Emergen C For Hangovers: Does It Work?
By James Petra
Updated on November 14, 2022

Is Emergen C good for hangovers? It’s a surprisingly common question with a not so simple answer.

If you’ve landed on this page, you’re probably looking to find out whether you should add Emergen C to your hangover recovery ritual.

Drinking lots of water and making sure you don’t mix your drinks helps a little. But we all need a little more to help to survive the morning hangovers.

Some people even take it to the next level by combining Emergen C with a hangover prevention pill to cover all angles!

But, does Emergen C by itself actually work for hangovers?

In this article, we’ll take a closer look at all the ingredients in Emergen C and whether any of them have benefits for a hangover. We’ll also look into which Emergen C is best for a hangover.

RELATED: The Five Best Hangover Pills On The Market

Emergen C Background?

Emergen-C is an effervescent, powdered drink mix vitamin supplement manufactured by Alacer Corp. The Emergen-C product line was introduced in 1978.  In 2012, the company was acquired by Pfizer which is a large US-based drug company.

They’ve now got a large product range with various different ingredients and they’re marketed for use as “everyday” nutritional support.

There are lots of people who use Emergen C for hangovers and some swear by it. So, can Emergen C work as a hangover remedy as well?

To answer that question, we need to take a closer look at exactly what’s in Emergen C to see if it’s possible the ingredients will have benefits for a hangover.

Emergen C Ingredients

Let’s begin by looking straight at the ingredients formula.

Emergen C ingredients


Emergen C is packed full of nutrients and contains 16 times the vitamin C, 4 times the vitamin B12, and 5 times the vitamin B6 of the USDA Reference Daily Intake to mention a few.

They don’t use a proprietary blend which is great because what you see is what you get. No hidden formulas.

Vitamin C

Aside from its role in maintaining the normal function of your immune system, vitamin C is also a powerful antioxidant. Antioxidants neutralize free radicals that react with your cells causing inflammation. Emergen C has huge doses of vitamin C which is 1667% of the recommended daily intake.(1)

Thankfully, vitamin C is a water-soluble vitamin which means any excess is flushed out from your kidneys and shouldn’t do any harm.

B Vitamins

The B vitamins have several important functions in your body. Several of the B vitamins are essential for the metabolism of alcohol including Niacin (vitamin B3) and B1 among others.

There are some B vitamins that are less important when it comes to alcohol metabolism such as b12.


Emergen C also contains a selection of essential minerals. The doses for these minerals are quite small and in all cases isn’t enough to meet the daily required amounts.

So, with the basics out the way, let’s move onto whether the ingredients in Emergen C are good for hangovers.

Does  Emergen C work for a hangover?

The science of hangovers isn’t simple and, In truth, scientists are still trying to figure out the causes of a hangover. (2)

In general, there are some accepted scientific theories as to how alcohol causes hangovers. These include inflammation, dehydration and poor sleep quality to mention a few.

For Emergen C to work as a hangover remedy, it’ll need to counteract some of the damaging effects of alcohol.

Firstly, alcohol causes dehydration by making your kidneys flush out water. It does this by blocking a hormone called ADH. Emergen C is a simple solution to dehydration as you have to mix it with water to drink it. In addition, the minerals in Emergen C will support speedy rehydration.

When alcohol is metabolized in your liver, toxic by-products such as acetaldehyde are produced. Antioxidants neutralize toxic by-products before they cause damage. Seeing as Emergen C is full of vitamin C, perhaps this can support your body’s natural defenses.  That said, vitamin C’s benefits for a hangover have not been proven in research studies.

We also mentioned earlier that certain B vitamins help with alcohol metabolism. There are a couple of studies that have shown that vitamin B3 and B6 help reduce hangover severity. (3)(4)

The bottom line: Emergen C has a good range of vitamins which could help potentially support your body during periods of overindulgence and reduce hangover symptoms.

What’s missing?

We always look out for a few ingredients when we searching for an anti-hangover supplement. The best hangover pills on the market usually contain the ingredients in Emergen C AND the following ingredients:

Dihydromyricetin – Shown in studies to speed up alcohol metabolism and reduce hangover symptoms. You can read more about this in our article about dihydromyricetin.

Ginger – Natural anti-sickness remedy that works.

Prickly pear – Shown in small studies to reduce hangover symptoms when taken with alcohol. You can read more about this in our article on prickly pear for hangovers.

When to take Emergen C for a hangover

When it comes to hangovers, prevention is key. Taking all the steps required to prevent hangovers will ensure you give your body the best chance of recovering.

Therefore, taking Emergen C in the morning, when you’ve already woken up with a hangover, has only limited benefit.

The best time to take Emergen C for a hangover is while you’re drinking or straight after your last drink. This is because the nutrients will be available for use by your body if required. In addition, the fact that Emergen C is a drink means that it’s a great way to rehydrate before you become dehydrated.

Best Emergen C for Hangovers

So, which Emergen C is best for hangovers? Seeing as there are several options to chose from, how do we know which one to chose.

emergen c ginger and turmeric for hangovers

Looking at the available option, we liked the look of Emergen C with added ginger and turmeric. We mentioned above that ginger is fantastic for reducing nausea. Also, the anti-inflammatory benefits of turmeric for a hangover could have added benefits.

There are some Emergen C products that you want to avoid. These include the energy + range which contains caffeine. The reason is, caffeine before you go to bed after a night out is not ideal for obvious reasons.

In addition, caffeine in the morning when you’re already hungover can make you feel more on edge and jittery. That said, it’s a personal choice and you may rather have the energy boost caffeine and take the side effects that come with it.

Emergen C and Alka Seltzer mix for hangovers

Emergen c and alka seltzer for hangover

Some people like to mix Emergen C with Alka Seltzer as their choice of hangover cure potion. Alka Seltzer is an antacid that contains aspirin.

This could be a match made in heaven because drinking alcohol can increase stomach acid production and cause heartburn.(5)

In addition, aspirin is an anti-inflammatory that can help treat muscle and headaches.

Are there any side effects?

Generally speaking, Emergen C is safe to take. Despite some of the vitamins have high doses, all of them are water-soluble. As mentioned earlier, this means that any excess is flushed out by your kidneys.

If you’re thinking of mixing Emergen C with Alka Seltzer, there are some added side effects you’d want to think about. Especially as Alka seltzer contains aspirin which has a list of side effects including triggering asthma attacks, stomach upset and rashes.

Emergen C for hangovers – The final verdict

That brings us to the end of our look into Emergen C for hangovers.

It contains a lot of ingredients that could help support your body during periods of overindulgence. That said, if you’re expecting to wake up with no hangover after taking Emergen C, you’ll be disappointed. Despite its health benefits, it’s no magic cure.

Remember that hangovers are a sign from your body that you’ve had too much for your liver to handle. The best way to prevent hangovers is to reduce how much you drink as well as drinking plenty of water.

If you’re interested in supplements for hangovers, follow the link below for the best hangover pills on the market.

Best hangover pills
Check out our pick of the top five leading hangover prevention supplements available to you right now.

James Petra

James is a beer-loving Biochemist and natural health enthusiast from Hull, which is in Yorkshire, England.

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