Let’s face it, we’re not all 21 anymore. And hangovers are a dark, looming future that often treacherously follow a fun night out. That tequila shot sounds like a great idea until you wake up the next morning with a pounding headache.
While it can be pretty difficult to wake up unscathed after a night out drinking, we can excitedly say that we have found the holy grail—natural supplements that can actually ease hangovers. So you can drink, dance, and be merry at night and still wake up as a (mostly) functioning human the next day.
NAC is a diverse dietary supplement that serves as a good nutrient for liver support and increases the body’s production of the glutathione, an antioxidant which reduces the “acetaldehyde toxicity that causes many hangover symptoms.” It is safe, pretty cheap, with no majorly-known side effects.
It’s best to take NAC (at least 200 milligrams) as a “pre-tox” about 30 minutes prior to drinking to lessen alcohol’s toxic effects, which in turn, lessens your hangover the next day. However, it is actually harmful to take NAC after you drink, so if you forget to take these before you start sipping on martinis, do not make up for it when you get home. Another thing to note is the more drinks you have, the less effective NAC will be because as with most medications, it can only work up to a certain extent. But hey, if you can remember to take this supplement before going out, you will thank yourself in the morning.
Dihydromyricetin is obtained from Hovenia Dulsis extract, a Japanese raisin tree of the Rhamnaceae family that has long been championed by Eastern medicine practitioners. Research suggests that Dihydromyricetin can help the liver metabolize alcohol faster and block alcohol from reaching the brain’s GABA receptors, which reduces that feeling of intoxication and hangovers.
While NAC is only effective when taken before consuming alcohol, Dihydromyricetin can be taken both before and after alcohol consumption to mitigate the alcohol’s effects. It is suggested to take 1-2 capsules (300 – 600 mg) per three drinks to prevent yourself from having that awful hungover.
Supplements containing B-1, B-6, and B-12 are cited to reduce hangover symptoms, as they are critical to body’s metabolism. Since alcohol is a diuretic, causing one to use the restroom frequently, this frequent urination causes a loss of water and vitamins.
Taking B vitamins before a night of drinking can help mitigate the body’s loss of B vitamins during alcohol consumption, which should also ease your hangover aafterward You can also take B vitamins alongside NAC for added prevention, as both supplements complement one another. However, if you don’t want to take a bunch of B vitamins as a “pre-game,” a company named Morning Recovery has created a drinking mixture—that so happens to involve our friend Dihydromyricetin—with other vitamin Bs, electrolytes, prickly pear extract, and more.
Alpha Lipoic Acid (ALA)
ALA is a powerful antioxidant found naturally in our bodies that aids with our body’s production of glutathione, which as mentioned above, counters hangover symptoms by reducing the body’s acetaldehyde toxicity. It is suggested to take about 400 mg of ALA before you start drinking.
Yes, this isn’t a supplement and isn’t a little-known secret, but drinking water is the OG natural solution to mitigate any hangover. Ensuring you drink water throughout the night can exponentially ease hangovers by allowing you to stay hydrated, so you don’t wake up feeling the Sahara desert in your throat.
*Editor’s note: Please be advised that while these supplements are mostly innocuous, if you have specific health issues, you should first consult a doctor. Additionally, these supplements are meant to make you feel better when drinking, but are NOT an excuse to drink more than the usual amount that is comfortable for you.
Featured Image via Isabelle Feliu