The Anatomy of a Hangover: Part 2 – Is there a cure doctor??
Mondays……. am I right? Are you still feeling the after effects of the summer weekend parties? Let me just start by saying, there is unfortunately no magic cure for a hangover. While we have yet to find the miracle pill, there are some things that can help lessen the pain. As Sarah explained last week (See: Anatomy of a hangover: Part 1) alcohol is a funny little bugger, which can cause a negative ripple effect on the body. But it doesn’t mean you have to suffer through your occasional over indulgence.
Simple Steps to Follow:
1) Replenish electrolytes: Most importantly, you need to refuel your body. Consuming alcohol causes dehydration and throws off your electrolyte balance including sodium, potassium and magnesium. Coconut water is a great natural source of electrolytes. None around? Try an electrolyte replacement packet (also high in vitamin C) that you can add to water or make your own at home. Broth made from bouillon cubes or tomato juice can also do the trick. Try and stay away from commercially prepared sports drinks, as they are high in sugar.
2) Lemon & honey: Lemon helps detoxify your body, rebalance your pH and stabilize blood sugar levels. Honey is rich in potassium and the fructose in it will help metabolize the extra alcohol in the body. Simply mix together with hot water for a soothing treat.
3) Stick to lighter coloured alcohols: Alcohols get their colour from congeners, which are compounds that form during the fermenting process. Bourbon has 37x more congeners than vodka. A study found that the more congeners, the worse the hangover (sorry bourbon connoisseurs!).
4) B complex vitamins: This group of vitamins is important for alcohol metabolism and ridding the body of unwanted by-products. The less by-products in your system, the less hangover symptoms you will experience.
Herbs That Help:
Ginger: This trusty herb has antioxidant and liver protecting powers. Studies have shown that consuming ginger decreased hangover symptoms. Try some fresh ginger tea, especially if you are prone to experiencing nausea.
Ginseng: The active ginsenosides in the root of the ginseng plant have been showen to provide relief from hangover symptoms. This herb reduced breathe and blood alcohol levels and the severity of hangover in study participants. It may also work by inhibiting the inflammatory response and hypoglyemic effect on the body.
Korean/Asian Pear: This fruit’s juice has been used as a preventative agent for alleviating alcohol hangover, especially trouble concentrating, through the bioactive polyphenols. One study showed an alleviation of hangover and detoxification of alcohol through stimulating ADH and ALDH.
Kudzu: The flowers of this plant have been used to treat the problems caused by alcohol consumption as they enhance acetaldehyde removal. The isoflavone glyocoside, tectoridin, also has the ability to protect the liver.
What’s most exciting is that there is quite a bit of preliminary research out there…which means this “magic cure” may be closer than we think! In the mean time, enjoy responsibly and with good company - Cheers!
Get close and personally with us bloggers!
“What is your go to hangover cure??”
Margot: “I never go to bed without drinking my coconut water, the fridge is always stocked”
Heather: “I always pop a couple of B-complex vitamins before a night out!”
Sarah: “To help with the next day stomach sizzle, I love drinking a cup or two of marshmallow tea before my nights out”
Tamara: “Mind over matter! I picture my body flushing out all the toxins”
Michelle: “I go for the grease…may not be research to back it up, but who can turn down a few french fries?!”
Bang JS et al. 2015. Clinical effect of a polysaccharide-rich extract of Acanthopanax senticosus on alcohol hangover.Pharmazie. 70: 4: 269.73.
Fang W, et al. 2016. Natural Products for the Prevention and Treatment of Hangover and Alcohol Use Disorder. Molecules. 21, 64.
Mitchison, A. 2009. News and Views: Hangovers: Uncongenial congeners. Nature. 462:992.