Having a night out drinking with friends can be great fun, but no one enjoys a hangover. Thankfully, there are many ways to prevent and treat a hangover, including staying hydrated and eating certain foods to help you avoid unwanted symptoms.
Before we review the best foods to consume to prevent hangovers, we need to first understand them, including what causes them, the symptoms of a hangover, and the science behind it.
What Causes Hangovers?
There are numerous causes of hangovers, including:
- Acetaldehyde exposure: When your liver metabolizes alcohol, it creates a toxic, short-lived byproduct called acetaldehyde that contributes to inflammation in your brain, gastrointestinal (GI) tract, liver, pancreas, and other organs.
- Disrupted sleep: Although you may fall asleep faster after drinking alcohol, your sleep is likely to be fragmented, and you may wake up earlier than usual, contributing to fatigue and lost productivity.
- Gastrointestinal irritation: Alcohol irritates your stomach lining and increases acid release, which can lead to nausea and stomach pain.
- Inflammation: Alcohol increases inflammation in your body, which contributes to the malaise that you typically feel when you are sick.
- Dehydration: Alcohol increases urination and excess loss of fluids, causing dehydration that can contribute to fatigue, headaches, and thirst.
- Mini-withdrawal: Drinking may make you feel more calm and relaxed or even euphoric, but once these effects wear off, you may feel more anxious and restless than you did before you drank.
- Mood disturbances, such as anxiety, depression, and irritability
- Muscle aches
- Rapid heartbeat
- Stomach pain
Now, we will look into the science behind hangovers and how alcohol is processed by your body.
Alcohol is absorbed into your bloodstream until your liver metabolizes it. Alcohol in your bloodstream can reach your brain in approximately 5 minutes. About 90 percent of the alcohol you consume is broken down by enzymes in your liver, and the other 10 percent is excreted through your lungs, sweat, and urine.
Alcohol also affects your kidneys, which keep you hydrated and remove waste. If too much alcohol is consumed, the kidneys stop working properly, leading to dehydration and increased urination.
Next, we will examine how water, electrolytes, and sports drinks help with rehydrating your body after a night of drinking.
Water: The Ultimate Hangover Fighter
The human body is made up of about 60 percent water. Drinking plenty of water is the surest way to get hydrated.
There are many types of water to choose from, and each type offers different potential benefits.
Alkaline water has a higher pH level and may have minerals added to it. It is more expensive than other types of water and may not have any effect on your body’s pH level or offer any other benefits.
- Distilled water is a type of purified water that is boiled to remove most contaminants and minerals. Distilled water is safe to drink, but it is not commonly used as drinking water.
- Mineral water usually comes from reservoirs and may have higher levels of minerals than found in tap water, such as calcium, magnesium, and sodium. The extra minerals in this type of water can benefit most people, but the exact mineral levels can vary greatly.
- Purified water is water that has been run through a filtration system in your home or prior to being bottled. Purified water is more expensive than tap water, but the purification process removes most naturally occurring contaminants.
- Spring water that comes from underground springs is sold in bottles. Some people prefer the taste of spring water over tap water, but spring water has not been proven to provide any additional health benefits compared to tap water.
- Tap water that comes from your kitchen faucet is the most accessible type of water. In the United States, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) monitors the levels of contaminants in tap water to ensure that the tap water is safe for drinking in most areas throughout the country.
Electrolytes: Replenishing What’s Lost
Electrolytes regulate hydration and numerous other bodily functions, such as muscle contraction, nerve signaling, and pH balance. You lose electrolytes through dehydration, sweat, and other waste products.
There are many electrolyte-rich drinks that can help you replenish these essential minerals:
- Coconut water
- Cow’s milk
- Electrolyte-infused water
- Electrolyte tablets or powders to add to plain water
- Watermelon water and other fruit juices
Sports Drinks: A Hydration Alternative
Sports drinks like Gatorade and Powerade can also help you replace lost electrolytes. However, they contain high levels of salt and sugar, so you should not drink them on a regular basis. If you have certain health issues like diabetes, heart disease, or high blood pressure, you may want to avoid sports drinks altogether.
Steps you can take before you start drinking to avoid a hangover include preparing your body, ensuring proper food and water intake, and taking supplements and vitamins.
