinking of moving on to some liquor. Now you’re wondering whether it’s OK to drink wine before liquor or not. We’ve all been there…

In this article, we’ll clear up some of the confusion around whether you can drink wine before liquor. We’ll also go into whether these drinks mix well or if it has any effect on your hangovers.

Table of contents

Wine before liquor saying

The saying (or rhyme) goes: wine before liquor, never sicker

So, it’s pretty clear what the saying is trying to say. If you drink wine before liquor, you’re going to feel sick. You may also interpret this as wine before liquor will give you a bad hangover.

But is there any truth to this rhyme? Or is it just another alcohol-related myth that’s been passed down from generation to generation?

To find out, we need to go over the difference between the two types of alcohol to see if mixing them causes problems.

Difference between wine and liquor

Wine is made by fermenting grapes. After this, some wines are aged in barrels.

On the other hand, liquor is made from various types of grain. For example, whiskey is made from barley, and vodka is made from corn or rye. That said, there are several different grains that are used to make these liquours.

The main ingredient in wine and liquor is alcohol. Technically called ethanol. The reason why they taste vastly different is because of the grape or grain used to make them and because of congeners.

Congeners are compounds that are formed during the fermentation and maturation process of wines and liquor. Congeners also contribute to the taste and aroma of these drinks.

So, with the basics out the way, let’s get into whether you should drink wine before or after liquor.

Should you drink wine before or after liquor?

The quick answer to this question is, it makes no difference.

At the end of the day, they are both types of alcohol and there is nothing in the two that “reacts”.

In fact, a research group from Cambridge even tested whether mixing different types of alcohol causes problems. And they found no difference.(1)

In fairness, the study was carried out with beer and wine. However, the underlying principles stay the same.

In summary: Don’t stress about which way round you drink wine or liquor because it doesn’t make a difference!

Wine before liquor and hangovers

The saying “wine before liquor, never sicker” comes down to whether mixing these drinks causes worse hangovers or not.

And the answer is, the mixing of the two drinks is not the problem. Ultimately, the amount of alcohol you’re drinking is all that matters.

Also if you’re planning to mix these drinks, the chances are you’re having a big night out. In most cases, starting with wine early on and then moving onto the hard stuff.

So the likelihood is that whoever came up with the saying, mistakenly thought that the reason for their hangover was because he or she drank wine before liquor. Not the fact that they had five glasses of wine and eight tequila shots.

The other thing to consider is that red wine and darker colored liquor usually cause worse hangovers anyway. And you need much less of each to wake up with a hangover compared to lighter colored drinks.

Why?

It’s all because of congeners. We mentioned earlier that congeners are responsible for some of the taste and aroma of your drinks. Unfortunately, they make hangovers a lot worse too. You can read more about this in our article about congeners and hangovers.

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Can you mix liquor and wine?

In a similar fashion, mixing wine and liquor on a night out shouldn’t cause any problems.

The only thing that matters is how much of each you’re drinking.

Does drinking wine before liquor make you sick?

You’ve probably guessed the answer to this question already. Seeing as there is no interaction between wine and liquor, it shouldn’t make you sick.

That said, if you have enough of each then, of course, you’ll feel sick.

It’s especially the case if you’re having wine with dinner and are feeling full. Moving onto liquor may not sit well in your stomach because you’re stomach is full.

It doesn’t mean that the wine and liquor are the cause of you feeling sick. Rather the fact that you’re stomach is struggling to deal with all the food and liquid.

Wine before liquor – Takeaway points

That brings us to the end of our look into the saying “wine before liquor, never sicker”.

And you may be pleased to hear that it doesn’t have any truth to it. Whether you want to drink wine before or after liquor doesn’t make a difference.

Mixing the two shouldn’t make you sick and they don’t interact. So, the famous rhyme that you’ve heard from others doesn’t actually have any basis for it.

The caveat to that is the amount of alcohol you’re drinking. If you’ve had several glasses of wine and are now moving onto liquor, then clearly, there is a chance you’ll feel sick.

But that’s not because of the mixing of wine and liquor per se. Rather the volume of alcohol you’re drinking.

On that note, check out our article about wine hangovers and how to beat them.

Good Foods For Hangovers: What To Eat If You’re Feeling Rough

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.

