A plant extract drink shows promise when it comes to curbing the hurt associated with a hangover, IFLScience.com reports. The researchers, whose work was recently published in the journal BMJ Nutrition Prevention & Health, developed a supplement containing Barbados cherry, prickly pear, ginkgo biloba, willow, and ginger root, as well as additional vitamins and minerals, including magnesium, potassium, sodium, bicarbonate, zinc, riboflavin, thiamin, and folic acid.
Two hundred and fourteen healthy volunteers, ages 18-65, were given 7.5g of a water soluble supplement made of a combination of the above ingredients both 45 minutes before and immediately after participants began a four hour long consumption session. They were split into three different categories; one-third of the participants were given the plant extract, mineral-rich supplement with additional antioxidant compounds, another third were given a similar supplement without the plant extracts, and the final third was given a placebo. Researchers then tracked how many libations the participants consumed, as well as how many times they urinated, collecting samples for analysis. They also collected blood samples and blood pressure measurements before and after the session, then again 12 hours later after participants were given the opportunity to sober up. Participants were also given a questionnaire.
While symptoms varied widely, the team found the participants who received the full supplement of plant extracts, minerals and vitamins, and antioxidants reported less severe symptoms compared to the placebo group. The researchers also found that electrolyte and mineral imbalances may not play as significant a role as previously thought.
“Our results suggest that alcohol-induced increased fluid excretion does not necessarily lead to a significant dehydration process,” the researchers wrote. “It seems to be clear that hangover symptoms are predominantly caused by alcohol and its metabolites.”