Hangover Prevention

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Hangover Prevention

Key Takeaways

  • Dietary nutrients like zinc and nicotinic acid, red ginseng consumption, vitamins containing L-cysteine, food for special medical purposes (FSMP) are science-backed methods to prevent hangover.
  • Food is used in a variety of ways by different cultures around the world to prevent hangovers. A bowl of onion soup is thought to help with hangovers in France. In Mexico, menudo is a traditional Mexican soup; in Slovenia, tajerska kisela juha, a sour soup, is used to help people recover from hangovers.
  • Hangovers can be avoided by drinking water, eating before drinking, drinking fruit juices, getting enough sleep, and eating a variety of cultural cuisines.


  • The research provides five insights into the state of the art of hangover prevention and five science-backed methods of preventing hangover.

Hangover Prevention

Before Drinking, Eat.

  • Drinking on an empty stomach allows alcohol to be absorbed more quickly, so eating a meal with lots of protein and healthy carbs is recommended before drinking.
  • Eating a lot of food can aid in the absorption of alcohol and prevent the absorption of a large amount of it.
  • Oats are a good food to consider because they have been shown to protect lab mice from liver damage caused by alcohol. Other foods that can help prevent hangover include eggs, honey, and simple carbs.
  • Eggs contain N-acetyl-cysteine, a chemical that helps clear the liver of harmful free radicals, and bland carbohydrates can help absorb any alcohol left in the stomach.

Drinking Fruit Juices

Drink Water

  • Drinking water between each alcoholic beverage will help keep the body hydrated.
  • Water could also be taken with soft drinks while drinking to lessen the effects of the alcohol. According to a nutritionist, "an easy way to ensure some extra hydration during the evening is by using soda water and fresh lime as a mixer for spirits, to turn wine into a soda-spritzer or ask for a glass of water alongside your alcoholic drink."
  • Drinking at least a glass of water for every drink consumed is a good rule of thumb. Additionally, drinking plenty of water 48 hours prior to consuming alcohol can also help to mitigate the effects (hangover).

Get Enough Sleep

Cultural Cuisines

  • Different cultures around the world use food to prevent hangovers in various ways. In France, a bowl of onion soup is thought to help with hangovers. Pickled herring, gherkin, and onion on bread is the preferred method in Germany.
  • In the United States, a cocktail of eggs, tea, Worcestershire sauce, salt, pepper, and Tabasco sauce is used. In Slovenia, a sour soup known as tajerska kisela juha is used to help people recover. Warming spices like fennel and paprika, as well as sauerkraut, are used in this sour soup.
  • Menudo is a traditional Mexican soup that is used to prevent hangovers. Cow stomach and red chili pepper are two of the soup's main ingredients.
  • The Turks use a meal called kokoreç to prevent hangovers. Grilled sheep intestines are served with chopped tomatoes and peppers in this dish.

Science-Based Studies On Preventing Hangovers

Plants Extracts May Help Relieve Hangover Symptoms

  • Date published: 30 April 2020.
  • Authors: Bernhard Lieb and Patrick Schmitt.
  • Researchers from Johannes Gutenberg University's Institute of Molecular Physiology discovered that a plant extract made up of fruits, leaves, and roots can help relieve hangover symptoms.
  • The study, carried out on 214 participants of ages 18-65 years found that only food for special medical purposes (FSMP) provided evidence for a significant efficiency in the reduction of hangover symptoms such as headache and nausea following moderate and non-excessive alcohol consumption.
  • Barbados cherry (Acerola), prickly pear, ginkgo biloba, willow, and ginger root were among the plant extracts used. Magnesium, potassium, sodium bicarbonate, zinc, riboflavin, thiamine, and folic acid were among the vitamins and minerals tested in the study.

Use Of Vitamins Containing L-Cysteine.

  • Titles: "L-Cysteine Containing Vitamin Supplement Which Prevents or Alleviates Alcohol-related Hangover Symptoms: Nausea, Headache, Stress and Anxiety."
  • Date published: 18 August 2020.
  • Authors: Markus Metsälä, Tommi Möykkynen, Heikki Mäkisalo, Olli Kärkkäinen, Maria Palmén, Joonas E. Salminen and Jussi Kauhanen.
  • L-cysteine prevents or alleviates hangovers, nausea, headaches, stress, and anxiety, according to researchers from the University of Helsinki and the University of Eastern Finland. L-cysteine would also reduce the need for water the following day, resulting in no or fewer hangover symptoms.
  • The study found that taking 1200mg of L-cysteine can help with hangovers, nausea, and headaches while the 600mg works for reducing stress and anxiety.

Drinking Spirit Can Reduce Hangover Effects

  • Title: "Effects of herbal infusions, tea and carbonated beverages on alcohol dehydrogenase and aldehyde dehydrogenase activity"
  • Date published: 25 September 2013.
  • Authors: Sha Li, Li-Qin Gan, Shu-Ke Li, Jie-Cong Zheng, Dong-Ping Xua and Hua-Bin Li.
  • Researchers from Sun Yat-Sen University in China discovered that drinking sprite can reduce the risk of getting a hangover. The researchers tried 57 different beverages, ranging from teas to soft drinks, to see which one could help the body get rid of acetaldehyde, a harmful chemical produced when alcohol is broken down.

Red Ginseng Consumption

  • Title: "Red ginseng relieves the effects of alcohol consumption and hangover symptoms in healthy men: a randomized crossover study"
  • Date published: 14 December 2013.
  • Authors: Mi-Hyang Lee, Jung Hyun Kwak, Gayoung Jeon, Jong-Won Lee, Jang-Ho Seo, Hoon-Sang Leed and Jong Ho Lee.
  • Red ginseng was found to help relieve hangover symptoms in a randomized study of 25 healthy men. The red ginseng anti-hangover drink was found to reduce plasma alcohol levels, expiratory concentrations, and hangover severity in those who consumed it in the study.

Dietary Nutrient Intake Can Help Prevent Hangover

  • Authors: Joris C. Verster, Sterre A. Vermeulen, Aurora J. A. E. van de Loo, Stephanie Balikji,Aletta D. Kraneveld, Johan Garssen, and Andrew Scholey.
  • The study "suggests that social drinkers who have a higher dietary intake of nicotinic acid and zinc report significantly less severe hangovers." Meat, shellfish, and legumes are examples of food rich in zinc.

Research Strategy

For this research on hangover prevention, we leveraged the most reputable sources of information that were available in the public domain, including Forbes, BMJ, USA Today, PubMed, and RSC Jornals, other health and medical publications. Due to unavailability of recent studies on hangover prevention, reports from some older studies have been presented.

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