What are good foods for hangovers? It’s a very common question with a not so simple answer.

If you’ve landed on this page, chances are you’ve woken up feeling worse for wear. And naturally, you’re looking for food that’s good for a hangover.

Is it greasy food, fruit, salad or smoothies?

Look no further because we’ve got you covered!

In this article, we’re going to take a detailed look at good foods for hangovers. To do so, we’ll first go over how alcohol affects your body and specifically your gut.

That will allow us to understand why some foods are better than others for hangovers.

So, with the introductions out of the way, let’s start taking a closer look at good hangover foods.

Table of contents

How does alcohol affect the body?

The science of hangovers isn’t straightforward. In fact, scientists are still debating what the actual causes are.

With that said, they mostly agree that the following all play an important part.

Dehydration: Alcohol is a diuretic which means it makes you pee out water.

Inflammation: Toxic by-products are formed when alcohol is broken down by your liver. They react with your cells causing inflammation.

Reduced sleep quality: Alcohol blocks your brain from reaching the REM stage of sleep which is required to feel fully rested.

In summary, your hangover symptoms can be explained by many different factors. And that’s why you wake up with such terrible hangover symptoms.

Furthermore, drinking too much alcohol has a particularly negative impact on your gut. And some of the worst symptoms of a hangover such as nausea and vomiting are caused by alcohol-related irritation. You can read more about the causes in our article about hangover nausea.

With the science out the way, let’s start taking a closer look at what things to look for when choosing good food for hangovers.

What makes something a good hangover food?

So what actually makes a food good for hangovers? It all depends on how you look at it.

Drinking too much alcohol can make you feel queasy, give you heartburn or feel bloated to mention a few.

So, good hangover foods should sit well in your stomach, instead of causing more problems. With that said, here are a few things to look out for when deciding what to choose.

Easy to digest

There are some foods that take much longer than others to digest. By this we mean, how long it takes for your stomach to break down food enough so that it can pass into your small intestines where it can be digested even more.

The longer food sits in your stomach, the more chance you have of feeling nauseous and bloated.

That means meat (in particular red meat), salads, and raw vegetables are best avoided. It’s because these foods take hours longer to digest compared to carbohydrate-rich foods.

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Soft and moist

Apologies in advance for the heading. We know that some people don’t particularly like the word moist. But when it comes to good hangover foods, it’s something that’s needed.

Chomping away on tough food is not what you need when hungover. Any added effort chewing is going to annoy you pretty quickly and that’s why the foods got to be soft and palatable.

Imagine if someone offered you some dry crackers in the morning when you’re hungover. With a Sahara desert-like dry mouth, I’m sure you’d say no.

High in energy

If you’ve been drinking all night, and on top of that, have been sleeping well into the morning (or afternoon), your sugar levels are going to be low. In fact, it’s well known that drinking in excess can tank your blood glucose.(1)

That’s why you need food that gives you an instant glucose hit. And the best way to get a glucose hit is from carbohydrates. There’s no way eating a raw carrot is going to suffice now is it?

Tasty and nutritious

Obviously it’s got to taste good. You need that hit of endorphins as a pick-me-up when hungover. So regardless of how much you may think that a green juice may be good for you but if you hate the taste, what’s the point?

On that note, good foods for hangovers should be packed with vitamins and minerals that’ll replenish some of what’s lost.

So, now that we know what characteristics to look out for, let’s get straight into our top pick of good foods for a hangover.

Good foods for hangovers

Before we start this section, it’s important for us to mention that in all honesty, it doesn’t matter that much what you eat. There’s no such thing as a good food for hangovers that’ll magically take away your symptoms.

Also, it all depends on your own personal preference. Some of the foods mentioned below you may not like. And that’s OK!

1) Carb-rich foods


Anything that your stomach can digest easily to give you a glucose hit is a good food for hangovers. That’s why carbohydrates are great because they are rapidly broken down into glucose and absorbed.

So that means, anything that contains potatoes, rice, pasta or bread is a good food for hangovers. Examples include:

  • Tomato pasta
  • Egg fried rice
  • Patatas bravas
  • Noodles

Get the gist?

You can easily make these options into foods that are not so good for hangovers by adding hard to digest things like meat and vegetables to it.

