According to research, hangover severity is not impacted by many of the factors that were once thought to contribute to it, including hormones, electrolytes, ketone bodies, cortisol, and glucose. One of the best ways to affect a hangover, however, is by inhibiting prostaglandin synthesis. This means taking a pain medication—such as ibuprofen, aspirin, or naproxen—along with hydrating until your urine is clear. Tobacco use, lack of sleep, and overall poor health can make a hangover worse.
Most authoritative reviews on alcohol love to ignore the preliminary positive data on supplements. Then they conclude by saying the best thing you can do is drink in moderation or not at all. (I agree with this advice, but a lot of good that does when you’ve already overindulged!)
My suggestion is to get up, take a naproxen, eat, and then work out a few hours later. I love naproxen because it is even effective at a very low dose (one pill) and has an excellent safety record. I have no research on exercising to help with a hangover, just personal experience and the advice of thousands of people who send me cures after my lectures.
What is Alcoholic Hangover?
A hangover is a group of unpleasant signs and symptoms that can develop after drinking too much alcohol. As if feeling awful weren’t bad enough, frequent hangovers are also associated with poor performance and conflict at work.
As a general rule, the more alcohol you drink, the more likely you are to have a hangover the next day. But there’s no magic formula to tell you how much you can safely drink and still avoid a hangover.
However unpleasant, most hangovers go away on their own, though they can last up to 24 hours. If you choose to drink alcohol, doing so responsibly can help you avoid future hangovers.
What are the Best Supplements For Treating Alcoholic Hangover?
Some B6 supplements reduce hangover symptoms, such as headache and vomiting, but there hasn’t been much luck using it to treat other effects, like fatigue and drowsiness. There was a promising initial hangover study with a form of vitamin B6 called pyritinol. In it, subjects who were going to a party where they would be drinking took 1,200 milligrams total (400 milligrams before, during, and after the party). The supplement reduced multiple hangover symptoms the next day.
Panax ginseng (containing 4% ginsenosides)
When consumed with alcohol, Panax ginseng (up to 3,000 milligrams per 65 kilograms of body weight) cleared blood alcohol faster than controls (alcohol levels in the blood were 32 to 51 percent lower); this has also been observed in laboratory studies. I’ve seen this study interpreted in two ways: (1) Do not mix Panax ginseng with alcohol because you might not feel the effects, which could lead you to drink more than normal. (2) It might help people who are intoxicated.
Borage oil (gammalinolenic acid, or GLA) and yeast-derived supplementation
There is some research that taking these supplements after drinking can help with hangover symptoms, but it’s old and I’d like to see more supportive data.