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THE NITTY GRITTYOverindulging leads quickly to depletion. Therefore, the key to getting back on your feet is to first and foremost replace what your body has lost, namely of fluids and key nutrients. Saline solution not only replaces the fluids to offset the dehydration that occurs with excess alcohol intake but also restores the electrolytes your body lost through both alcohol and frequent urination. Next, additional minerals such as magnesium and zinc help support electrolyte function. Magnesium, in particular, can help to ease the headaches that often accompany a hangover. In fact, research shows that magnesium not only helped reduce the frequency of migraine attacks,1-2 but was as effective as the migraine medications flunarizine and amitriptyline in the relief of a migraine.3 Zinc is another key mineral that supports one particular aspect of overconsumption: digestive upset. Specifically, zinc has been shown to alleviate diarrhea. In a review of nine randomized, placebo-controlled studies, researchers found significantly lower incidences of diarrhea in people who either took zinc or had adequate levels of the mineral.4 They also learned that zinc was beneficial in treating both acute and persistent diarrhea. In addition to replacing key minerals and fluids, it is important to also replenish the water-soluble B vitamins. Overall, B vitamins support energy production and cardiovascular health. This is particularly relevant for that hangover, due to the fatigue and headache that often accompany overindulgence, as your capillaries often constrict due to excess alcohol - leading to a screaming headache and fatigue. In addition to the entire B complex, folic acid and B12 are especially beneficial for healthy arterial function and dilation of blood vessels, as well as boosting energy and squashing fatigue. B2 (riboflavin) is also well-studied for treating headaches,5-7 while B1 (thiamine) supplementation has been shown great for detox. One study, in particular, found that B1 improved lipid levels and markers of kidney function in people with type 2 diabetes.8 Lastly, including a couple of safe, effective medications for pain (Toradol) and nausea (Zofran) ensures that you can start functioning at your best, even after feeling at your worst.
References: 1. Peikert A, et al. Cephalalgia. 1996;16:257-63. 2. Demirkaya S, et al. J Headache Pain. 2000;1:179-86. 3. Pfaffenrath V, et al. Cephalalgia. 1996;16:436-40. 4. Black RE. J Nutr. 2003 May;133(5 Suppl 1):1485S-9S. 5. Boehnke C, et al. Eur J Neurol. 2004 Jul;11(7):475-7. 6. Mauskop A. 2012 Continuum (Minneap Minn). Aug;18(4):796-806. 7. Pringsheim T, et al. Can J Neurol Sci. 2012 Mar;39(2 Suppl 2):S1-59. 8. Al-Attas O, et al. Clin Med Insights Endocrinol Diabetes. 2014;7:1-6.