If you’re someone who’s looking for vitamins which cure a hangover, you’re probably already pretty clued up and know that certain ingredients can really take the edge off hangovers.
Some people prefer to go down the medicinal route and take acetaminophen / paracetamol and mix it with some ibuprofen. However these only work to a certain extent and can have unwanted side effects.
So which vitamins are good for hangovers and how do they work?
Lets get straight into it:
B-Vitamins are probably one of the most important groups of vitamins for hangovers. They are essential for regenerating the enzymes in your liver which break down alcohol.
When we drink, our liver has to break the alcohol down. However it can only do this at a relatively slow rate of 1 drink per hour.
What does this mean?
Alcohol quickly builds up in our system making us feel drunk (winning). But at the same time the by-products of alcohol start to build up in our system (Boo!).
The main by-product which causes most of the hangover symptoms is acetaldehyde. This compound is a major “free-radical”. Essentially it reacts negatively with the cells all over our body which gives you the typical hangover symptoms.
Thats right… its not just dehydration that causes hangovers. In fact acetaldehyde probably plays a much bigger role.
So how do B Vitamins help?
The B-vitamins are co-factors in the metabolic processes that occur in our body. Imagine them as cogwheels that make the system tick over. Without them we simply wouldn’t function.
And if we’ve been drinking, you need them more than ever to help your liver function at its best.
• Vitamin C & E
We all know about vitamin C being good for the immune system and vitamin E being good for eye health. However did you know that on their own, these vitamins are major antioxidants.
Antioxidants clear up the “free-radicals” mentioned earlier and make sure they are neutralised before they damage the cells in your body.
Vitamin C and E are easily overlooked, but when it comes to hangovers, they play a pretty big role in helping reduce the symptoms you typically get.
• Minerals – Zinc, copper, chromium, selenium, magnesium
Now minerals aren’t technically vitamins, but they work hand in hand.
All of the vitamins you have in your body work together with natural metals and minerals to keep things functioning. You can imagine minerals as the lubrication fluid your body machinery.
You’ll normally get all the minerals you need if you have a healthy balanced diet, but drinking alcohol can deplete them pretty quickly.
This is because alcohol is a diuretic.
Essentially alcohol makes you pass more urine. We all know the feeling… once the seal is broken, there’s no holding back!
This is bad news for the minerals you have stored in your body as you end up passing a lot of them in your pee.
A healthy restore of minerals can help reduce hangover symptoms if taken along with the other ingredients mentioned in this post.
Choline is important for liver health and you’ll find it in most liver supplements. The reason is its essential for the breakdown of fatty acids in the liver.
It is also needed for the production of acetylcholine which is a major neurotransmitter for memory, mood and muscle control.
A night of drinking can take its toll on your psyche. We’ve all been there with “the fear”. Any ingredient that will help your fragile nerves the day after a night of drinking is a plus.
• Amino Acids
There are a few amino acids that deserve a special mention alongside the vitamins which really help with some key symptoms of a hangover.
Again, amino acids aren’t vitamins but play a key role in combating hangover symptoms.
N-acetyl-cysteine, Also known simply as NAC, is used all over the world in hospital emergency departments.
Its used as an IV drip for acetaminophen / paracetamol overdose. Its so powerful that when given early enough after an overdose, it completely protects the liver from the damaging effects on the liver.
NAC is one of the main building blocks of an enzyme called Glutathione.
And Glutathione is the most powerful antioxidant known to man/woman.
Its a pretty key addition to help with your hangovers and should be part of your hangover cure ritual alongside the vitamins. But you need to take it before you go to sleep so it works over night.
This amino acid is found almost exclusively in green tea and studies have shown that it has direct effects on the brain by relaxing the mind. Sounds great right?
Its just what you need after a night of drinking. Alcohol can give you the shakes and leave you feeling anxious, particularly if you’ve been up to some mischief the night before.
L-Theanine can help by increasing brain alpha waves.
alpha waves are a pattern of brain activity that indicates wakeful relaxation. Its most active around the time you are settling down to sleep with your eyes closed – but you’re not actually a sleep yet.
You can get good doses of L-Theanine by sipping a strong green tea. If not, there are loads of supplements on the market that can give you a strong dose.
Taurine You may be familiar with this ingredient as it’s included in most energy drinks. The most famous of which is red bull.
Its an amino acid which crosses the blood brain barrier directly. This means that it doesn’t need to processed by our liver first and therefore acts quickly on the brain.
Its effects include improving mental performance and has particularly strong effects when taken with caffeine. I guess thats why red bull gives you wings?
Reduced mental performance is probably one of the main symptoms of a hangover. That sluggish, slow and lacklustre drive is an absolute killer. Particularly if you’ve got to go to work hungover.
Taking taurine should definitely help kickstart your day.
Anything else to consider?
Taking vitamins as a hangover cure remedy can definitely help, but its certainly not a magic cure.
Sensible steps such as drinking less, keeping well hydrated and eating before you go out are key to preventing the worst hangovers.
And lets face it – getting a hangover in the first place means you’re probably over doing it.
Supplements with Vitamins, amino acids and minerals combined
When it comes to adding all these ingredients to your hangover cure ritual – there are a few different ways to do it.
Firstly, you could purchase all these ingredients individually and take them separately.
Another option is to try and naturally get the ingredients in your diet. You could get all the vitamins and amino acids you need by drinking green tea and eating the right selection of food. However, you’d need a lot and isn’t ideal when you’re hungover.
Our preferred option is to take a supplement which combines them all in one at the correct doses. There are many different hangover pills on the market today which include these ingredients.
Conclusion – Final Thoughts
That brings us to the end of our top pick of vitamins to take for a hangover. We’ve covered a few extra ingredients which are pretty important to take alongside as well.
Taking certain vitamins and amino acids can have a great impact on your hangover symptoms as is safe and easy to take.
We would love to hear your thoughts and experience so do get in touch via the comments below!