What helps against a hangover?

Was hilft gegen Kater?

New Year's Eve is celebrated tonight and after 2 years of pandemic everything is finally allowed again this evening. Fireworks are being sold again and clubs and bars are open. Personally, we don't drink much alcohol and only on special occasions like tonight. Then of course our body is no longer used to it and every now and then we feel the effects of it.

We therefore try to keep the negative influence of alcohol as low as possible and make smart decisions that help our bodies break down alcohol more quickly and avoid hangover symptoms.

We also hope that you have a lot of fun tonight and still have a fresh start to the new year tomorrow. Biohackers are making it smarter and so that you are as well prepared as possible, we are sharing our 5 scientifically proven tips that help against hangovers and hangovers.

1. Avoid drinks with congeners

Congeners, never heard of it? Congeners are toxic chemical byproducts created by the process of ethanol fermentation, which converts sugar into carbon dioxide and ethanol.

Structural formula of 2,2′,4,4′,5-pentabromodiphenyl ether

Consuming drinks high in congeners causes a more severe hangover. In addition, congeners slow down the breakdown of alcohol, which can not only intensify the typical hangover symptoms but also prolong them ( 1. ).

The congener content varies depending on the type of alcoholic beverage and its individual processing process. Drinks with a low content of congeners include vodka, gin and rum. On the other hand, tequila, whiskey and cognac contain comparatively many congeners. Of the examples listed, bourbon whiskey has the highest congener content.

So if you choose a drink with fewer congeners, you have a good chance that your hangover will be eliminated or at least less severe.

2. Drink enough water

Alcohol promotes dehydration because it has a diuretic effect. This can lead to a loss of too much fluid and electrolytes, which your body actually needs to function properly and break down alcohol ( 2. - 3. ).

If you really overdo it, excessive alcohol consumption can even lead to vomiting and diarrhea, causing further loss of fluids and electrolytes. If your body is dehydrated, the hangover will be worse. That's why our recommendation is to drink a glass of water with every glass of alcohol.

3. Get enough sleep

Alcohol worsens sleep quality and can even cause sleep disorders ( 4. ).

In fact, small amounts of alcohol initially even promote sleep. At least if you are tormented by too many thoughts in bed in the evening and have problems switching off your so-called “prefrontal cortex” for the night. By the way, a short evening meditation can provide a big help here. But back to alcohol and your sleep: even in moderate to large quantities, alcohol reduces the deep sleep phase and disrupts your nightly regeneration.

While lack of sleep isn't the cause of a hangover, it can make it worse. Symptoms such as fatigue, headaches, and irritability may become more severe as a result of lack of sleep ( 5. ).

So, getting a good night's sleep after a long New Year's Eve can give your body a chance to recover and relieve hangover symptoms.

So far so good. These were our 2 preventative measures. But if the time has come and you wake up in the morning with a headache, then our first tip is:

4. L-cysteine ​​and a healthy breakfast

A healthy breakfast with complex carbohydrates, good fats and proteins will help keep blood sugar levels constant and help your body break down alcohol more quickly. A balanced breakfast provides you with vitamins and minerals that you may have lost last night. If you fast for a long time, you're more likely to have lower blood sugar levels, which tend to worsen hangover symptoms like nausea, fatigue, and weakness ( 6. )

Excessive alcohol consumption can also disrupt the balance of micronutrients in your blood and cause metabolic acidosis, which is characterized by increased acidity. It is often accompanied by symptoms such as nausea, vomiting and fatigue ( 7. ).

Structural formula of the amino acid cysteine

Although there are few studies examining the effects of specific foods on hangover symptoms, some suggest that the amino acid L-cysteine, found in things like eggs and oatmeal, may be beneficial ( 8. ).

We therefore swear by a hearty egg omelette or a protein goat meal with fresh fruit and a forest coffee with functional mushrooms for breakfast.

5. Natural remedies

There are some natural extracts that have been linked to relieving a hangover or at least rebalancing your body. These include, for example, ginger, chaga and vitamin C.

For example, there is a study on ginger and vitamin C in which an extract of ginger, brown sugar and citrus fruits containing vitamin C was able to alleviate hangover symptoms. The compounds found in ginger may also protect against alcohol-related liver damage ( 9. , 10. , 11. ).

Chaga also has a positive effect on the stomach and intestines and has been used as a natural panacea for several thousand years ( 12. - 13. ).

However, there are still too few studies on people that have been able to demonstrate clear relief from alcohol-related hangovers. What is certain, however, is that anything that helps your body detoxify, stabilize blood sugar and the gastrointestinal tract is also helpful in dealing with a hangover.

We wish you a nice New Year's Eve and a good start into the new year.

Your Lykaia team 🎉

Sources:

1. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/30916313/
Alcohol Hangover: Underlying Biochemical, Inflammatory and Neurochemical Mechanisms

2. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/31961713/
Effects of alcohol consumption on copeptin levels and sodium-water homeostasis

3. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/31082167/
Electrolytes

4. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4666864/
The Effects of Alcohol on Quality of Sleep

5. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK547676/
Sleep deprivation

6. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK534841/
Hypoglycemia

7. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK482146/
Metabolic acidosis

8. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/32808029/
L-Cysteine ​​Containing Vitamin Supplement Which Prevents or Alleviates Alcohol-related Hangover Symptoms: Nausea, Headache, Stress and Anxiety

9. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/20559749/
Clinical effectiveness of KSS formula, a traditional folk remedy for alcohol hangover symptoms

10. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/26610593/
Ginger-derived nanoparticles protect against alcohol-induced liver damage

11. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5407119/
Ginger Treatment Ameliorates Alcohol-induced Myocardial Damage by Suppression of Hyperlipidemia and Cardiac Biomarkers in Rats

12. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/31679287/
Assessment of the Gastroprotective Effect of the Chaga Medicinal Mushroom, Inonotus obliquus (Agaricomycetes), Against the Gastric Mucosal Ulceration Induced by Ethanol in Experimental Rats

13. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5618583/
A Critical Review on Health Promoting Benefits of Edible Mushrooms through Gut Microbiota