Are raw eggs good for a hangover? Do raw eggs prevent hangovers? It’s actually a surprisingly common question and one that doesn’t exactly have a straightforward answer.
With so many hangover cure myths out there, it’s hard to tell what works and what doesn’t.
If you’ve landed on this article, chances are you’ve tried a fair few supposed hangover cures that haven’t worked. And are now skeptical about whether raw eggs are good for a hangover or just another myth.
Well, you’re in the right place. In this article, we’re also going to examine raw eggs as a food and look at what it contains in terms of micronutrients and macronutrients.
We’ll then give a more detailed answer as to whether raw eggs are good for hangovers.
Health benefits of raw eggs
Eggs in general, whether cooked or uncooked are seen as a “healthy food”. Although, this is sometimes contested as eggs are a source of animal protein and also contain high levels of fats (albeit good fats as well).
Nevertheless, raw eggs are rich in protein, healthy fats, vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and various other nutrients.
One whole, large raw egg (50 grams) contains:
- Calories: 72.
- Protein: 6 grams.
- Fat: 5 grams.
- Vitamin A: 9% of the RDI.
- Riboflavin (Vitamin B2): 13% of the RDI.
- Pantothenic acid(Vitamin B5 ): 8% of the RDI.
- Vitamin B12: 7% of the RDI.
- Selenium: 22% of the RDI.
- Phosphorus: 10% of the RDI.
- Folate: 6% of the RDI.
In addition, one raw egg contains 147 mg of choline, an essential nutrient important for maintaining normal liver and brain health.(1)
It’s important to note that almost all the nutrients are concentrated in the yolk. The white mostly consists of protein.
So, are any of the nutrients in raw eggs good for a hangover? That’s what we’ll focus on next.
Are raw eggs good for hangovers?
Before we get into whether raw eggs are good for hangovers or not, we first need to go over how alcohol causes hangovers.
The science of hangovers isn’t black and white. There are many different causes of a hangover and your symptoms are a result of a combination of factors including:
Dehydration: Alcohol causes dehydration by blocking the release of a hormone from your pituitary gland (in your brain) called ADH. This hormone is important for reabsorbing water from your kidneys. By blocking its release, your kidneys flush out water.
Inflammation: when alcohol is broken down by your liver (metabolized), toxic by-products such as acetaldehyde are formed. These react with your cells causing inflammation. Congeners in darker colored drinks also exacerbate things.
Poor sleep quality: Although drinking alcohol makes you sleepy, it doesn’t mean the sleep quality is good. In fact, alcohol blocks your brain from reaching the REM stage of sleep which is essential for feeling fully rested.
In summary, hangovers are caused by dehydration, inflammation, and poor sleep quality. Clearly eating raw eggs isn’t going to be a solution to all these problems.
That said, it contains a few B vitamins that are important in alcohol metabolism such as vitamin B1. However, it’s certainly not in high enough concentrations to make a difference.
Other than the nutritional value, eating raw eggs when hungover is unlikely to have any impact on your symptoms.
Raw eggs, tomato juice, and hot sauce for hangovers – The Prairie Oyster
Some of you may have heard of the prairie oyster hangover cure. Essentially, it’s a traditional hangover cure recipe consisting of a raw egg, vinegar and/or hot sauce, table salt, and ground black pepper. Tomato juice is sometimes added, reminiscent of a Bloody Mary.
What about adding these condiments to a raw egg to make a prairie oyster? Will this make it more effective at curing hangovers?
It’s thought that drinking a prairie oyster when hungover has benefits for the following reasons:
– Salt in prairie oysters helps your body retain water.
– The capsaicin in hot sauce can act as a painkiller.
– Cysteine, an amino acid contained in eggs, helps your body break down alcohol
Unfortunately, none of the above actually works:
– The best way to rehydrate is to drink water. Not eat salt!
– Capsaicin is used as a painkiller in topical creams, not when ingested.
– Cysteine is an amino acid that helps your liver make an antioxidant called glutathione. It doesn’t break down alcohol. Also, by the time you have a hangover, there’s very little or no alcohol in your bloodstream left.
So you’ve probably guessed that prairie oysters are not going to cure your hangover. It’s highly unlikely that the addition of condiments will make a difference. That said, it’ll probably make the raw egg more palatable!
Does eating raw egg prevent a hangover?
What about eating raw eggs before drinking alcohol to prevent hangovers. Will that work?
Unfortunately, it’s still not going to have any special hangover prevention powers.
On that note, avoiding drinking on an empty stomach is important. That’s because food slows down how fast alcohol is absorbed into your bloodstream. But forcing a raw egg down instead of a normal meal is not essential.
Are there any negatives?
Raw eggs aren’t totally safe to eat. Some eggs contain a type of harmful bacteria called salmonella.
Fortunately, the risk of an egg being contaminated is very low. One study found only 1 of every 30,000 eggs produced in the US is contaminated with Salmonella.(2)
That means if you’re unlucky enough to eat one of these raw eggs contaminated with salmonella, you’ll not only have a hangover but food poisoning as well!
Salmonella dies when an egg is cooked so the risk isn’t there with a cooked egg.
Also, there isn’t much point in eating an egg raw. It’ll contain the same nutrients cooked!
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 a hangover by eating raw eggs or even jazzing things up with a prairie oyster is the wrong approach.
The best way to “cure” a hangover is by preventing one in the first place. Drinking less at a slower pace, eating before going out, and drinking plenty of water is all that’s required.
Raw eggs for hangovers – Final verdict
That brings us to the end of our look into raw eggs as a hangover remedy and prevention.
Unfortunately, it’s unlikely to make a real difference to your hangovers. In addition, there’s a risk (albeit small) that the raw egg you are consuming is contaminated with salmonella. Getting food poisoning with a hangover would be a disaster as I’m sure you’d agree.
If you’re interested in this topic, check out our article on good hangover foods.