We’ve all been there! Pulsating headache, upset stomach and dry mouth. Even if it seemed like a good idea last night, your body certainly doesn’t thank you for it today! While it is true that the only real way to avoid a hangover is not to drink alcohol, some foods can slightly reduce symptoms and make the next day a little more bearable.
Coconut water is one of the most hydrating liquids you can drink. So much so that many athletes use it to rehydrate during exercise, not for electrolyte drinks or water. One of the main culprits for a hangover is dehydration. Alcohol is a diuretic that makes you urinate more often, removing water and some electrolytes from your body. Coconut water contains an excellent balance of both, which can help rehydrate and help break down alcohol in the body.
When you drink alcohol, your body tries to break it down through the enzyme alcohol dehydrogenase. Studies show that lime can improve the body’s ability to produce this enzyme and speed up the breakdown of alcohol left in your system. Unfortunately, eating lime alone with a nasty stomach can be a little too much! Instead, mix a little lime juice in coconut water to get hydrating benefits and improved alcohol breakdown.
Ginger has been used for centuries to treat nausea, and research seems to support this benefit. Ginger can also have a long-lasting effect on the body, as some studies have tentatively shown that it helps treat alcoholic fatty liver disease. Combine this with its anti-inflammatory properties and you will have an excellent early morning, take me. The easiest way to take ginger is to grate it around your thumb and swallow it with a little water.
Leafy vegetables such as spinach and cabbage are another type of food that can help break down alcohol by increasing the production of alcohol dehydrogenase. They also contain significant levels of magnesium and potassium, which can be low after a night of drinking. Studies also show that leafy vegetables can help liver health in the long run, which means that as a regular part of your diet, your liver can be more effective in removing alcohol from your body.
Animal studies show that Asian pear juice can help increase alcohol hydrogenase by helping to reduce symptoms. There is little work directly on humans, but one study found that when mixed with other fruits, pears can significantly reduce headaches after drinking alcohol. Although more research is needed, there are optimistic signs that this may help reduce the symptoms of a hangover.
It is clear that if you do not want a hangover, then it is best not to drink! However, if it is too late, what you eat can help relieve some of the symptoms. Not only that, but these options are healthy supplements to most diets, so you certainly won’t hurt yourself if you try them.
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DOI: 10.1016 / j.crfs.2019.09.001
- “Farm-to-Ginger: Nutritional and Pharmacological Applications” by Jeremiah Oshiomame Unuofin, Nelisiwe Prenate Masuku, Oluwatomiwa Kehinde Paimo and Sogolo Lucky Lebelo, November 26, 2021, Limits in pharmacology.
DOI: 10.3389 / fphar.2021.779352
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DOI: 10.3390 / molecules21010064
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- “Effect of mixed fruit and vegetable juice on alcoholic hangover in healthy adults” by Min-Ju Kim, Sang-Wook Lim, John-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