Best energy drink for a hangover (your head will thank you)
From time to time many people like to "let their hair down" a little and enjoy a drink or two... or three... or many more.
While it may be fun at the time, it's usually not so fun the following morning.
Alas, the dreaded hangover.
How can you reduce the suffering you may ask? Sadly you can't remove it completely. Currently, there are no scientifically proven cures for hangovers... yet.
However, there are a number of ways that you can soothe the pain and make hangovers a little more bearable. Some energy drinks contain vital ingredients that can reduce the effects of hangovers and make facing the day a little more possible.
Buckle in while we explore hangovers, and specifically, what are the best energy drinks for hangovers.
Energy drink ingredients that reduce hangover effects
• Vitamin B
B group vitamins are some of the best vitamins that our body needs to fight hangovers. Unfortunately, due to alcohol's diuretic nature, lots of B vitamins are lost from the body through urination.
Vitamin B is one of the main resources that help in eliminating alcohol from the body. Lack of Vitamin B causes hangover symptoms that you and I are both really familiar with and can make them feel worse. Memory loss, sluggishness, and never-ending headaches. It's never pretty!
Vitamin B can be used to help prevent a hangover or at the very least make it feel more tolerable. It's advisable to take some vitamin B supplements before drinking to prevent hangovers and also taking some after drinking to ease hangovers.
Fortunately, energy drinks are a great source of B group vitamins. By extension, that means that energy drinks can help to reduce the severity of a hangover.
So which energy drinks contain Vitamin B?
The good news is, almost all energy drinks contain a good amount of Vitamin B as it plays a vital role in energy metabolism. Just check the label of your favorite energy drink and you'll likely find that it is packed full of B group vitamins.
• Vitamin C
Vitamin C, otherwise known as ascorbic acid, is vital for our body and plays an important role in our immune system. It helps keep our immune system healthy and strong.
Besides that, Vitamin C helps our body to break down alcohol much faster. This is very important as this will ease hangover symptoms and make the effects of a hangover subside sooner.
Similar to Vitamin B, Vitamin C leaves the body when we visit the bathroom. Both of these groups of vitamins are water-soluble. As with Vitamin B, Vitamin C should be taken before and after drinking to help ease hangovers symptoms.
What energy drinks contain Vitamin C?
Not nearly as many as contain vitamin B, but you can still find vitamin C in some energy drinks. These include Zipfizz, Rockstar Recovery - Lemonade and Bang Energy.
However, it should be noted that if there is a sufficient amount of Vitamin B and related compounds, Vitamin C is really not necessary.
From personal experience, I think that a small amount of caffeine while drinking and then another small amount of caffeine the following morning makes me feel noticeably better compared to not having any caffeine during the process of causing myself a hangover.
Energy drinks might actually be the perfect buddy for a hangover, since they include a good amount of B group vitamins and also caffeine.
However, don't overdo it with the energy drinks while enjoying the festivities that lead to a hangover. While a small amount of energy drinks will probably make you feel much better the next day, if you have too many you will potentially feel worse overall.
Not to mention the fact that having too many energy drinks has other potential dangers associated with it. As with most things, moderation is key.
• Milk Thistle
Milk Thistle is a purple flower that is a great natural remedy to cure hangovers. The extract from Milk Thistle protects your liver by preventing toxins from attaching onto liver cells.
It eases a hangover by breaking down alcohol by detoxing it in the liver. That's good as it will reduce hangover effects quickly if you are in a rush in the morning. However, the smart move would have been not to be as crazy with the alcohol the night before.
Unfortunately, most energy drinks other than Rockstar Recovery Lemonade and Pussy (not available in the USA) don't contain any milk thistle.
To put your mind at ease, there are many milk thistle supplements out there in the market. Therefore, rest easy even if the energy drink of your choice does not contain Milk Thistle.
Check the price for Milk Thistle on Amazon.
Like any other diuretic, alcohol causes our body to become depleted of potassium. Alcohol induces us to pass more urine which results in our body to lose more potassium than usual.
Potassium is an important mineral for our body. It helps to regulate the fluid balance in the body by acting as an electrolyte. Furthermore, it helps in regulating the muscle and heart contractions. Indeed, potassium is important for a healthy heart.
Luckily, most energy drinks contain some Potassium in them. Note that Rockstar energy drinks contain nearly twice as much Potassium compared to other energy drinks. However, I think that this is not a good thing because too much potassium can be bad for you.
