We’ve all experienced the dreaded hangover after a night out drinking. While there’s no magic cure for a hangover, there are some ways to maximize your pregame for a better morning.
A hangover is the mental and physical effects that can happen after drinking too much alcohol.
Hangover symptoms vary from person to person but generally include:1
- Fatigue and weakness
- Dry mouth and thirst
- Muscle aches
- Nausea or vomiting
- Stomach pain
- Sensitivity to light and sound
The cause of many of these symptoms can be traced back to inflammation caused by alcohol’s toxic byproduct — acetaldehyde. Even though acetaldehyde is short-lived, it can result in inflammation and irritation to many parts of your body, like your stomach, intestines, liver, and brain.1 Other factors that can contribute to your hangover include:1
- Lack of sleep
Tips To Avoid a Hangover
Next time you drink try these tips to help you feel better the next morning.
- Drink in Moderation
The more you drink, the harder your liver has to work to keep up. This means that more acetaldehyde can build up in your system, causing more inflammation.1
Stick to moderate drinking guidelines, which means no more than two drinks per day for men and one drink per day for women, as recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).2
To help you drink less on a night out:
- Keep track of how many drinks you’ve had
- Try alternating an alcoholic drink with a non-alcoholic drink
- Drink while doing something else
- Eat Before You Drink
Eating a well-balanced meal before you start drinking can help prevent some of the unpleasant stomach-related effects like nausea, vomiting, and stomach pain. If you drink on an empty stomach, alcohol absorbs into your bloodstream faster, intensifying its effects and increasing your risk of a hangover.3
Food acts as a protective barrier, shielding your stomach and intestines from the irritation alcohol can cause. Protein-rich foods (like eggs, tofu, lean meat, and fish) and complex carbohydrates (like whole grains, brown rice, oatmeal, and quinoa) can help delay alcohol absorption by slowing the emptying of your stomach.4,5 Fruits and vegetables high in fiber and water content can help prevent dehydration. These foods also keep you fuller for longer — helping you avoid an alcohol-fueled food binge later in the night.4
To prevent stomach-related hangover symptoms, you’ll want to skip foods that can upset your stomach, such as:6
- Spicy food
- Greasy food
- Carbonated drinks
- Stay Hydrated
Dehydration-related symptoms such as thirst, fatigue, and headache are some of the most common hangover symptoms.7 Alcohol can cause dehydration because of the diuretic effect it has on your kidneys. By suppressing a hormone called vasopressin, alcohol tells your kidneys to let go of more fluids, making you urinate more often.1 Wine and spirits tend to have a stronger diuretic effect than beer.8
Make sure you drink plenty of water before, during, and after drinking alcohol to avoid getting dehydrated.1
- Avoid Drinks With Congeners
Congeners — substances found that add to the flavor and color of some alcoholic drinks — may contribute to worse hangover symptoms. In general, spirits with a darker color have higher levels of congeners, such as:9
- Red wine
It's not clear why congeners might cause a worse hangover. It could be related to the fact that congeners compete with alcohol in your body to get broken down. This means that alcohol could stay in your body for a longer period of time.9
You can give your body more time to process the alcohol and congeners by eating before you drink to slow down alcohol’s absorption.5
- Don’t Smoke
To avoid a hangover, you might want to think twice about enjoying a cigarette with your drink.
Science backs up that alcohol and nicotine are more pleasurable together, but you might end up paying for it the next day. A study of university students found that smoking cigarettes while drinking increased the risk and severity of hangovers.10
If you do smoke when you drink, make sure you try the other tips in this list to help prevent hangover symptoms.
- Make Time To Rest
If you’re already tired or fatigued before you start drinking, you may be more susceptible to the effects of alcohol and hangover symptoms.1,11 Even though alcohol makes you sleepy, alcohol can make it harder for you to fall asleep and stay asleep.12
Make sure you make enough time for yourself to rest the next day after a night of drinking.
- Consider a Supplement
The ingredients in Better Morning may help ease some of your worst hangover symptoms.
Some ingredients in Better Morning might help to fight fatigue and boost your energy. Since you are more susceptible to the effects of alcohol and hangover symptoms when you’re tired, these ingredients may help prevent your hangover.
