Have you heard about the Hangover Heaven Bus in Las Vegas?
For $45 and up, it’ll pick you up after a night of hard drinking, give you oxygen, hook you up to an IV (with a proprietary blend of vitamins and medicines) and inject you with mega doses of vitamin B, in a bus decorated more like a nightclub lounge than a doctor’s office.
Only in Vegas, right? Sure. But you don’t have to have had a crazy night at the clubs to need help with a hangover.
Moderation is best when it comes to alcohol but if you slip, here are my top DIY remedies.
Yes, the almighty egg is packed with cysteine, an amino acid that, among other things, helps rid the body of a hangover chemical called acetaldehyde.
Acetaldehyde is a poison created in the body as a byproduct of alcohol consumption and is responsible for the headaches, facial flushing, and nausea you feel the next morning after you drink. One egg contains 382 mg of cysteine.
Yes, the heavenly bus is onto something with their shots of B vitamins.
Research shows that the B vitamins can decrease circulating levels of the hangover chemical acetaldehyde. But B vitamins are always better when they are from real foods and not the synthetic versions. (For example, dietary folate has been found to be protective against cancer, but Folic acid, the synthetic form of folate, has been linked to prostate cancer and breast cancer.)
So, have a bottle of B-complex vitamins on hand that are from whole food sources. Vitamin Code RAW B-Complex is a great whole food B vitamin supplement.
A Chinese study published recently in the journal Food & Function found that soda water increased the activity of an enzyme called acetaldehyde dehydrogenase (ALDH) that rapidly breaks down the hangover chemical acetaldehyde. They found that the soft drink Sprite has a similar effect.
Drinking alcohol causes oxidative stress, the creation of free radicals that damage cells, and that cell deterioration can cause liver toxicity. But a study in the Journal of Food Science found that asparagus shoots and leaves can decrease the free radical formation associated with alcohol by 70 percent and increase the production of the enzymes that break down the hangover chemical acetaldehyde by 200 percent.
Alcohol is a diuretic, meaning it flushes your body of water and electrolytes like potassium. This dehydrating effect can cause uncomfortable hangover symptoms like dizziness and lightheadedness.
Eating a banana can help you replace the potassium that was lost as your body was flushing fluids. One medium banana is packed with 422 mg of potassium.
So, to sum up my hangover cure:
• Wake up, pop a raw-food B-complex vitamin • Make yourself an asparagus omelet • Eat a banana • Wash it all down with a Pellegrino
...then put on your sunglasses and you’re ready for the Strip.
Dave Zinczenko, ABC News nutrition and wellness editor, is a New York Times No. 1 bestselling author. His latest book, "Eat It to Beat It!" is full of food swaps, meal plans and the latest food controversies. Sign up here for his free newsletter now!