The search for alcohol hangover cures is as old as alcohol itself. Many cures and prevention agents are available or sold, but scientific evidence for their effectiveness is generally lacking. Most remedies do not significantly reduce overall hangover severity.
Consider asparagus extract which is available as a supplement in capsules. For mild cases, Eyesight Rx works quite well in improving alertness. A tablet under the tongue can wake you up and help you think clearly. Mind Power Rx can also help you become more alert and focused.
Suggestions for hangover cure
If you've overindulged the night before, consider these practical steps to help your hangover:
Don't have another drink the next day to make yourself feel better.
Coffee, greasy food, or a cold shower won't help your body metabolize the alcohol any faster.
Eat a small amount of food that you like but do not overeat.
Get plenty of sleep to help feel more rested.
Drink plenty of water to help rehydrate yourself.
Don't take acetaminophen (the active ingredient in Tylenol) to help your hangover, as it may harm the liver when combined with alcohol.
Hangover cure research study
Forget aspirins, hairs of dogs and hot baths, the only sure way of avoiding a hangover is not to drink in the first place. Researchers led by Max Pittler of the Peninsular Medical School at Exeter University, surfed the Internet and combed medical databases to study a range of hangover cures from the traditional to the novel. Their research roamed from the humble aspirin to fructose, artichokes and even prickly pears but found no silver bullet. However, they did hold out some hope for the potential of borage, a bright blue herb with star-shaped flowers used traditionally to decorate gin-based summer cocktails. But their conclusions were sobering. "No compelling evidence exists to suggest that any complementary or conventional intervention is effective for treating or preventing alcohol hangover," they wrote in the British Medical Journal, January 2006.
Dr. Sahelian says: I'm not sure I agree with these researchers. I do believe there are supplements that can help focus the mind, provide alertness and partially or mostly relieve some of the symptoms of a hangover.
Natural supplements, herbs, herbal remedies
Artichoke leaf extract
Effectiveness of artichoke extract in preventing alcohol-induced hangovers: a randomized controlled trial.
Extract of globe artichoke (Cynara scolymus) is promoted as a possible preventive or cure for alcohol-induced hangover symptoms. However, few rigorous clinical trials have assessed the effects of artichoke extract, and none has examined the effects in relation to hangovers. We undertook this study to test whether artichoke extract is effective in preventing the signs and symptoms of alcohol-induced hangover. We recruited healthy adult volunteers between 18 and 65 years of age to participate in a randomized double-blind crossover trial. Participants received either 3 capsules of commercially available standardized artichoke extract or indistinguishable, inert placebo capsules immediately before and after alcohol exposure. After a 1-week washout period the volunteers received the opposite treatment. Our results suggest that artichoke extract is not effective in preventing the signs and symptoms of alcohol-induced hangover.
Dr. Sahelian says: I have no idea why these researchers chose artichoke extract as a potential natural hangover cure. I would much rather they had tested brain boosting supplements.
I was wondering whether taking the amino acid supplement N-Acetyl Cysteine is beneficial as a liver detoxicant. It is normally used for breathing difficulties but having read an article recommending it as an aid to reduce hangovers I started taking it before drinking and it seems to have a dramatic effect in reducing hangovers. Is there any truth that it helps to metabolise alcohol faster and may also help reduce GGT levels in the blood. I look forward to hearing your thoughts.
I have not studied its influence on the immediate effects of alcohol ingestion but acetylcysteine does have liver cell protecting benefits.
Curr Drug Abuse Rev. 2010. Treatment and prevention of alcohol hangover. Many cures and prophylactic agents are available, but scientific evidence for their effectiveness is generally lacking. This review summarizes and discusses the limited number of studies that examined the effectiveness of alcohol hangover treatments. From these studies it must be concluded that most remedies do not significantly reduce overall hangover severity. Some compounds reduce specific symptoms such as vomiting and headache, but are not effective in reducing other common hangover symptoms such as drowsiness and fatigue. Hangover cures that showed positive effects were those inhibiting prostaglandin synthesis or accelerating alcohol metabolism.
There is a neuropeptide molecule in the brain that leads to hangovers. The neuropeptide causes the body to experience withdrawal symptoms as the brain tries to adapt to different intoxication levels. When a brain is exposed to drinking over a long period of time, it becomes accustomed to certain intoxication levels. The brain experiences a series of withdrawal symptoms when the drinking stops. Typically, these hangover symptoms can include anxiety and agitation, even seizures. When people are given small doses of alcohol during their withdrawal their irritable behaviors ease. Unfortunately, this approach to combating a hangover also increases the chances for alcohol dependency.
In your opinion, what is the best hangover cure pill?
I have not studied this field to know the best hangover cure pill. However, certain mind boosting supplements could be helpful, including acetylcarnitine, cdp-choline, SAM-e, etc. A combination found in Mind-Power-Rx is a good option for a natural hangover remedy.
I'm a writer for a health magazine and I'm working
on a story on eating to beat various ailments. I came across something you wrote
online about hangover cures, and I was wondering if you could give me some
insight on potassium (like eating a banana) to help someone with a hangover.
I've read that drinking too much can throw off your potassium levels, and a
banana provides lots of that nutrient.
The cause of hangovers is hardly due to potassium loss and I seriously doubt a banana would help.
Currently I'm working on an article in our health
magazine and one reader asks for advice on treating or preventing a hangover.
I'm hoping we can briefly discuss what happens to your body with a hangover and
what our readers can do to treat (or possibly prevent) the symptoms.
Even though there is some info on my web site regarding potential benefit from some supplements, I do not think I have enough solid research to back up any statements on this topic. I would be glad to answer questions on topics where more studies are published and I can be more certain of my answers.