How to survive the silly season: Proven hangover cures - and what not to do - Koonara Wines

Don’t reach for pain killers

If your plant was sick, would you fix it by spray painting the leaves green? Ibuprofen and paracetamol just mask the problem and can make it much worse – in the case of Ibuprofen by preventing your gut bacteria from working properly [1], stopping you absorbing the minerals needed to make the pain go away.

My hangover hack:

Glutamine: The secret weapon with no downside – including price, a tub of it is about $13. Glutamine helps boost your immune system, as well as making your liver, kidneys and intestines work at their best to break down alcohol. Research has shown that when you’re sick (or hungover), the body will break down muscle to produce glutamine in order to boost white blood cells. [2] 

Protein Powder:  If you’re not lactose intolerant, a spoonful of this has high levels of amino acids that can help with the hangover. It includes 1000mg of Lysine and 1000mg of L-Tyrosine – which I have detailed below.

Lysine 500mg: Research has shown it is effective for removing or breaking down alcohol faster. Take it before you go to bed or the next morning. [3] The human body cannot synthesize lysine, so it must be obtained from the diet. [4]

L-Tyrosine 500mg: It’s an amino acid that boosts mood, cognition, physical and mental stress response, and healthy glandular function. It quickly crosses the blood-brain barrier to increase the neurotransmitters dopamine, epinephrine, and norepinephrine. Your body can make it, but it depletes when you’re stressed, and with modern living, most people’s production can’t keep up. Studies have shown that cadets in combat training taking L-Tyrosine reduced the negative effects on mental performance [5]

Koonara Wines hangover cures - greasy food does not work

Greasy food doesn’t work

Oxidised fats can have massive inflammation issues, which is partly why your suffering a hangover in the first place (that and toxic overload and dehydration).

“Man-made trans fat are the worst type of fat for your health. They increase your bad (LDL) cholesterol and lowers your good (HDL) cholesterol. It’s also highly inflammatory and raises your risk of stroke, heart disease, and diabetes. Trans fat can even affect your brain and lead to depression and memory loss.” [6]

My hangover hack:

Reach for good fats that help protect your brain from harm – such as extra virgin olive oil, avocado, cold water fish and nuts.

Resist the burger and have a bath! Magnesium Chloride relieves migraines, reduces stress and relaxes muscles. When you are stressed (like when you’re hungover), your body uses much more magnesium. This can be bought from a farm supplies shop for about $24 for a 20kg bag, and absorbs 20 times better through the skin than Epsom salts. And save a pinch for your drink – and no more than that or you may get disaster pants.

sports drinks prolong the pain of a hangover.

Sports Drinks prolong the pain

The salts are good, but the sugars will cause inflammation of the brain, which will just prolong your hangover.

My hangover hack:

Add a pinch of Himalayan/Murray Salt in your mineral water when you’re out. These salts have lots of trace minerals needed for the body. Beer is a diuretic, so peeing that much can dehydrate you and deplete your body’s salts.

Hydration Tablets and Berocca are a waste of money - hangover myths busted

Hydration Tablets and Berocca are a waste of money

Hydration Tablets are a waste of money – you’re paying through the nose (84c a tablet) for very little minerals. Berocca is OK, but you can do better.

My hangover hack:

Having researched Multi vitamins to the Nth degree, the best I have found is NowTrue Balance, Multi Vitamin & Mineral (120 Capsules). At 18c a capsule, this stuff is much cheaper, and beats Berocca and Hyrdation tablets hands down on most of the numbers, the big exception is Vitamin C – see table below.

Take a minimum of 2,000mg of Vitamin C: Vitamin C is a major water-soluble antioxidant that helps protect the body against pollutants, as well as increases extracellular collagen production and for proper immune cell functioning [7]. Humans are one of the few species to not produce our own Vitamin C. A dog will produce 10g (10,000mg) of Vitamin C a day, but will go up to 15g in times of sickness or stress. I take 5 to 7,000mg before and after a big night. Your maximum amount is 25,000mg before you start getting in the disaster pants zone.

[ninja_tables id=”18684″]

Brown spirits give you a hangover

Don’t Drink Brown Spirits

It has shown to have 37 times more congeners (substances, other than the desired type of alcohol produced during fermentation) in it than white spirits. [8] In one study, 33% of bourbon drinkers vs 3% of vodka drinkers complained of hangovers. [9]

Better yet, drink wine – responsibly. And if you can get your hands on a wine with no residual sugar and below organic levels of sulphur even better (wink, wink).

My hangover hack:

The sneaky drink switch: Not to be the party pooper, but the inflammation a hangover gives you creates massive brain fog through your brain being the first thing that gets inflammation, so the odds of you getting anything worthwhile done the next day are slim. When your beer can/bottle is empty, fill it up with water from the tap. G&Ts or vodka & lemonade? Switch every 3rd (or your round) with Soda water & ice in the same glass. Wine? Have a water glass in front of the wine glass so you instinctively grab that first.

Tonic water has as much sugar as lemonade - hangover cures.

Go easy on the mixers

Tonic has almost the same amount of sugar as a lemonade. 350ml (12 oz) of tonic =  132 calories, or 10 teaspoons of sugar (32g), which is more than the recommended daily dose of sugar in one drink.

My hangover hack:

Try soda water instead, it takes a bit to get used to, but your body (and head) will thank you.


  2. The Ultimate Nutrient Glutamine: The  essential non-essential AminoAcid – Judy Shabert, MD, Nancy Ehrlich,RD
  5. Patrick Holford: Nutrition for the Mind (Published: 7th June 2007)



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