Is vitamin C any good for a hangover? Interesting question. And if you’re British, an important one. A 2016 survey found that the average Brit spends 2 years of their life nursing a hangover. That’s 2 years of headaches, nausea, fatigue and aching. So if there’s something easy like vitamin C supplements that can help, it’s got to be a good thing.
Vitamin C supplements and tablets have been sold for many years to help with hangover recovery. They offer all-in-one support for your energy levels, tiredness and fatigue, immune system and skin that a hair of the dog, frankly, does not.
More recently, intravenous infusions (which always include vitamin C!) targeting hangovers have arrived and gained popularity as a quick fix. These can be pretty pricey though, and as an average Brit perhaps not the best option for tackling a seemingly regular hangover. A tasty, easy to use vitamin C supplement, like Vitamin C Zooki, makes an excellent alternative.
Symptoms of a hangover & how can vitamin C help?
Firstly there’s the dehydration. Alcohol acts as a diuretic, pulling water away from the brain and cells to dilute it. It also inhibits a hormone called vasopressin that usually regulates water excretion. Instead, the loss of water is increased, resulting in dehydration, which causes the classic hangover symptoms of headaches and fatigue.
Alcohol can also cause the muscles of the blood vessels to tighten, resulting in temporary high blood pressure and headaches.
Next, it’s the liver’s turn to work as this is the organ responsible for getting rid of the toxic alcohol in your system. But that detoxification process itself will produce damaging free radicals and it is thought that these free radicals also provoke hangover symptoms.
Apart from the obvious reason that alcohol depletes your body of key nutrients, like vitamin C, there are many other ways vitamin C helps with a hangover.
Vitamin C as an antioxidant
We know that as a powerful antioxidant, vitamin C can help neutralise free radicals before they cause more damage around the body. This can support the liver in detoxifying from alcohol, ridding it and the free radicals it creates from your body. Vitamin C also helps recycle other key antioxidants, like glutathione (a key player in the detoxification process) and vitamin E.
Vitamin C and energy
On top of this, vitamin C works within your cells' mitochondria (also known as your cell's powerhouse) to help produce energy. It's also required by your body to absorb iron from plant food, so if you're vegan, it's essential for getting energy that way. Both of these actions reduce fatigue and increase energy levels!
Vitamin C and skin
Have you ever noticed that your skin looks dull after a night out, and potentially you've developed a few spots that weren't there before? Thankfully, vitamin C is an essential co-factor in collagen production so it helps replenish your skin's glow and strengthen and support your skin from within.
Vitamin C also plays a supportive role in protecting blood vessels (which expand when you drink). This is part of what causes headaches when you're hungover, as well as what might be making you red-faced when you drink. You'd need to be taking vitamin C supplements over a longer time period to see an effect on this though.
Vitamin C and immunity
Last but not least, vitamin C is most well known for supporting your immune system. Since alcohol (and the other things that often come with drinking - smoking, unhealthy takeaways and lack of sleep) depletes your immune system, you'll want to top it up so you don't get sick after a boozy night.
There's also other things you can do too - learn more about vitamins for a hangover here.
Vitamin C hangover smoothie recipe
Need help beating your hangover? A vitamin C-rich smoothie is the perfect way to replenish your nutrients and hydrate, especially when you're finding it hard to stomach anything. With the added burst of Vitamin C Zooki, you'll be feeling like yourself in no time.
250g coconut water
1/2 small banana
250g Full fat Greek yoghurt (optional)
85g fresh or frozen blueberries
1 tablespoon chia seeds
1 tablespoon coconut oil
honey and cinnamon to taste
2-3 ice cubes
1 sachet of Vitamin C Zooki
Place all ingredients (besides the Vitamin C Zooki sachet) into a blender and blend until smooth
Add Vitamin C Zooki and stir well.
Serve and enjoy!
One of the main causes of a hangover is dehydration. Alcohol stops the production of the hormone that helps your body hang on to water, leading to dehydration and the loss of electrolytes like potassium and sodium. Coconut water is rich in these electrolytes, making it a great way to replace them and rehydrate at the same time.
Bananas provide a good source of vitamins and minerals that help rehydrate the body, especially vitamin B6 and potassium, which are lost when the body processes alcohol. They are also a good source of magnesium, which can relax your blood vessels and in turn, reduce headaches! The potassium content in bananas make them an alkaline food which neutralises stomach acid and coats the stomach lining, helping to ease any stomach discomfort.
Greek yogurt is a great source of protein, providing the liver with a good supply of the amino acids needed to metabolise and remove alcohol. Protein also provides energy, giving you slow burning fuel to get you through the morning and improve your hangover symptoms.
Blueberries are rich in vitamin C and antioxidants, helping to counteract the oxidative stress that alcohol causes. They can also help your liver in the detoxification process.
Spinach is loaded with vitamins, minerals and antioxidants, including vitamin C, folic acid and sulphur, which help the liver detoxify and flush out toxins from the body caused by breaking down alcohol.
Chia seeds are extremely hydrating for the body. They absorb up to 10 times their weight in liquid, which helps regulate body fluid levels and retain electrolytes. When the seeds swell up, they create a gel that can also help to eliminate toxins from the digestive tract. And to top it all off, they also provide a good source of healthy omega 3 fats.
Another healthy fat, coconut oil helps to balance blood sugar levels and prevent further blood sugar drops. Fats also help your body absorb other fat soluble nutrients when eaten together.
The process of breaking down alcohol in the body can inhibit our body’s glucose production, resulting in low blood sugar levels. Honey provides natural sugar which replaces the sugars that are lost, giving your brain and body an energy boost.
Cinnamon helps to stabilise blood sugar levels and is said to be a mood enhancer.
Vitamin C Zooki
Drinking comes with excess urination, which is not only dehydrating but also means vitamins are more easily lost. Especially vitamin C, since it's water soluble and we need to consume it on a daily basis to keep our levels up. It's pretty much guaranteed your vitamin C levels are depleted after a big night of boozing, so it makes sense to top it up the next day.
Vitamin C Zooki is also a great way to get your energy levels back up, rejuvenate your skin and makes a delicious addition to any smoothie.