2) Fruit


There are several fruits that would make it into our top list of good foods for hangovers. Essentially, anything that’s made up of mostly water and very sweet. So, it’s not hard to choose.

We’ll pick out some personal favourites which will rehydrate you as well as provide vitamins and a sugar hit.

  • Mango
  • Watermelon
  • Melon

You can find out about how some of the vitamins in fruit can help in our article about the best hangover vitamins.

3) Soup


Regardless of whether you’re hungover or not, a nice soup can always make you feel better. But given the fact that this article is about good foods for hangovers, it still makes it in our list of top choices.

Soup may be the only thing you can eat when hungover anyway. If you’re feeling nauseous, anything solid may just make you feel a lot worse.

And when it comes to choosing which type of soup to eat for a hangover, it doesn’t actually matter. Anything you like the taste of will work.

Soup is also a good food for hangovers as it’s a good tester to see how your stomach is doing. It’s the easiest thing to digest because it’s basically liquid and you’ll quickly know if you can move onto something more substantial.

4) Ginger


When we say ginger, we don’t mean getting fresh ginger and just munching on it raw. Unless of course, if you love ginger enough to do that.

The reason ginger makes it onto our pick of good foods for hangovers is because it’s a natural anti-nausea remedy. Research studies have shown countless times it works to alleviate nausea and doctors still recommend it first line for pregnant women with morning sickness.

So, if you can find a ginger-based dish or even smoothie, that would be ideal. Gingerbread is also a great option!

Anything else to consider

Hangovers are a sign from your body that you’ve been drinking too much alcohol for your body to handle. If your hangover is severe enough that you have to watch what you eat in case you feel worse, it’s even more of a sign to consider cutting down.

When it comes to hangovers, prevention is key. That means, drinking less, keeping hydrated, and eating before going out. This way, you’re much less likely to need to search for foods that are good for hangovers.

Good foods for hangovers – Takeaway points

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

We’ve walked you through all the things to look out for if you’re feeling rough in the morning.

At the end of the day, it all comes down to personal preference. There’s no particular food that’s going to cure your hangover. It’s all about hangover foods that you’re able to eat easily without causing you more grief.

Check out our article on the best hangover smoothies for drinks to go with your food.

How To Prepare For A Night Of Drinking

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.

How do I prepare for a night of drinking? If you’ve landed on this page, chances are you’ve got a big night coming up and want to know everything you can do to prevent a hangover.

Smart move! Because there are so many things you can do before you go out.

With so many alcohol-related myths out there, it’s hard to know how best to prepare for a night of drinking.

That’s why, in this article, we’re going to look into everything you can do to prepare for a night of drinking. And hopefully, prevent, or at least reduce the chances of getting a severe hangover.

Table of contents

How does alcohol affect the body?

Before we get into how you can prepare your body for a night of drinking, it’s important to go over how alcohol affects the body first.

That way, you can do everything you can to mitigate its negative effects.

Alcohol is absorbed into your bloodstream within 90 seconds of consuming an alcoholic beverage. The higher the strength of the alcohol, the faster it’s absorbed. Drinking on an empty stomach also massively increases how fast alcohol is absorbed into your bloodstream.

Once the alcohol is in circulation, your kidney works to try and break it down and clear it. After all, alcohol is a toxin, so your body tries to break it down and use it as an energy source before clearing it.

But your liver can only do this at a certain rate. Essentially this means that the enzymes that break down alcohol become used up. As a result, your blood alcohol concentrations keep rising and you get drunker.

Aside from the pleasurable effect, alcohol also starts to cause problems in a few different ways:

Dehydration

You probably already know that drinking too much alcohol causes dehydration. It’s because alcohol is a “diuretic” which means it makes you pee out more water. It does this by blocking a hormone called ADH from being released. As a result, your kidneys end up flushing out water.

Inflammation

When alcohol is metabolized in your liver, toxic by-products such as acetaldehyde are formed. In normal circumstances, your liver tries to clear acetaldehyde before it causes too much damage. But the enzyme that breaks down acetaldehyde also runs at full capacity when drinking over your limits. That means you get a build-up of acetaldehyde which then reacts with your cells causing inflammation.

The second line of defense against by-products like acetaldehyde are antioxidants. Antioxidants help out by neutralizing harmful compounds.

