chlorella for hangovers

Evidence based

Chlorella For Hangovers: Does It Work?

Afterdrink Author Kathy Caldwell
Kathy Caldwell


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Evidence based

Is Chlorella a hangover cure? If you’re on this article, chances are you’ve heard that Chlorella is packed full of nutrients that will fight away your hangover.

In this article, we’re going to take a closer look at Chlorella to see whether it really has anti-hangover properties.

Chlorella is marketed as a “superfood” due to the fact its rich in certain nutrients. As a result, you’ll be able to find it in capsule or powder form in most health stores.

But does this mean that the nutrients in Chlorella are good for hangovers? Let’s find out.

Table of contents

What is Chlorella?

Chlorella is a single-celled, green freshwater algae. There are over 30 different species, but two most common types used in supplements are Chlorella vulgaris and Chlorella pyrenoidosa.

  • Protein: Chlorella is 50–60% protein and contains all essential amino acids
  • Iron: Chlorella can provide anywhere from 5–35% of your daily Iron
  • Antioxidants:These tiny green cells provide a wide range of antioxidants.
  • vitamins and minerals: Chlorella contains small amounts of magnesium, zinc, copper, potassium, calcium, vitamin C and other B vitamins
  • Omega-3s: As with other algae, chlorella contains some omega-3s.

Other than this, Chlorella has gotten some attention for its ability to help the body get rid of heavy metals and other toxins. Some animal studies have shown that it’s effective in removing heavy metals.(1)

While it’s rare for people to have dangerous levels of heavy metals in their system, people can get exposed to heavy metals through increased pollution.

So, can these health benefits of Chlorella help with hangovers? That’s what we’ll get into next.

Is Chlorella good for hangovers?

To see whether the nutrients in Chlorella can help with hangovers, we first need to go over how alcohol affects your body.

The science of hangovers is a complicated one because alcohol causes damage by several mechanisms including, inflammation, dehydration, and poor sleep quality.

As a supplement, Chlorella is unlikely to have any effect on your hydration status and sleep. These factors just require water and more sleep.

When alcohol is metabolized (broken down) in your liver, toxic by-products such as acetaldehyde are produced. These by-products are highly volatile substances that react with your cells. This inflammatory process is thought to be one of main causes of hangover symptoms.(2)

Your body has a system of antioxidants that neutralize these by-products before they cause too much damage. That said, during periods of overindulgence, this system is pushed over the edge.

So, could Chlorella help prevent hangovers by supporting your body’s antioxidant systems?

The answer to this question is, maybe.

At the time of writing, there are no studies that have looked into chlorella as a hangover cure. Therefore, any potential benefits of Chlorella for hangovers are theoretical at best.

The bottom line: Chlorella is packed full of beneficial nutrients which could have the potential to support your body during periods of over-indulgence. However, more research needs to be done.

When to take Chlorella for a hangover?

If you feel like you want to try Chlorella anyway, you’re probably better of taking it before your hangover has started. By this, we mean before or after you decide to have a few drinks.

Although it’s unclear whether it works and there’s no science to say that it does, trying to recover once alcohol has done its damage is too late.

Studies into other natural hangover remedies always follow this dosing regimen too.

If you’ve woken up with a bad hangover, the only thing that’ll help is water, painkillers, and time.

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How to take Chlorella

Chlorella is mostly farmed in Taiwan or Japan, but you can easily find it online or in a health food store. It’s available as a supplement pill and powder.

If you decide to buy it as a powder, you could add it to your very own hangover smoothie.

Either way, make sure you purchase your Chlorella from a reputable brand and the manufacturers are regulated by the FDA (or equivalent governing body depending on where you live).

Is Chlorella a hangover cure?

One thing is for sure, Chlorella is not a hangover cure. If you’re planning on taking Chlorella to wake up with no hangover in the morning, you’ll be disappointed.

The only way to “cure” a hangover is not to drink in the first place. When it comes to hangovers, it’s all about preventing and reducing the severity.

Safety and side effects

Studies have shown that Chlorella is generally safe to take with a low side effect profile.(3)

Although Chlorella is usually well-tolerated, it can cause nausea, diarrhea, abdominal cramping, flatulence, and green stools. Allergic reactions, including anaphylaxis, have been reported.(4)

As with all new supplements you decide to try, it’s always best to do so with caution. At the end of the day, everyone is different and will react differently.

If you’re unsure or taking regular medications, always discuss it with your doctor first.

Anything else to consider?

Hangovers are a sign from your body that you’ve been drinking more than your body can handle. The best way to prevent the worst hangovers are to drink at a slower pace, eat before going out and stick to a lighter colored drink with fewer congeners.

Does chlorella help with hangovers? – Final verdict

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

We’ve walked you through the basic things that you need to know about the cause of hangovers and whether the nutrients in Chlorella can help.

There isn’t enough research or evidence to say Chlorella works for hangovers. That said, it’s something you could always try to see it works for you.

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