Alcohol is commonly referred to as “liquid courage” because without it, many of us would never be brave enough to dance like fools or socialize with people who might be less than friends. Drinking responsibly is an enjoyable experience! It’s fun and it’s freeing — until the next day when you feel the repercussions. “I’ll never drink again,” is something we’ve all muttered from the fetal position before proceeding to drink again the very next weekend.
There are tons of old tricks for halting a hangover. You’re likely familiar with ones like eating a substantial meal beforehand, drinking a glass of water or Gatorade between alcoholic beverages or popping a pre-party ibuprofen or consuming the hair of the dog that bit you. What you might not know is that there’s another preventative action hiding within your medicine cabinet: multivitamins.
“Taking a multivitamin (or two or three) before a night of drinking can help a great deal when it comes to hangovers, as preventing them is much easier than dealing with them the next day,” seasoned anesthesiologist and world-famous hangover specialist Dr. Jason Burke told The Daily Meal in an email. The Duke University alum founded Hangover Heaven IV Hydration Clinic in Las Vegas, Nevada, where there’s probably (OK, definitely) a high demand for his services.
“My staff and I treat thousands of hangovers with IV treatments, and I would much prefer to see patients prevent hangovers than suffer the next morning,” Dr. Burke said. “By taking multivitamins and antioxidants before drinking, you give your body the tools it needs to help process alcohol and its breakdown products, thus neutralizing the hangover before it starts.”
The North Carolina native suggests starting with a high-quality multivitamin. From there, Dr. Burke suggests adding antioxidants like alpha lipoic acid, milk thistle, EGCG or curcumin, which are available at your local vitamin store. Some B vitamins and antioxidants occur naturally in red meat and green leafy vegetables should you aspire to consume some of your nutrients via dinner.
“Drinking high-quality clear vodka is another good strategy to not feel like death warmed over the next morning,” Dr. Burke added. “In the end, it is much better to do something to prevent a hangover than to do nothing — especially if you’re over 30, as hangovers get much worse as the years go by.”
None of us are getting any younger, unless someone has discovered the secret to everlasting youth — and if you have, get at me — so even if you’re still in your 20s, it’s probably a good idea to start adopting these tactics to turn them into habits as soon as possible. But believe it or not, hangover prevention isn’t the only life skill you should have by age 30.