Ease Your Hangover Symptoms With These 5 Science-Backed Foods

hangover concept

Certain foods contain nutrients that may help ease your hangover symptoms.

We’ve all been there! Throbbing headache, abdominal cramps and dry mouth. Even though it seemed like a great idea last night, your body definitely doesn’t thank you for it today! While it’s true that the only real way to avoid a hangover is not to drink alcohol, certain foods can slightly ease symptoms and make the next day a little more tolerable.

coconut water

Coconut water helps hydrate you, which is especially important after drinking alcohol at night.

coconut water

Coconut water is one of the most hydrating liquids you can drink. So much so that many athletes use it to rehydrate during exercise instead of an electrolyte drink or water. One of the main culprits of hangovers is dehydration. Alcohol is a diuretic that makes you urinate more often by removing water and some electrolytes from your body. Coconut water has an excellent balance of both, which can help with rehydration and aid in the breakdown of alcohol in the body.[1]

lime bowl

Lime can help your body make the enzyme alcohol dehydrogenase, which can speed up the breakdown of alcohol in your system.

lemon

When you drink alcohol, your body tries to break it down through the alcohol dehydrogenase enzyme. Studies show that limes can improve the body’s ability to make this enzyme and speed up the breakdown of any alcohol left in your system.[1] Unfortunately, eating lemons alone can be a bit much when it comes to nausea! Instead, add some lemon juice to coconut water to get the hydrating benefits and better alcohol breakdown.

fresh ginger

Ginger is a natural remedy for nausea.

Ginger

Ginger has been used for centuries to help treat nausea, and scientific research supports this benefit.[2] Ginger may also have long-term effects on the body as some studies show that it helps treat alcoholic fatty liver disease.[3] Pair this with its anti-inflammatory properties, and you have an excellent morning pick me up. The easiest way to consume ginger is to grate around a thumbnail lengthwise and swallow it with a little water.

Kale Salad

Kale and spinach can help your body make the enzyme alcohol dehydrogenase, which breaks down alcohol in your body. They also contain the minerals potassium and magnesium, which may be needed to restore your body after partying all night.

leafy greens

Leafy greens such as spinach and kale are another type of food that may help break down alcohol by increasing alcohol dehydrogenase production.[1] They also contain significant levels of magnesium and potassium, which can decrease after drinking at night. Studies also show that leafy greens may help with long-term liver health, which means that as a regular part of your diet, your liver may be more efficient at removing alcohol from your body.[4]

pear bowl

When mixed with other fruits, pears may be able to ease hangover headaches.

Rahila

Animal studies suggest that Asian pear juice may help increase alcohol hydrogenase, helping to reduce symptoms.[3] Very little has been done directly in humans, but one study showed that combining pears with other fruits can significantly reduce headaches after drinking.[5] While more research is needed, indications are optimistic that it may help ease hangover symptoms.

Clearly, if you don’t want a hangover, it’s better not to drink alcohol! However, if it is already too late, what you eat may help relieve some of the symptoms. Not only that, but these options are healthy additions to most diets, so you definitely won’t be doing yourself any harm if you try them.

References:

  1. “Effect of food items on hangover based on alcohol dehydrogenase and aldehyde dehydrogenase activities”, by Shraddha Srinivasan, Kriti Kumari Dubey and Rekha S Singhal, 17 September 2019, Current Research in Food Science,
    DOI: 10.1016/j.crfs.2019.09.001
  2. “Ginger to Town: Nutrition and Medicinal Applications” by Jeremiah Oshiome Unuofin, Nellisieve Prenet Masuku, Oluwatomiva Kehinde Piemo and Sogolo Lucky Labello 26 November 2021, Frontiers in Pharmacology,
    DOI: 10.3389/fphar.2021.779352
  3. “Natural products for the prevention and treatment of hangover and alcohol use disorder” by Fang Wang, Ya Li, Yu-Jie Zhang, Yu Zhou, Sha Li and Hua-Bin Lee, 7 January 2016 molecules,
    DOI: 10.3390/molecule 21010064
  4. “Complementary and Alternative Treatments for Liver Disease 2014”, by Yong-Song Guan, 28 June 2015, Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine,
    DOI: 10.1155/2015/824185
  5. “Effects of Mixed Fruit and Vegetable Juice on Alcohol Hangover in Healthy Adults”, by Min-Joo Kim, Sang-Wook Lim, Jong-Hyun Kim, Da-Jong Cho, Jung-In Kim and Min-Jung Kang, 2018 Preventive Nutrition and Food Science,
    DOI: 10.3746/pnf.2018.23.1.1

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