Our body also loses magnesium through urination. Magnesium helps to boost energy production which is important to help reduce hangover symptoms.
Magnesium also provides relief to neck and head muscle aches by reducing the muscle strain around that area. Consuming enough magnesium before or after drinking can help to ease hangover symptoms.
Once again, this is one of the most common ingredients in energy drinks.
Besides being known as a great ingredient for Asian cuisine, ginger serves as a great hangover remedy too.
Ginger contains tons of nutrients that are needed to ease hangovers. These include magnesium, potassium, vitamin B..., the list goes on. Ginger is like an all in one remedy for a hangover.
Ginger is believed to be able to help relieve nausea and pain. That's great, as it is able to counter hangover effects such as headache, dizziness and the urge to vomit.
Unfortunately, it is extremely rare to find ginger in energy drinks.
Drinking too much alcohol will cause dehydration to the body. Gulping down a glass of ice-cold water will help the body recover its lost minerals faster.
Ensure that you drink lots of water, as water helps to rehydrate the body fluid that was lost and will help make you feel a whole lot better.
What to avoid during hangovers
• Greasy food
I know what you're thinking. You're wondering why greasy food is on this list. Isn't it the best meal to have while suffering through a hangover?
Contrary to popular belief, greasy food is better at preventing rather than curing hangovers. According to science, eating greasy food before drinking helps to slow down the absorption of alcohol which in turn helps to reduce the effects of a hangover.
Having greasy food after drinking too much alcohol will upset your stomach rather than making it feel better. This is because greasy food doesn't absorb alcohol. A hangover is an indication from our body telling us that all the alcohol we had consumed the night before isn't fully absorbed. No matter how much you crave it, it is better not to eat greasy food while suffering from a hangover.
However, I think we all know that's easier said than done!
Citrus is a great source of vitamin C, especially after hangovers. Personally, I wouldn't suggest the intake of large amounts of citrus during hangovers.
Citrus is quite harsh as it is acidic and may cause irritation to the stomach.
With a horrible hangover to deal with, I wouldn't want to upset my stomach even more and make my day worse than it already is.
• Hair of the dog (drinking more alcohol)
Some people suggest a method known as 'hair of the dog' in order to ease hangovers. Hair of the dog refers to an expression where you drink more alcohol (a small amount!) while enduring a hangover.
Personally, I wouldn't recommend drinking more alcohol during hangovers as we want to get rid of alcohol from our bodies instead of adding more fuel to the fire.
Sure, drinking when you have a hangover will make you feel slightly better than before. A few theories suggest that the consumption of more alcohol helps boost endorphins and raise the alcohol level in our blood. It is suggested that this helps reduce the uncomfortable feeling of a hangover.
However, those effects are only temporary. Soon you will begin to feel the hangover effect all over again or worse, it will be more dreadful than before.
How to reduce hangover effects
• Eat greasy food (Before not after consuming alcohol)
It's not advisable to drink on an empty stomach. Try to fill your stomach before drinking because an empty stomach leads to faster intoxication according to the New York Times.
Filling up with greasy food before drinking might be a good choice. Greasy food helps to slow down the rate that alcohol is absorbed into your bloodstream.
However, from an overall health perspective, I'm not sure I want to recommend this tactic for you. Then again, I guess drinking 10 vodkas isn't great for your health either!
• Drink water
Drinking water will help to rehydrate your body with water you lost from drinking alcohol. Remember, alcohol is diuretic. Therefore, drinking water will help to replenish the minerals that were lost by the body.
Therefore, try to take some breaks in between alcoholic drinks by drinking some water. Accompany each glass of wine with another glass of water. This will greatly reduce the effects of a subsequent hangover.
• Consume Energy drinks
Certain energy drinks might be considered an all in one package when it comes to reducing the effects of hangovers.
In addition to containing water, they almost always contain large amounts of B group vitamins. They can also be key for replacing the loss of Vitamin C, Magnesium and Potassium which are excreted from your body during and after drinking alcohol.
Therefore, drinking energy drinks before you drink could be a legitimate way for you to reduce the effects of hangovers. Drinking an energy drink the following morning may also help you to feel a little better for the same reasons. But, keep in mind, energy drinks don't cure hangovers.
Does caffeine worsen hangovers?
Sorry to break the news but no, caffeine does not cure hangovers. In fact, caffeine is also a diuretic, like alcohol.
However, caffeine can increase the alertness of our brain. If you intend to consume caffeine, it may worsen your headache if you have too much.
