Reduce hangover symptoms with these 5 science-backed foods

hangover concept

Some foods contain nutrients that may help relieve hangover symptoms.

We have all been there! Throbbing headache, bloated stomach, dry mouth. Even if it seemed like a good idea last night, your body certainly isn’t thanking you for that day! While it’s true that the only real way to avoid a hangover is to not drink alcohol, certain foods can reduce symptoms a bit and make the next day more tolerable.

coconut water

Coconut water helps you rehydrate, which is especially important after a night of heavy drinking.

coconut water

Coconut water is one of the most hydrating fluids you can drink. So much so that many athletes use it to rehydrate during exercise in place of electrolyte drinks or water. Dehydration is one of the main causes of alcohol hangover. Alcohol is a diuretic that makes you urinate frequently, and it removes water and some electrolytes from your body. Coconut water has an excellent balance of both, helping to tackle dehydration and aiding in the breakdown of alcohol in the body.[1]

A bowl of lemons

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

lime

When you drink alcohol, your body tries to break it down through the alcohol dehydrogenase enzyme. Studies show that lemon 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 lime alone with a nauseating stomach may be too much! Alternatively, mix some lemon juice with coconut water to get the hydrating benefits and improve the breakdown of alcohol.

fresh ginger

Ginger is a natural remedy for nausea.

Ginger

Ginger has been used for centuries to help treat nausea, and scientific research appears to support this benefit.[2] Ginger may also have a long-lasting effect on the body, with some studies tentatively suggesting that it helps treat alcoholic fatty liver disease.[3] Pair this with its anti-inflammatory properties, and you’ll have a great early morning treat. The easiest way to get ginger is to grate the length of your thumb and swallow it with some water.

coleslaw

Cabbage and spinach can help your body produce the enzyme dehydrogenase that breaks down alcohol in your body. They also contain the minerals potassium and magnesium, which you may need to restore in your body after a night of partying.

leafy vegetables

Leafy green vegetables like spinach and kale are another type of food that can help break down alcohol by increasing the production of alcohol dehydrogenase.[1] They also contain high levels of magnesium and potassium, which can be low after a night of drinking. Studies also show that leafy greens can 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 reduce a hangover.

pear

Animal studies suggest that Asian pear juice can help increase alcohol dehydrogenase, which helps reduce symptoms.[3] There has been little direct action on humans, but one study showed that when mixing pears with other fruits, it could significantly reduce headaches after drinking alcohol.[5] While more research is needed, signs are optimistic that it may help reduce hangover symptoms.

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

References:

  1. “Effect of food commodities on residues based on alcohol dehydrogenase and aldehyde dehydrogenase activities” By Shraddha Srinivasan, Kriti Kumari Dube and Rika S Singhal, 17 Sep 2019, Available here. Current research in food sciences.
    DOI: 10.1016 / j.crfs.2019.09.001
  2. “Ginger from Farm to Town: Nutritional and Pharmaceutical Applications” By Jeremiah Oshiomami Onuvine, Nellisui Prenate Masuko, Oluwatomwa Kehinde Baimo, and Sogolu Lucky Lebelo, November 26, 2021 Available here. 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 Ji Zhang, Yu Zhou, Sha Li and Hua Bin Li, Jan 7, 2016, Available here. Molecules.
    DOI: 10.3390 / 21010064 جزيئات particles
  4. “Complementary and Alternative Therapies for Liver Disease 2014” By Young Seung Gwan, Jun 28, 2015, Available here. Complementary and alternative medicine.
    DOI: 10.1155/2015/824185
  5. “Effect of Mixed Fruit and Vegetable Juice on Hangovers in Healthy Adults” By Min Joo Kim, Sang Wook Lim, Jong Hyun Kim, Da Jeong Choi, Jong In Kim and Min Jung Kang, 2018, Available here. Preventive Nutrition and Food Science.
    DOI: 10.3746/pnf.2018.23.1.1