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The 7 Best Science-Backed Ways to Prevent a Hangover (That You've Never Heard Of)

By Peter Toh on

Everyone has their own hangover concoction. Some people live and die by Pedialyte the next morning (There's no scientific evidence showing that this beverage will do anything more than just provide hydration. Others swear by a greasy breakfast sandwich (Though there's no science behind this one either, sorry). And some are downright foolish, like Prince Harry's signature cure: a strawberry milkshake (Unfortunately there's also no evidence here).

While these anecdotal and fabled hangover cures won't actually do anything, there's no need to panic. Believe it or not, there are plenty of science-backed, highly effective solutions out there on the market. Whether it's a little known supplement or a nascent clinical trend, these fixes are sure to be better than anything you've tried. 

  1. Drink Lots of Water

One of the most overlooked causes of the post-drinking drag is dehydration. Because alcohol is a diuretic (meaning it makes you go pee a lot), H2O should be your best bud on nights because your body's hydration levels will be rapidly decreasing. The majority of the symptoms you'll feel the morning after–headaches, fatigue, dizziness, dry mouth–can be fixed by drinking water. A good rule of thumb: Chase every alcoholic drink with a glass of water and keep drinking water the next morning even if you're not thirsty. Electrolytes are also helpful as they hydrate you quicker and have been shown to reduce hangovers.

  1. Eat Eggs

Eggs are the perfect hangover cure. The high level of cysteine, an amino acid found naturally in eggs helps produce the antioxidant glutathione. Drinking depletes glutathione levels and without it, your body has a hard time breaking down acetaldehyde, the root cause of a lot of hangover symptoms (nausea, vomiting, flushing). So eating cysteine-rich eggs is a great way to rid your body of alcohol-induced toxins. N-acetyl-cysteine and Milk Thistle supplementation are always GREAT ways to boost glutathione if you're not able to stomach eggs the next morning.

  1. Take Hovenia Dulcis (Dihydromyricetin)

Dihydromyricetin (DHM) is a hepatoprotective flavonoid extracted from Hovenia Dulcis, a Japanese raisin tree that's famous in the traditional medicine world. It's been used since the year 659 throughout Japan, China, and Korea as a hangover cure. It didn't come into the spotlight until 2012, when an associate professor from the UCLA School of Medicine–called Jing Liang performed a study revealing that DHM could boost liver enzymes in mice, allowing for the rapid removal of alcohol and it's toxic byproducts from the body. It also reduced minor alcohol withdrawal, which can cause hangover symptoms.

  1. Drink Prickly Pear (Opuntia Ficus) Juice

Backed by a double-blind, placebo-controlled study, Prickly pear has been shown to reduce hangovers caused by alcohol-induced inflammation. In 64 patients, nausea and dry mouth were significantly reduced while the risk of severe hangover symptoms was cut in half. The C-reactive protein levels which are strongly associated with hangover severity were also 40% higher in the placebo group as well. Overall, the science behind this fruit is overwhelmingly positive and it's definitely worth a shot. 

Borage oil

  1. Use Borage Oil

One study looked at the effectiveness of a supplement containing both prickly pear and borage oil, an oil derived from the seeds of starflower. The study found that it reduced hangover symptoms in 88% of participants. In another study, four randomized controlled trials also reported a significant reduction in the overall severity of hangover and in the individual symptoms of headache, laziness, and tiredness compared with placebo.

  1. Hair of the Dog

Although this one may seem like a complete myth, there's actually evidence that a morning after drink will help lessen the blow. 

This works in two parts. Alcohol changes the way methanol, a chemical found in alcohol, is processed in the body. And after you drink, methanol is converted into formaldehyde, a toxic compound responsible for hangover symptoms. Drinking alcohol can delay this conversion and prevent the formulation of formaldehyde altogether.

Drinking heavily can also induce minor alcohol withdrawal (another contributor to hangover symptoms), so small doses of alcohol can provide relief the next morning. Congeners

  1. Avoid Drinks with Congeners

Different types of alcohol can result in different hangover symptoms. Congeners are flavoring agents or byproducts of fermentation in booze, and are linked to hangovers. Some types of alcohol such as red wine and dark liquors such as bourbon, brandy, whiskey and tequila have the highest levels. While, white wine and clear liquors such as rum, vodka and gin have fewer congeners and therefore cause less frequent and less severe hangovers.

In one study, 33 percent of those who drank an amount of bourbon relative to their body weight reported severe hangover, compared to 3 percent of those who drank the same amount of vodka.

Selecting drinks that are low in congeners may help reduce the frequency and severity of hangovers.

The Bottom Line

While there are many well-known hangover cures out there, few are actually backed by science.

However, there are several science-backed ways to avoid the unpleasant symptoms that follow a night of drinking.

Strategies include staying hydrated, eating a good breakfast and taking certain supplements, all of which could reduce your hangover symptoms.

Also, drinking in moderation and choosing drinks that are low in congeners can help you prevent a hangover in the first place.

Drink Smarter and Live Better with Flyby

Your liver can only process one drink per hour. So when you drink more alcohol than it can break down, alcohol-induced toxins build up and put more stress on your body. Flyby was carefully formulated  with 17 liver-supporting ingredients like DHM, Milk Thistle, N-Acetyl-Cysteine, Prickly Pear, Vitamins, Electrolytes to support your body's normal metabolism after drinking so you wake up feeling refreshed.