Sleep disturbance

A less well-known cause of hangovers is sleep disturbance. Alcohol prevents your brain from reaching the REM stage of sleep which is crucial for waking up fully rested. In addition to this, a long night of drinking is usually associated with a late night. So, in combination, your mind and body doesn’t have the respite it needs.

In summary: As you can see, there are quite a few things to think about when it comes to preparing for a night of drinking. To prepare successfully, you’ll need to do everything you can to reduce the damaging impact of alcohol mentioned above.

How to prepare for a night of drinking

So, now on to the all-important question. How do I prepare for a night of drinking?

Before we start this section, it’s important for us to emphasize that hangovers and any other negative effect of alcohol can be prevented by drinking less. Without trying to point out the obvious, drinking less alcohol and drinking at a slower pace is all that’s required.

With that out the way, here are some other things you can do to prepare for a night of drinking.

1) Rehydration salts

rehydration-sachet


The only way to tackle dehydration is to drink plenty of water. One of the best things you can do is drink a glass of water between each alcoholic drink.

To enhance rehydration, you could also consider getting yourself some rehydration salts. These are the ones that are typically used for diarrhea or endurance sports. They contain minerals and salts that can facilitate reabsorption of water into your system.

So, the best way to prepare for a night of drinking is to drink a glass of water between each drink and also take a couple of hydration sachets after your last drink.

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2) Eat before going out

We know that all our moms tell us to make sure that we eat something before going out. And to be fair to our moms, it’s a very important point when it comes to preparing for a night of drinking.

Alcohol is absorbed much faster into your bloodstream if you have an empty stomach. Rapid rises in blood alcohol concentration wreak havoc on your insides.

Thankfully, eating before drinking alcohol massively reduces how fast alcohol is absorbed. In turn, this will steady the rate of alcohol absorption.

You may have heard that eating certain foods or drinking milk before alcohol can help “line your stomach”. In actual fact, studies have shown that any meal that’s rich in carbs, protein, and fat will work.(1)

3) Supplements

Hangover supplements


Remember we mentioned earlier that antioxidants can help neutralize toxic by-products?

Your body gets antioxidants in two ways. It’s either comes directly from the food you eat, or your liver produces them naturally.

There are several antioxidant vitamins, minerals, and herbal extracts that can support your body’s natural defenses as well. Check out our article on hangover supplements for more information.

4) Eye mask

Your eyes and brain are designed to respond to sunlight. The light coming through a window, even if it’s a small amount will signal your brain to wake up.

If you’ve been out all night drinking, chances are you’re sleeping much later than usual. And a lie-in is almost definitely needed.

That’s why an eye mask is a must-have. Make sure to wear one before you go to bed so that even if you’ve slept late, the mask will block out any light coming through your windows so that your mind can rest. It’s a simple, but very effective way of preparing for a night of drinking.

5) Anti-inflammatories

Painkillers such as Ibuprofen are anti-inflammatory. Unlike Tylenol, they work by blocking inflammatory messengers in your body. So, taking painkillers like Ibuprofen may help slow down inflammation.

You could try and take them before bed so that its anti-inflamatory action can get to work right away.

With that said, these medications should be taken with caution. Read the information leaflets and speak to your doctor before taking them if you have any medical conditions.

In summary: These are the five best things you can do to prepare for a night of drinking. You can set them aside next to your bed so before you go out so you’re well prepared to take action as soon as you get home. We’ve said it before but we’ll mention it again, drinking less alcohol is always the best option!

Things to avoid

So, now that we’ve gone over all the things you can do to prepare for a night of drinking, there are some things you may also want to avoid if possible.

This way, you’ll have the best chance of waking up the next day feeling OK.

1) Caffeinated mixers

Many of the soft drinks that are used as mixers also contain a lot of caffeine and you’ll want to avoid these if you can.

The reason being caffeine, like alcohol, is a diuretic which means it can exacerbate dehydration. In addition, caffeine has a half-life of 6 hours.

That means the amount of caffeine in your system halves every 6 hours after you’ve had a caffeine-containing drink. That’s quite a long time if you think about it!

The caffeine in your system will disrupt your sleep even more than it already has been disturbed by alcohol. So, the two things don’t go so well if you’re planning to be well prepared for a night of drinking.