If you are a caffeine addict, it's better to consume some caffeine rather than none at all. As caffeine withdrawal can further increase the severity of your hangover.
Personally, I find that I little caffeine the morning after drinking makes me feel more alive, but the effects you experience may be different.
Do energy drinks cure hangovers?
Unfortunately, energy drinks don't cure hangovers. However, I find that the combination of ingredients in energy drinks usually makes me feel slightly better when I'm hungover.
I recommend not having too much caffeine though. In my opinion, energy drinks that have between 50mg and 100mg of caffeine are best for hangovers because they give you a little spark, but they don't blow your head off and make you feel worse than you already do.
Too much caffeine can make a hangover worse. I think it would be better to consume less caffeine if you really feel like having some.
My personal favorite energy drink is REIZE which has 50mg of caffeine per serve - enough to bring you back to life, but not enough to make your suffering worse.
Lots of energy drinks include taurine as one of their main ingredients as it is also great at increasing alertness.
I personally would recommend energy drinks that contain around 50-100mg of caffeine and around 1000mg of taurine to reduce the effects of a hangover.
Is red bull good for a hangover?
Just like any other energy drink, Red Bull doesn't cure a hangover. However, it does help to give you a little extra energy and increase your alertness. This can make you feel as though you are thinking a little more clearly, instead of being stuck in a fog of chaos.
An 8.4 fl.oz can of Red Bull contains 80mg of caffeine. Red Bull has less caffeine than some other brands, and certainly is NOT one of the strongest energy drinks in the world. This is vital, as consuming too much caffeine while hungover will further dehydrate your body.
Fun fact, did you know that Red Bull was once banned in France?
Best Energy drinks for a hangover
Zipfizz is a powder, which, when added to water becomes an instant energy drink, just like REIZE. It has a good amount of caffeine (100mg per serve) in order to help with a hangover. Furthermore, it's rich in Vitamin B, Vitamin C, Magnesium and Potassium.
Since it comes in a range of flavors, you can drink the one you really crave, which will make surviving a hangover slightly less painful.
Check the price of Zipfizz on Amazon here.
You can read more about Zipfizz here.
Similar to Zipfizz, Monster Rehab also comes in different flavors, 5 to be exact. It contains electrolytes, caffeine, milk thistle, Vitamin B, Vitamin C, etc. It should be noted that Monster Rehab is tea-based, unlike many other energy drinks.
Tea contains tannins which make hangovers worse.
Therefore, I think that there is a chance that Monster Rehab may make your hangover worse, despite all of the other hangover-fighting ingredients.
In my opinion, I think the lemonade flavored Rockstar Recovery is one of the best energy drinks for a hangover. Rockstar Recovery contains milk thistle, electrolytes, and taurine which are all crucial ingredients to reducing the severity of a hangover.
However, on the downside, it has quite a lot of caffeine with 160mg per serving, which I think is too much - especially when hungover. Be warned, it might make your headache worse if you are sensitive to caffeine and don't take high doses of caffeine on a regular basis.
Overall, I think its a great drink for hangover despite the high caffeine content as it is quite rare to find a whole bunch of ingredients that help with hangovers in a single energy drink.
• REIZE Energy Drink (10 out of 10)
If 160mg of caffeine is too much for you, you should consider REIZE as it contains a sensible 50mg of caffeine per serve. It contains enough caffeine to increase your alertness without worrying that it will worsen your hangover.
REIZE also contains taurine and vitamin B which also help in reducing hangover effects. Taurine prevents the swelling of the liver whilst vitamin B could ease the muscle pain from the night before and leaves you feeling more refreshed.
REIZE also contains ginseng extract which helps to reduce hangover symptoms. Furthermore, ginseng extract will help to metabolize alcohol faster.
From a lot of personal "research" on this topic, I find that if I have 1-2 REIZE before or during drinking and then another the following day I feel significantly better than if I only drank alcohol with no energy drinks.
However, I've also overstepped the mark during festivities and I should warn you that if you exceed 1-2 per evening you're likely to feel worse than if you only had alcohol by itself. So, keep that in mind and always consume alcohol and energy drinks in moderation.
At around $1 per drink, REIZE is affordable and super convenient. Speaking of convenient, you can keep a couple of sachets in your pocket to mix with drinks while you're out. But, that's deserving of another article on another day!
Give REIZE a try today and you might just find that it quickly becomes your drinking AND hangover energy drink of choice.