Drinking is fun, but we’ve all suffered the day after a tailgate. Sometimes a lot, sometimes a little. We’ve all heard the basics for preventing or curing hangovers: Eat, drink water, and get good rest. There are a thousand tricks and tips for preventing or curing hangovers that people will give you.
Apart from those three main pointers, none of them are particularly effective. Obviously, drinking less or abstaining is the only true hangover prevention method. However, there is one trick that actually works- and has been supported by science. Turmeric. That golden-colored spice.
The Turmeric Hangover Cure
If you’re hydrated and rested, and you haven’t given your digestive tract too much grief, then the main component of hangovers is in your blood. Acetaldehyde is a toxic byproduct of alcohol consumption. Your liver creates acetaldehyde when it breaks down ethanol (the type of alcohol that you drink). It’s not a nice chemical to have in your system. Acetaldehyde causes nausea and vomiting, as well as headaches and other unpleasant effects. Yuck.
One of the major drugs prescribed to help treat problematic alcohol use actually works on acetaldehyde. There is an enzyme called acetaldehyde dehydrogenase (Antabuse). It works by inhibiting the breakdown of acetaldehyde, so its levels rise in the blood. The result is so unpleasant that even alcoholics second think their next drink. That is the opposite of what we want. We want to be less hungover, not more!
Our golden star of treating hangovers is turmeric. More than just a turmeric hangover cure, it can also be effective at helping to prevent hangovers before they even begin. Crazy, right? But it’s true. Scientific studies have shown that the active ingredient in turmeric, called curcumin, helps prevent the build-up of acetaldehyde in your blood.
How to Use the Turmeric Hangover Cure
In Japan, it is common to drink a small bottle before going out to drink. It’s even on many menus. The main brand is called “ Ukon No Chikara,” which means “The Power Of Turmeric.” While turmeric is fantastic for your digestion, as well as a whole host of other health benefits, Ukon No Chikara is mostly sold to help prevent hangovers.
You can do better than a bottle of Ukon No Chikara and get even more turmeric power! The active ingredient in turmeric is called curcumin. If you consume turmeric with black pepper, a compound in pepper, called piperine, can increase the absorption of curcumin by thousands of times. If you take it with a healthy fat, it can also increase the absorption and help soothe your digestion as well. Therefore, the best way to get curcumin into your system and lessen your hangover is to eat curry.
There are other options, though. Around a quarter to half a teaspoon of raw turmeric powder contains enough curcumin to be effective (just 30mg). You can eat this stirred into a drink along with a little pepper. It has a very earthy flavor that most people don’t find very pleasant. The other, much easier, method is in the form of capsules. Most capsules of turmeric contain around 150-200mg of curcumin. More than enough to help you feel less hungover. The recommended dose is just one capsule before drinking and one capsule after. Taking more won’t help, and might even irritate your digestion. The recommended maximum daily dose of curcumin is 2000mg, so it’s safe in moderation.
Your Tailgate Day After Just Got Better!
If you know you’re going to be drinking and are worried you might be hungover, you can help prevent it. A hangover cure. A golden pill. Make sure you eat, keep yourself hydrated, and try to get a good night’s sleep. Combine that with some bright yellow turmeric and black pepper, and you’ll be feeling like sunshine the morning after your tailgate.