2) Shots

Doing shots is never a good idea if you’re planning on waking up feeling human the next day. It’s pretty much a guaranteed way of waking up with a hangover.

Slow and steady is the best approach when it comes to preparing for a night of drinking. Shots of liquor cause big spikes in your blood alcohol concentration which is a problem for hangovers.

3) Dark-colored drinks


One of the simplest ways of preparing for a night of drinking is to make sure you pick lighter colored drinks. That’s because darker colored drinks contain high amounts of congeners.

Congeners are the name given to compounds in liquor that give them their distinctive taste and aroma. That’s why darker colored drinks like red wine and whiskey taste the way they do.

Unfortunately, congeners make hangovers a lot worse and you can read about this more in our article about congeners and hangovers.

4) Exercise before going out

You may think that doing exercise before going out is a good way to prepare for a night of drinking. But that’s not the case.

After exercise, your muscles need a good dose of protein and carbohydrates (amongst other things) for recovery. Drinking alcohol soon after exercise without having a proper meal and rest period is far from ideal.(2)

With that said, if you exercise in the morning and then plan to go out in the evening, this shouldn’t be a problem. It’s mainly an issue if exercising within a few hours of going out.

Preparing for a night of drinking – Takeaway points

That brings us to the end of our look at how you can prepare for a night of drinking.

The fact that you’ve landed on this article means that you’re doing the right thing to help your body survive a night of drinking.

We’ve gone through a few simple things you can do to support your body recover as well as a few things you’ll want to avoid.

Ultimately, the best preparation for a night of drinking is to drink less alcohol. And it should come first on the list before any of the tips mentioned above.

Check out our article on the best hangover supplements for more information on how natural vitamins and herbal extracts could help as well.

Evidence based

Can A Hangover Kill You?

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.

Posted on

Evidence based

Can a hangover kill you? If you’re asking this question, chances are you’ve woken up with the mother of all hangovers, feeling like death, and worried about the implications.

First things first, you can’t die from a hangover itself. The very fact you’re reading this article is a good sign your hangover hasn’t killed you!

With that said, there are some things to know about that can harm your body. And there are instances when drinking too much alcohol can kill.

In this article, we’re going to take a closer look at why drinking too much alcohol makes you feel like you’re going to die. We’ll also take a closer look at the dangers to be aware of.

Table of contents

Causes of a severe hangover

So, you’ve woken up with a hangover and thinking, can this hangover kill me?

Well, you’re not alone. There’s a lot of people who can remember a hangover so severe they thought they were going to die.

Before we get into the dangers, we first need to go over why hangovers are so severe that you feel close to death.

These hangovers are ultimately caused by drinking way too much alcohol for your body to handle. And your symptoms are caused by the following damaging effects of alcohol:

Inflammation

Alcohol is broken down in your liver into acetaldehyde (toxic) and then into acetic acid (harmless). Acetaldehyde is highly toxic and reacts with your cells causing inflammation. In normal circumstances, your liver will clear acetaldehyde quickly before too much damage is caused. But if you’re drinking way over your limits, acetaldehyde levels start to build which wreaks havoc on your insides.

Congeners

Congeners are compounds in alcoholic drinks that give them characteristic taste and aromas. For example, the taste of red wine and whiskey is partly because of the congeners they contain.

Unfortunately, studies have shown that congeners make hangovers a lot more severe. That’s because, like acetaldehyde, congeners also react with your cells which fuels inflammation.

You can read more about this in our article about congeners and hangovers.

Dehydration

One of the main causes of a hangover is dehydration. Alcohol blocks the release of a hormone called ADH from being released from your pituitary gland (in the brain). This hormone is responsible for telling your kidneys to reabsorb water back into your bloodstream.

That means, by alcohol blocking its release, your kidneys stop doing this and flush out lots of extra water. It’s why you may go for several toilet breaks while drinking as well as throughout the night while you’re asleep.

Lack of good quality sleep

Alcohol blocks your brain from reaching the rapid eye movement (REM) of sleep. This stage is where dreams happen and is essential for feeling fully rested. Without getting to this stage, sleep is considered light and inadequate.

That’s why if you’ve ever had a few drinks at dinner, the next morning you’ll never feel as fresh as if you’d had no alcohol. Even if you’ve slept your usual eight hours.

