If you’ve ever woken up the morning after drinking with a pounding headache and the notion of never drinking again, then you’ve been through the hangover struggle. There are some things you can do to alleviate your symptoms including eating carbohydrates, drinking plenty of water and getting a good night’s sleep. However, there are times that we find ourselves wishing there was a magical cure for the dreaded hangover.
While a miracle hangover cure has yet to present itself, a hangover recovery drink is a good way to ward off hangover symptoms before they occur. People who have tried a hangover drink report having reduced hangover symptoms after a night of heavy drinking. And the symptoms that they do have are less severe after consuming a hangover drink.
These drinks are often meant to be taken before or during alcohol consumption. Many of the ingredients that have been proven to lessen the symptoms of hangovers work proactively, so make sure to have your drink early in the night. When choosing a recovery drink, you will want to look for the following ingredients for maximum potency.
Prickly pear is the fruit of a cactus plant and has been praised for its anti-inflammatory properties. In addition to its anti-inflammation abilities, it is now being further praised for its ability to cure a hangover. Prickly pear has been tested in clinical trials and was shown to reduce the risk of having a severe hangover by 50%. The groups in the trials that received the prickly pear also reported less nausea and dry mouth then the control group.
Prickly pear is an ingredient that works best when taken before alcohol consumption. So, make sure that you are taking any recovery drinks with this ingredient before you start drinking for best results.
Milk thistle is an herb that is known to support liver health and is sometimes promoted as a hangover remedy. This is due to the active compound contained in milk thistle which is silymarin. There are studies that suggest silymarin could have the ability to detoxify some of the harmful compounds found in alcohol. This process can help to protect the liver while also acting as an antioxidant by neutralizing harmful free radicals.
Look for drinks with green tea extract to help speed up your metabolism when hungover. The increase in metabolism can help the body process alcohol quicker, therefore alleviating your hangover in less time. Additionally, green tea contains antioxidants like polyphenols and amino acids like L-Theanine. L-Theanine can have a calming effect on the mind without increasing exhaustion levels. If you have ever experienced anxiety during a hangover, look out for green tea extract when shopping for a hangover drink.
Red ginseng is going to be one of the ingredients you’ll see in most hangover drinks on the market. That is due to studies that support its ability to significantly mitigate the severity of a hangover. Blood samples taken from individuals who consumed red ginseng after drinking alcohol were shown to have significantly lower levels of alcohol in the blood. This proves that red ginseng has beneficial effects on the body's ability to metabolize alcohol. This ability is responsible for lessened hangover symptoms such as less memory loss, difficulty concentrating, stomach pains, dehydration and headaches.
Any good quality hangover recovery drink will be abundant in B and C vitamins. When drinking, the alcohol puts a strain on the liver causing it to deplete in glutathione. Glutathione is an essential antioxidant and can be found in every one of our cells. Having a drink rich in B and C vitamins will help to quickly replenish these nutrients, allowing the body to better break down alcohol and address dehydration.
Your body loses electrolytes while drinking, so it is important to replenish them appropriately. Many hangover drinks contain electrolytes as they are known to lead to lower levels of dehydration. Dehydration is one of the biggest causes of hangover symptoms, so make sure you are looking for a drink with electrolytes.
Dihydromyricetin or DHM is derived from the fruit of the Hovenia Dulcis, otherwise known as the Japanese raisin plant. DHM has been known to have significant effects on the liver, which is the part of the body that processes alcohol. While the evidence of DHM’s effect on hangovers varies, there is evidence that supports its positive effect on the alcohol metabolization process. These positive effects help to offset acute alcohol related effects and long-term risks. Some researchers also believe in its ability to help people cope with binge drinking, alcoholism, and liver damage.
Look out for any of these ingredients when picking out a hangover drink. They will not only help your body better metabolize the alcohol, but they will also help protect your liver and make your hangovers more bearable.