What Foods Help Your Hangover?
You might be reading this already hungover, desperately looking for a cure to help with your hangovers, and lets face it, most of us have been hungover at one point in our lives, unless you are teetotal, or don’t drink for religious reasons, so what foods help your hangover? do they actually exist?
Hangovers Are Nothing To Do With Your Age
There is no research either to link age with the severity of headaches, so being either younger or older has nothing to do with it.
Hangovers and Electrolyte Balance
The other common held belief is that the severity of hangovers is due to an electrolyte imbalance, but when tested there was not any difference in electrolyte levels between people that were hungover and people that weren’t.
Hormones and Hangovers
Some people believe that hormones are in some way linked to hangovers, but there has not been a link found.
Dehydration and Alcohol
The most popular held belief of what causes a hangover, is being dehydrated and whilst alcohol is a diuretic- meaning that it makes us urinate more and therefore lose more water, even after drinking water we can still get hungover.
The Immune System and Hangovers
However, one Korean study looked at the role of our immune system and the severity of a hangover. It found that people that have a higher amount of ‘cytokines’ which normally fight off infections had worse hangovers. So it’s a bit of a double edged sword really, you might not catch a cold, but you will get a bad hangover.
The type of drink could also give you a worse hangover due to a compound in some alcoholic drinks called ‘Congenes’. These are produced during fermentation or after it, and you find them in red wine and brandy, but have lower amounts in drinks such as gin and vodka.
However, Adam Rogers in his book ‘Proof: The Science of Booze” disputes that vodka is better than other spirits, and set to explain the science and myths behind hangovers.
Rogers claims that dehydration is in fact not what causes hangovers, or mixing your drinks, or that vodka is better than other spirits.
He states that when you are hungover you have drunk too much…..(yes that one we know), but you have ingested more ethanol than you should have. Ethanol is the active ingredient in alcohol that makes you feel hungover.
He advises to make sure you eat enough before going out and states that the volume that you eat is important as it slows down the absorption of the ethanol through your gut and can help dampen whatever hangover you might get.
He talks about foods that help your hangover, such as Prickly Pear Cactus Juice and Dihydromyricetin. DHM, as it is also known was first found in Hovenia Dulcis, in the plant Ampelopsis Grossedental, and in teas.
Hovenia Dulcis is also known as the Japanese Raisin Tree, which produces edible fruits. The extract of seeds, bough, and young leaves, can be used as a substitute for honey, and ironically often used to make wine and candy.
It is also available in a supplement form and helps reduce alcohol-induced damage to the liver and brain.
Prickly Pear cactus juice can also be bought online and from some health food shops relatively easily.
Don’t Drink On An Empty Stomach To Prevent a Hangover
Not drinking on an empty stomach seems like a sensible way to prevent a hangover, having some prickly pear cactus juice handy might even do the trick. But if in doubt just don’t drink too many shandies, or spread out your drinking through the week, instead of one bingeing session.