In combination, the above mentioned causes result in severe hangover symptoms such as:

  • Nauses and vomiting
  • Headache
  • Anxiety
  • Body pain / Muscle aches
  • Inability to concentrate

In fact, studies have shown there are 47 symptoms of a hangover! and if you check the list, I’m sure there will be many more on there that you’re feeling right now.

So, there’s no wonder you wake up thinking, can you actually die from a hangover?

Next up, we’ll take a closer look at some dangers to be aware of.

Can you die from a hangover?

According to the NIH, 88000 people die from alcohol-related causes.(1)

If blood alcohol levels rise too much, it can cause alcohol poisoning. There are also indirect causes of death from drinking alcohol such as accidents that occur from being drunk.

With that said, a hangover itself can’t kill you. By the time you have a hangover, your blood alcohol concentrations are low (if not zero). That means, by definition, you can’t die from alcohol poisoning.

However, there are some dangers to be aware of when hungover.

1) Holiday heart syndrome

Binge drinking can, in rare cases, lead to holiday heart syndrome. This term is used to describe an abnormal heart rhythm (arrhythmia) caused by excessive drinking. And it was given this name as it often occurs on holiday where people may be drinking a lot more than usual.(2)

It can occur in healthy individuals with no underlying medical conditions and that’s why any chest pain or palpitations should trigger a trip to the hospital to get checked out.

2) Cardiovascular events

By this, we mean blood clots, strokes, and angina type issues. There are some studies that have shown an increased risk of these events after binge drinking and this could be linked to the damaging effects of alcohol, dehydration or exacerbation of an undiagnosed underlying medical condition.(3)(4)

With that said, these conditions come with specific signs and symptoms that are well beyond what you’d expect with a severe hangover.

In summary: a hangover itself can’t kill you. But drinking too much alcohol can. If you’re experiencing symptoms that are above and beyond the headache, body aches, and nausea, you should speak to your doctor for advice.

What to do if you have a hangover from hell

So, you’ve woken up with a hangover that you think is going to kill you. What now?

There are many hangover cure myths out there, most of which don’t work. So it can be tricky knowing what the right thing to do is.

The best healer is time, rest, and water. Going back to sleep, having a lazy day, and allowing your body to recover is all that’s required. Other than this, painkillers such as Tylenol can help. In addition, ginger tea is good for hangover nausea.

If you’re feeling anxious, just remember that however bad your hangover is, it’s not going to kill you. It will pass!

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Anything else to consider?

Hangovers that are so bad that you wake up thinking, “am I going to die” are a sign that you should cut down on your alcohol intake. By quite a lot.

The best way to prevent a hangover so severe is to drink less, at a slower pace, eat before going out and drink plenty of water to rehydrate.

We mentioned earlier that drinks high in congeners can also be more problematic. Therefore, sticking to lighter colored drinks like vodka mixers or white wine may be better. Obviously, if you drink enough of any type of alcohol, you’re still going to have a hangover that feels like it’s going to kill you regardless of congeners.

Can a hangover kill you? – Key points

That brings us to the end of our look into whether a hangover can kill you or not.

The take-home message is that the hangover itself can’t kill you. And you certainly can’t die from the usual hangover symptoms that most of us get. Even if they are severe.

In most cases, it’s hangover anxiety or “hangxiety” that’s compounding how you feel.

However, if you experience anything out of the ordinary, such as chest pain, palpitations, loss of consciousness, or any neurological signs, you should go to the hospital to seek urgent medical attention.

Check out our article on hangover prevention supplements which may also help you along the way.

Evidence based

Oxygen For Hangovers: Does This Remedy Really Work?

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

Is oxygen good for hangovers? If you’ve landed on this page, chances are you’ve seen oxygen therapies which claim that they cure hangovers. But you’re not sure if it really works.

Well, you’re not alone. With so many hangover cure myths out there, it’s hard to tell what works and what doesn’t.

Is pure oxygen really a remedy for a hangover?

In this article, we’re going to take a closer look at whether oxygen is good for hangovers, based on the available science.

Table of contents

Causes of a hangover

Before we can see whether oxygen therapy is good for hangovers or not, we first need to go over how drinking too much alcohol causes hangovers. After all, without knowing the underlying cause, it’s hard to know what works.