- Theacrine — an organic compound extracted from tea leaves (Camellia assamica). One study found that it reduced fatigue and boosted energy and concentration in healthy volunteers.13
- Acetyl-L carnitine (ALC) — may help relieve mental and physical fatigue. It’s also been studied for its effects on cognitive function in older adults with mental decline.14
- Vitamins B1 and B12 — help you turn alcohol into energy by helping your body break down carbohydrates into glucose. A deficiency in either of these vitamins can cause fatigue, nausea, and irritability.15
If you experience higher levels of anxiety the day after drinking — also known as hangxiety — it could be because of a mini-withdrawal from dopamine.1,16 The following ingredients in Better Morning can help you prevent hangxiety:
- N-acetyl L-tyrosine (NALT) — a form of a naturally occurring amino acid called tyrosine, a precursor to dopamine. Taking NALT has also been shown to improve cognition.17
- Green tea extract — has several compounds, such as caffeine and L-theanine, that may improve brain function. L-theanine may also produce anti-anxiety effects.18
Alcohol-related inflammation is the root of many unpleasant hangover symptoms. Better Morning includes white willow bark extract, a natural pain reliever and anti-inflammatory used for thousands of years.19
There’s no sure way to prevent a hangover, but a little preparation might make you feel better the next morning.
- Hangovers. National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism. Updated March 2021. Accessed June 10, 2023.
- Dietary Guidelines for Alcohol. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Updated April 19, 2022. Accessed June 10, 2023.
- Hangovers: Symptoms & Causes. Mayo Clinic. Published December 16, 2017. Accessed June 10, 2023.
- Ma J, Stevens JE, Cukier K, et al. Effects of a protein preload on gastric emptying, glycemia, and gut hormones after a carbohydrate meal in diet-controlled type 2 diabetes. Diabetes care. 2009;32(9),1600-1602.
- Paton A. Alcohol in the body. BMJ. 2005;330(7482), 85–87.
- Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease. StatPealrs [Internet]. Updated July 4, 2022. Accessed June 23, 2023.
- van Schrojenstein Lantman M, Mackus M, van de Loo AJ, et al. The impact of alcohol hangover symptoms on cognitive and physical functioning, and mood. Human psychopharmacology. 2017;32(5), e2623.
- Polhuis KC, Wijnen AHC, Sierksma A, et al. The Diuretic Action of Weak and Strong Alcoholic Beverages in Elderly Men: A Randomized Diet-Controlled Crossover Trial. Nutrients. 2017;9(7),660.
- Verster JC.The alcohol hangover–a puzzling phenomenon. Alcohol and Alcoholism. 2008;43(2), 124-126.
- Jackson KM, Rohsenow DJ, Piasecki TM, Howland J, Richardson AE. Role of tobacco smoking in hangover symptoms among university students. Journal of studies on alcohol and drugs. 2013; 74(1), 41–49.
- Manousakis JE, Anderson C. Impairment due to combined sleep restriction and alcohol is not mitigated by decaying breath alcohol concentration or rest breaks. Hum Psychopharmacol. 2017;32(5):10.1002/hup.2626.
- Popovici I, French MT. Binge drinking and sleep problems among young adults. Drug and alcohol dependence. 2013;132(1-2), 207–215.
- Ziegenfuss TN, Habowski SM, Sandrock JE, et al. A Two-Part Approach to Examine the Effects of Theacrine (TeaCrine®) Supplementation on Oxygen Consumption, Hemodynamic Responses, and Subjective Measures of Cognitive and Psychometric Parameters. J Diet Suppl. 2017;14(1):9-24. doi:
- Malaguarnera M, Cammalleri L, Gargante MP, et al. L-Carnitine treatment reduces severity of physical and mental fatigue and increases cognitive functions in centenarians: a randomized and controlled clinical trial. Am J Clin Nutr. 2007;86(6):1738-1744.
- Vitamin B1 (Thiamine). Mount Sinai. Accessed June 23, 2023.
- Di Chiara G. Alcohol and dopamine. Alcohol health and research world. 1997;21(2),108-114.
- Bloemendaal M, Froböse MI, Wegman J, et al. Neuro-Cognitive Effects of Acute Tyrosine Administration on Reactive and Proactive Response Inhibition in Healthy Older Adults. eNeuro. 2018; 5(2), ENEURO.0035-17.2018.
- Dodd FL, Kennedy DO, Riby LM, Haskell-Ramsay C. A double-blind, placebo-controlled study evaluating the effects of caffeine and L-theanine both alone and in combination on cerebral blood flow, cognition and mood. Psychopharmacology. 2015; 232(14),2563-2576.
- Shara M, Stohs SJ. Efficacy and Safety of White Willow Bark (Salix alba) Extracts. Phytother Res. 2015;29(8):1112-1116.