Science weighs in on how to cure your hangover
Did you get a little too merry with the family yesterday? Don’t be that person who can’t get off the couch today. Get your head around these five cures for hangovers that have the official seal of approval from science.
Alcohol contains congeners, which are toxic chemical by-products that are formed during the fermentation process.
‘Some studies have found that consuming drinks with a high amount of congeners could increase the frequency and severity of a hangover. They may also slow the metabolism of alcohol and cause prolonged symptoms,’ says Dr Tal Rapke, founder of ScalaMed, a digital prescription management application.
Drinks that are low in congeners include vodka, gin and rum, with vodka containing almost no congeners at all. Tick! Meanwhile, tequila, whiskey and cognac are all high in congeners. Avoid like the plague.
Breakfast is the most important meal of the day (yep, mum was right)
We know… breakfast can be hard to stomach after a night on the town. But it’s one of the best remedies for a hangover—a good breakfast can help maintain your blood sugar levels, which is crucial.
‘Although low blood sugar levels are not necessarily the cause of a hangover, they’re often associated with it, contributing to symptoms such as nausea, fatigue and weakness,’ says Rapke.
Nobodies got time for that. Get that breakfast in you to maintain your blood sugar levels, provide important vitamins and minerals and kick your hangover to the curb.
The pear is your friend
Want to avoid a hangover altogether? Before going out drinking, try eating an Asian pear or drinking some pear juice.
‘Studies have shown that there are certain effects that pears and pear juice may have on the amount of blood alcohol in your system, which can help negate the effects of a hangover the next day,’ says Rapke.
Embrace the ginger
Ginger is packed full of just the right amount of vitamins and minerals to help treat a hangover. It contains magnesium, zinc, and chromium, which helps prevent chills, fevers and excessive sweating.
‘It can also be ingested to reduce pain and inflammation, which makes ginger tea a good option for reducing your hangover,’ says Rapke.
Stock up on asparagus
Despite its bad rep in the wiffy pee department, asparagus has proven to be a good food to break down alcohol in the body.
‘The amino acids in asparagus can boost the speed of cells that work to break down alcohol, preventing damage from its toxic byproducts,’ says Rapke.
It also helps protect the liver and can prevent some of the long-term damages from alcohol as well. And let’s face it, it’s also flippin’ delicious when paired with your eggs benedict (remember point 2 about the importance of breakfast!)
Listen to science. It knows best.