The science of hangovers is complex. There’s still some debate around the cause of hangovers, but scientists generally agree the following factors play a part.

Inflammation: The process of alcohol metabolism produces toxic by-products such as acetaldehyde. If too much alcohol is consumed, your liver struggles to process these by-products which leads to a backlog. That’s a problem because acetaldehyde is highly toxic and reacts with your cells causing inflammation.

Dehydration: Dehydration is probably the most well-known cause of a hangover. Alcohol is a diuretic which means it causes your kidneys to flush out water, which can lead to dehydration.

Congeners: Congeners are by-products that are formed when alcohol is produced and aged. They are what give drinks like red wine and whiskey their distinctive taste and aroma. Unfortunately, they also make hangovers a lot worse. You can find out more about this in our article about congeners.

Reduced sleep quality: Alcohol prevents your brain from reaching the deep stages of sleep that’s required to wake up fully rested. Sleep quality with alcohol in your bloodstream is always massively reduced.

In summary, Hangovers are caused by many different damaging effects of alcohol. Next up, we’ll take a closer look at where oxygen therapy fits into the picture.

Is oxygen good for hangovers?

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

Off the bat, we can quickly rule out oxygen being good for hydration and sleep. Clearly, the only these things are to drink water and go back to sleep. In addition, oxygen is unlikely to have any effect on inflammation.

So, does oxygen have any benefits for hangover symptoms?

Well, supporters of oxygen bars claim that it improves mood, energy levels, and concentration. All of which are symptoms that a bad hangover can have a negative impact on.

However, most claims around the benefits of oxygen bars haven’t been scientifically proven.

Your blood oxygen levels should be above 98%. And if you checked any healthy individual, it’s always going to be close to, if not 100%.

That means pushing more oxygen into your lungs is unlikely to have any benefit in boosting your blood oxygen saturations which will almost definitely be close to maximum carrying capacity.

Next up, we’ll take a closer look at what the research says about oxygen therapy.

What does the research say?

The research into oxygen therapy for people without underlying lung conditions is limited to a type of headache called cluster headaches. And for this type of headache, it is known to be beneficial.(1)

With that said, cluster headaches can’t be compared to a hangover headaches because they are completely different.

Other than this niche use for high flow oxygen, there isn’t much evidence to back up the claims that oxygen therapy is good for any hangover symptom.

Perhaps the benefits are related to the placebo effect and act as a temporary distraction while the oxygen is flowing

Is oxygen therapy a hangover cure?

You’ve probably guessed the answer to this question already. Oxygen therapy is definitely not a hangover cure.

In fact, a true hangover “cure” does not exist. And is unlikely to ever do so.

So, if you’re planning on going to an oxygen bar to cure your hangover, you’re going to be disappointed.

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A single pill of Afterdrink

Are there any dangers?

Short bursts of high flow oxygen are unlikely to be dangerous for healthy individuals.

However, for people with underlying lung conditions such as COPD (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease), it can be very dangerous.

If you do have any medical conditions or have been smoking cigarettes for many years, it’s very important you speak to your doctor first before trying oxygen therapy.

Anything else to consider?

Hangovers are a sign from your body that you’ve been drinking too much alcohol. Trying to remedy your hangover symptoms with oxygen is the wrong approach.

The best way to prevent a hangover is by drinking less alcohol and at a slower pace, eating before going out and drinking plenty of water throughout the night.

We mentioned earlier that drinks with higher congener concentration cause worse hangovers. And darker colored drinks usually have more congeners. So, switching to a lighter colored beverage such as white wine or gin and tonics instead of red wine or whiskey may help.

With that said, if you drink enough of any type of alcohol, regardless of congeners, you’ll wake up with a nasty hangover. So, the same core hangover prevention tips mentioned above always apply.

Oxygen for hangovers – Final verdict

That brings us to the end of our look into oxygen therapy bars for hangovers.

We’ve walked you through the causes of a hangover and all the things that contribute to your hangover symptoms.

Unfortunately, there’s no evidence to say oxygen is good for hangovers. Not just for a hangover, but most other symptoms it claims to be beneficial for as well.

If you’re interested in natural hangover remedies, check out our article on the best hangover supplements.

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