Preparing your body can reduce the impact of a hangover. Eating ginger before you drink can help reduce the severity of symptoms like diarrhea, nausea, and vomiting. Ginger’s unique therapeutic properties can offer relief when consumed after drinking as well. Eating prickly pear cactus fruit before drinking may cut your risk of a severe hangover in half.
You should not drink on an empty stomach. Drinking on an empty stomach causes your body to absorb alcohol more quickly, leading to faster intoxication and a higher likelihood of a worse hangover later on. Eating before and during drinking helps you maintain stable blood sugar levels and slows down the rate of alcohol absorption.
Drinking plenty of water throughout the day before you spend a night drinking will allow you to start out hydrated. While you are drinking, you can alternate alcohol and water or fruit juice to maintain proper hydration and avoid a bad hangover.
Supplements and Vitamins
Drinking heavily can affect the way your body absorbs and uses vitamins. B vitamins like cobalamin (vitamin B12), folate (vitamin B9), and niacin (vitamin B3) are especially important to take before you drink. Taking vitamins before you drink is even more crucial if you already have a vitamin deficiency.
Milk thistle supplements support liver health and may help prevent hangovers. The healthier your liver is, the faster it can metabolize alcohol and expel it from your body, reducing the negative side effects of alcohol consumption.
Foods to Fuel Your Fun
Eating certain foods can prevent and reduce the severity of a hangover. Continue reading to get ideas for breakfast foods, snacks, and meals that relieve hangovers.
Although hangover symptoms like nausea and vomiting can make it difficult to eat the morning after a night of drinking, eating a breakfast made up of eggs, bananas, and/or oatmeal can help.
Eggs: A Nutrient Powerhouse
Eggs are beneficial for hangovers because they contain a variety of compounds that help with hangovers, including:
- Antioxidants that protect your body from the damaging effects of free radicals, infection, and pollution
- Cysteine, an amino acid that breaks down acetaldehyde
- Minerals that help your body flush out toxins
- Vitamins A, B12, and D, which support brain health, cell metabolism, immunity, and muscle function
Eggs are gentle on your stomach, so they are a great choice when experiencing hangover symptoms. Additionally, there are countless ways to include them in recipes that help you recover from your hangover faster.
Restore Potassium Stores With Bananas
Bananas help you digest alcohol by helping boost your metabolism. They also raise your blood sugar because they contain a high amount of complex carbohydrates. A third benefit of eating bananas while hungover is that they can ease stomach pain.
Oats: Soothe Your Stomach
Eating oatmeal is another good option when you have a hangover. Oatmeal is rich in complex carbohydrates that fight fatigue and improve your mood. It is also loaded with important nutrients like B vitamins, calcium, iron, and magnesium.
Snacking is a good way to nourish yourself without overwhelming your ailing digestive system. Healthy snacks that relieve hangover symptoms include almonds, avocado, and Greek yogurt.
Almonds: Nutrient-Rich Snack
Almonds are a good hangover food because they help restore your magnesium levels, which, in turn, helps your body break down the alcohol that is still in your system the day after you drink. Peanuts and walnuts are also good options for hangovers.
Avocado: The Good Fat
Eating avocado helps fight hangover symptoms by increasing energy, providing potassium, and supporting digestive health. It is also rich in healthy monounsaturated fat that promotes healthy cholesterol levels.
Greek Yogurt: Gut Health Support
The carbs and protein in Greek yogurt help improve blood sugar levels after drinking. You can add banana slices to increase the hangover-fighting benefits and flavor.
Hearty lunch and dinner ingredients that go down easily during a hangover include salmon, sweet potatoes, and spinach.
Salmon: Omega-3 Rich Recovery
Eating salmon before drinking may help prevent a hangover because it contains natural fats like omega-3 that stay in your stomach longer and slow down alcohol absorption. Eating salmon during a hangover is also a good idea as it contains good proteins, vitamins, minerals, and healthy fats and can reduce inflammation.
Sweet Potatoes: Carbs with Benefits
Sweet potatoes can help you recover from a hangover more quickly due to its high levels of potassium, vitamin A, and magnesium. These nutrients work to combat inflammation and restore levels lost to a night of drinking.
Spinach: Greens for Detox
Spinach is rich in fiber, iron, vitamin C, and other vitamins and minerals that help you recover from a hangover. It also contains high levels of folate, which can become depleted following heavy drinking.
Beverages for Relief
Beverages for relief of hangover symptoms include herbal teas, coconut water, and ginger infusions.
