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Is B12 Good For Treating Hangovers?

July 20, 2022

 
Is B12 Good For Treating Hangovers?

 

We’ve all been there: a pounding headache, nausea, and serious dehydration. A hangover is one of the most inconvenient and challenging things to wake up to, especially when you have a busy day ahead with professional and personal commitments.

Let’s discuss the causes of a hangover and how you can help manage it. 

What Causes a Hangover?

If you've woken up with a hangover, you’ve likely wished you could magically make it go away. There's nothing fun about waking up and feeling sick, not knowing how long it will last or why you drank so much the night before. Several factors go into creating a hangover, but consuming alcohol is the primary reason hangovers occur. 

Drink too much alcohol and too little water, and your body may feel the effects the morning after. Before detailing the symptoms and treatment of hangovers, one must understand how alcohol causes a hangover and why. 

Alcohol Is a Diuretic

When you drink alcohol, your body is triggered to produce more urine. If you start going to the bathroom more frequently while simultaneously not taking in enough water to keep your body hydrated, you will likely experience dehydration symptoms. 

The primary reason why people experience hangovers is that their body is dehydrated. You may wake up thirsty, dizzy, fatigued or lightheaded. These are all signs that your body is experiencing dehydration due to drinking the night before. 

Alcohol Can Cause Inflammatory Issues in Your Immune System 

Your immune system is one of your body's most important and fragile systems. It really doesn't take that much to throw your immune system off-balance, which can upset other systems in your body. An upset immune system means that you're more susceptible to getting sick.
 

Your immune system is broken up into two parts: the innate immune system and the adaptive immune system. The innate immune system provides general immunity and is responsible for dealing with viruses, bacteria and other disease-causing agents. The adaptive immune system is in charge of your body's immune memory, which means it remembers how your body responded during a previous infection and inhibits it from occurring again.

Alcohol consumption can potentially negatively impact both parts of your immune system, as it disrupts the inflammation signals your body relies upon to distinguish whether it's healthy. 

Alcohol Can Irritate Your Stomach

When you drink alcohol excessively, your body is going to respond. However, even just a few drinks can impact someone's body, and one of the places where alcohol consumption is most acutely felt in the body is in our stomachs.

The lining of your stomach is a susceptible part of the body, and when you consume alcohol, your stomach produces more acid, causing a delay in emptying your stomach. 

Both factors – increased acid and a delayed emptying response – can contribute to abdominal pain, nausea, and vomiting. In addition to stomach irritation, if you experience nausea and vomiting, you are more likely to become dehydrated, delaying your recovery time. 

Symptoms of a Hangover

If you have ever had plans and had to cancel them due to a hangover, it’s simply because your body was reacting to the levels of alcohol in its body and was attempting to flush the alcohol out of your system. Hangover symptoms are not the same for everyone, and your symptoms might vary depending on how much you drank the night prior.

However, there is a general cluster of symptoms you might experience with a hangover. While these symptoms may vary based on severity, they remain present until your body has flushed the alcohol out of its system. 

Some symptoms of hangovers include weakness, nausea and vomiting, headaches, dizziness and shakiness, increased heart rate, and impacted sleep and concentration. 

Hangover Remedies

So, the real question is, how do you get rid of a hangover? There seem to be supposed cures, medicines, wellness boosts, and everything in-between claiming to be able to cure a hangover, but when it comes down to it, a hangover is a cluster of symptoms that are your body's way of telling you that you drank too much.

Whether you embrace the “hair of the dog” as a hangover cure (we don't recommend it) or attempt to drink bottles and bottles of water, Pedialyte-like drink, or sports drink the morning after (orally), if you are experiencing a hangover, the most effective treatment that can fade your hangover may unfortunately be time. 

That being said, some treatments prove to be more helpful than others, and addressing alcohol’s impact on your levels of Vitamin B12 is one of them.

Vitamin B12

What is B12, and how is it relevant to hangovers? B vitamins are found across your diet and can be acquired by eating foods like red meat, eggs, milk, and fish. There are some fortified plant-based options for getting B12, but for the most part, you may find this important vitamin in animal-based products. 

B12 is essential because this essential vitamin is stored in your liver cells. A healthy adult with normal B12 levels should have around 3 to 5 years' worth of B12 stored in their body. If your body doesn’t have normal B12 levels, you might have a deficiency and should contact your healthcare team.

If you drink alcohol regularly, your stomach’s lining and body’s ability to absorb vitamin B12 can be impacted. As such, ensuring that you get enough B12 in your diet is critical. If, however, you don’t get enough B12 and are stuck with a hangover after an evening with friends, you might need to turn to another source of treatment. 

Is B12 An Effective Hangover Treatment? 

Without sufficient B12, your body is unable to support its red blood cell growth. As previously mentioned, if you have a low count of B12, you might develop a B12 deficiency which can cause long-term issues for your health. While there isn’t any comprehensive research about whether B12 can help treat symptoms of a hangover, replenishing your body with the vitamins that a night of drinking may have depleted can be helpful. 

B12 can offer support for your morning-after blues and can be conveniently and quickly delivered to you intramuscularly. 

At The I.V. Doc, our comprehensive intravenous wellness team offers a B12 shot that, when injected directly into the muscle, restores your B12 levels and helps address some of the side effects of hangovers, including fatigue and decreased cognitive functioning. 

B12 and Hydration

One of the most important things to remember about a hangover is that your efforts the day after are attempts to make up for your body being dehydrated from alcohol intake the day prior. The best way to avoid a hangover is to ensure you are as hydrated as possible and mindful of your alcohol intake.

If your body is lacking in B12 and you replenish that vital nutrient but are still dehydrated, your body isn't likely to recover as quickly as you'd like it to. Prioritize hydration while drinking and the morning after to keep your body hydrated. This Rescue treatment is packed with intravenous hydration and electrolytes, which can offer you some much-needed rescue from sickness, a hangover or general fatigue.

Delivered to you in the comfort of your own home, hotel room, or office, this rescue hydration infusion will help you combat the overwhelming discomfort that comes after a night of drinking. 

With three specialized medications, this infusion packed with hydrating properties can offer a solution and have you back on your feet in no time.

We love to add on Vitamin B12 to our Rescue treatment, because B12 alone won't help a challenging hangover, but incorporating vitamins and electrolytes, getting enough sleep, hydration and maintaining a well-balanced diet.

The Bottom Line

Hangovers are never an enjoyable experience, and yours can be exacerbated if you aren't able to treat yourself after a night out of drinking properly. However, what if the days of excruciating hangovers could be over? 

Make sure to prioritize getting enough hydration the night before, monitoring your alcohol intake, and getting enough sleep. In addition to a well-balanced diet, ensure you get enough vitamins and nutrients to support your immune system and gut health. 

If you forgot to take care the night before, IV infusions and intramuscular support could be the answer to your hangover needs. 

With a team of in-home medical professionals, you can address the symptoms of your hangover with at-home intravenous infusions and B12 shots, both fast-acting and effective ways to hydrate and replenish your body with depleted nutrients. 

Say goodbye to painful and inconvenient hangovers and hello to more days filled with relaxation, health, and rejuvenation.

 

Sources:

Understanding alcohol and the immune system during COVID-19 | ADF

Hangovers - Symptoms and causes | Mayo Clinic

Vitamin B12 Deficiency - StatPearls | NCBI
 

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