We’ve all been there, waking up to a pounding headache and the nauseating feeling that comes with a hangover. We reach for the aspirin and a glass of water, hoping the pain will subside. But what if I told you that probiotics could either make things better or worse?
Probiotics are live bacteria that provide numerous health benefits when consumed in adequate amounts. They are generally found in fermented foods like yogurt, sauerkraut, and kimchi, or in supplements. The beneficial bacteria found in probiotics have been linked to improving gut health, enhancing the immune system, and reducing inflammation.
But when it comes to hangovers, the link between probiotics and gut health and how they affect symptoms is something that has only recently been explored.
Gut Health and Hangovers
First, let’s talk about how alcohol impacts our gut health, and why it matters in the context of a hangover. Alcohol is a well-known gut irritant, it can damage the lining of the stomach and intestines, lead to inflammation, and disrupt the balance of gut bacteria.
When the gut is irritated, it can lead to various unpleasant symptoms such as diarrhea, bloating, and abdominal pain. Long-term alcohol use can also lead to more severe gut problems such as leaky gut syndrome.
But what about the morning after? Can probiotics help alleviate hangover symptoms, or will they make things worse? The answer is a little more complicated than a simple yes or no.
Probiotics and Hangovers: The Good
One study tested the effects of a probiotic drink on hangover symptoms in 21 participants. The drink contained Lactobacillus reuteri NCIMB 30242, a strain of bacteria known for its anti-inflammatory properties.
The results were promising. Those who consumed the probiotic drink had fewer overall hangover symptoms and reduced inflammation compared to the control group.
Another study found that probiotics could help reduce liver damage caused by alcohol consumption. The researchers found that probiotics could reduce the severity of liver inflammation and improve liver function.
Probiotics can also replace the beneficial bacteria in the gut that alcohol disrupts. This is important because a healthy gut microbiome can help improve the body’s ability to digest and metabolize alcohol, potentially making hangovers less severe.
Probiotics and Hangovers: The Bad
While probiotics can be a powerful tool to improve gut health, taking them during or after a hangover may not always be the best move, and not all probiotics are created equal.
Some strains of probiotics can cause bloating, gas, and diarrhea, which can complicate hangover symptoms further. This is because some types of probiotics may not be well-tolerated by everyone, especially those with sensitive stomachs or those with pre-existing gut issues.
Probiotics should also not be seen as a magic solution to a hangover. While probiotics can help improve gut health, they will not cure the dehydration and other physical symptoms associated with a hangover. It is always important to drink plenty of fluids, get rest, and eat nutrient-dense foods to help your body recover.
probiotics can have both positive and negative effects on hangover symptoms. They have been shown to reduce inflammation, liver damage, and improve gut health. However, not all probiotics are created equal, and taking them during a hangover may not always be the best move. It is always best to speak with a healthcare provider before incorporating probiotics into your hangover recovery plan.
You also could see another post where we talk about HOW OFTEN SHOULD I TAKE PROBIOTICS FOR HANGOVERS? .
Let’s be real, we’ve all had a rough morning-after or two after a wild night out. The pounding headache, the dizzy feeling, and the all-around fatigue is enough to make anyone swear off drinking forever. While drinking in moderation is key to avoiding a nasty hangover altogether, there are now alternatives to ease its symptoms. Enter probiotics.
But the question is, will probiotics make your hangover worse? We explore the link between gut health and hangover symptoms to give you the lowdown on how to handle your next morning-after episode.
First, let’s go back to basics. Hangovers are a result of excessive drinking, which dehydrates your body and lowers blood sugar levels. Alcohol also causes inflammation in the body, leading to headaches and nausea. These unpleasant symptoms are caused by the negative effect alcohol has on your gut, specifically, the microbiome.
Your microbiome refers to the collection of microorganisms found in your gut. Your gut is home to trillions of bacteria that help digest food, boost your immune system, and regulate your mood. Alcohol disrupts this delicate balance, killing off the good bacteria that keep your body healthy while promoting the growth of harmful microorganisms. This imbalance between good and bad bacteria can worsen hangover symptoms.
So, where do probiotics come in? Probiotics are live microorganisms that promote good gut health. They are commonly found in fermented foods like yogurt, sauerkraut, and kombucha, which can all be taken as supplements. Probiotics can help rebalance the microbiome in your gut, alleviate inflammation, and ease hangover symptoms like headaches and abdominal pain.
However, taking probiotics is not a magic solution to cure your hangover. It’s important to note that probiotics alone cannot undo the negative effects of excessive drinking. The best way to prevent a hangover is to drink in moderation and stay hydrated with water before, during, and after drinking alcohol.
In addition to taking probiotics, there are other steps you can take to maintain a healthy gut and alleviate hangover symptoms. Eating a healthy and balanced diet rich in fiber and vitamins is important to support gut health. Avoiding processed foods, sugar, and excessive caffeine can also help reduce inflammation and prevent gut imbalances. Drinking herbal tea like ginger or chamomile can also help alleviate nausea and soothe stomach discomfort.
Getting enough sleep and exercise can also improve gut health and prevent hangover. Exercise can help reduce inflammation and boost circulation throughout the body, while sleeping at least 7-8 hours per night is crucial to allow the body to heal and repair itself.
In summary, taking probiotics can help alleviate hangover symptoms by promoting good gut health. However, they should not be relied upon as a magic cure. Drinking in moderation and staying hydrated is the best way to prevent a hangover altogether. Maintaining a healthy and balanced diet, avoiding processed foods, sugar, and excessive caffeine, while incorporating sleep and regular exercise can also help improve gut health and prevent hangovers.
So, to answer the question, will probiotics make your hangover worse? Not necessarily. Probiotics can help alleviate symptoms by promoting good gut health, but they should be taken in conjunction with other healthy habits. Remember to take care of your gut, and it will take care of you.