Herbal Teas: Soothing Elixirs
Herbal teas can soothe the digestive issues that come with a hangover. Choosing a lightly caffeinated tea can help boost your energy, but be careful not to overdo it, as consuming large amounts of caffeine can prolong dehydration and make some hangover symptoms worse.
Popular herbal teas that can ease a hangover include:
- Chamomile tea
- Ginger tea
- Matcha green tea
- Peppermint tea
- Turmeric tea
Coconut Water: Nature’s Electrolyte
Coconut water has very little calorie, carb, and fat content, but it does have high amounts of naturally occurring magnesium and potassium. This makes coconut water a good choice for simultaneous hydration and electrolyte replacement during a hangover.
Ginger Infusions: Calming the Stomach
Ginger tea has anti-inflammatory and anti-nausea properties that help relieve stomach upset during a hangover. Honey and lemon juice are good additions to ginger tea to make it more flavorful.
The After-Party Plan
Taking care of yourself after a night of partying is critical in managing hangover symptoms. We’ll explain how to develop a post-party recovery routine and discuss the benefits of rest and sleep and hangover IV therapy at home.
The best way to save yourself from future severe hangovers is to develop a post-party recovery routine by mixing and matching some of the following hangover tips:
- Eat nutritious foods that won’t worsen digestive issues caused by your hangover
- Get vitamin IV therapy
- Hydrate by drinking plenty of non-alcoholic drinks like water, coconut water, herbal tea, and electrolyte drinks
- Take over-the-counter pain relief medication
Because alcohol disrupts sleep, it is important to catch up on sleep to help get over a hangover. It is best to drink alcohol when you have time to relax and recover the next day rather than drinking the night before you have work or other responsibilities to take care of. However, try not to sleep too much the day after a night of drinking, as this can prolong sleep issues the next night as well.
Hangover IV Therapy At-Home
At-home intravenous (IV) therapy services can help you quickly bounce back from a hangover.
Although the ingredients vary from one provider to another, a Hangover IV Treatment typically contains a powerful combination of ingredients that address hangover-related dehydration, inflammation, nausea, and electrolyte and vitamin imbalances. An added benefit of IV therapy is that it is administered directly into your bloodstream and works much more quickly than remedies that must pass through your digestive system.
When is IV the best option?
Contact our offices and our team of medical professionals led by founders Dr. Abe Malkin and Dr. Neal Kumar, will answer your queries.
Drinking too much alcohol can lead to hangovers that cause a range of issues, but there are many ways you can defend yourself against the woes of a hangover before, during, and after drinking. Eating the right foods and drinking beverages that have ingredients that relieve hangover symptoms are great ways to start. Hangover IV therapy can also help you recover quickly in the comfort and privacy of your own home.
With a bit of preparation and the tips we’ve discussed, you can take steps to avoid a hangover on your next big night out – or overcome one as quickly as possible!
Get Your Hangover IV
You can get a hangover IV right at your hotel, resort, or business location. Drip Hydration Mobile IV Therapy is a company that will come to you and treat your hangover symptoms. All you need to do is book an appointment online or call. We have locations in cities all over the world.
Our mobile hangover IV treatment is administered by certified nurses who will visit you at your desired location. The nurse will treat your symptoms in the comfort of your hotel, office, or resort. We are here to help accommodate you and answer any questions you have about mobile IV therapy.
Don’t struggle with a headache, nausea, or discomfort the morning after a well-deserved night out. Call Drip Hydration or book an appointment using the button below, and let us give you back your day!Book a Hangover IV
Hangover IV - Frequently Asked Questions
What is included in our hangover IV?
Our Hangover IV treatment contains a blend of IV fluids, electrolytes, vitamins and medication to restore the vitamins in your body and help your body battle with the unwanted hangover symptoms. Among the main ingredients are B-Complex vitamins, Vitamin B12, Toradol and Anti-Nausea medication.
Why is hangover IV much more effective than hangover drinks?
Hangover IV is more effective than hangover drinks because the IV solution is introduced directly into your blood without having to go through the digestive system which is already overloaded. This means you will feel the effects much faster and feel much better very quickly.
How long does it take for our Hangover IV to start working?
It usually takes between 30-60 minutes for you to feel the benefits of our Hangover IV drip.
What are the levels of hangover severity?
IV therapy in general is FDA approved. Our nurses are overseen by our Medical Director, Abe Malkin, and every nurse is registered and certified per state standards.