The Best Supplements to Reduce Hangovers

While drinking alcohol is an enjoyable experience in the moment, too much of it can lead to a hangover come the morning, with unpleasant symptoms such as headache, nausea, fatigue, and anxiety. These symptoms can make getting out of bed difficult, let alone accomplishing any tasks on a to-do list.

For those looking for hangover relief, the following supplements can help address those unpleasant symptoms and counteract the adverse effects of too much alcohol. While there is no way to cure a hangover once it has set in, these supplements can ease the symptoms or prevent them from occurring.

Vitamin B

There are many B-vitamins, but the ones most helpful against a hangover include vitamins B1, B6, and B12. That is because these B-vitamins boost the body’s metabolism, helping it break down and remove alcohol faster.

Looking directly at the benefits offered by Vitamin B supplementation on a hangover, a 2012 study found that a supplement containing Vitamins B1 and B6 helped reduce hangover symptoms in 88% of the participants[1]. The supplement contained 2 mg vitamin B6 and 4.2 mg Vitamin B1 in 5 capsules, with the participants told to take 3 capsules before drinking and 2 capsules before going to sleep.

Alcohol is also a diuretic and causes those who drink to use the restroom frequently, which can cause a loss in vitamins[2]. Taking vitamin B before drinking can help compensate for the impending loss of B vitamins, and the negative side effects of Vitamin B deficiency.

While B-vitamins can be taken in the morning following drinking, they are most effective when taken before drinking.

N-Acetyl-Cysteine (NAC)

N-acetyl-cysteine (NAC) is an amino acid that increases the body’s ability to produce glutathione, which is an antioxidant that breaks down acetaldehyde, the toxin that aggravates a hangover. Since NAC is a nutrient supporting the liver[3], it can provide these benefits without adding any additional drowsiness or nausea.

For the best results, NAC should be taken 30 minutes before the first alcoholic drink, and the recommended dose is 200 mg[4]. It is important to note, though, that NAC is harmful to take after drinking, so those who forget to take it before drinking should seek another supplement to aid their hangover.

NAC can also be taken with B vitamins as added hangover prevention, as these two supplements complement each other.


Obtained from Hovenia Dulsis extract, found in the Japanese raisin tree, this supplement aids the liver in metabolizing alcohol quickly. Additionally, it blocks alcohol from impacting the brain’s GABA receptors[5], reducing the hangover feeling.

For this supplement, it is recommended to take 1-2 capsules (300-600 mg) for every three alcoholic drinks. The benefit of this supplement is that it can be taken at any time, before, during, or after alcohol consumption.

Alpha Lipoic Acid (ALA)

ALA is an antioxidant that aids in the body’s production of glutathione and reduces the body’s acetaldehyde toxicity. For the best results, taking 400 mg of ALA before drinking is recommended.

Hangover Relief

The supplements listed above help to relieve a hangover by replenishing lost vitamins, aiding liver metabolism, and producing antioxidants to fight toxicity.

While all of the above supplements can help with a hangover, it is essential to take the supplement at the correct time to see the best results. Most of them work best when taken before drinking as preemptive preparation, but supplements such as Dihydromyricetin offer a great post-drinking solution. Above all, pairing the above supplements with plenty of water can keep you hydrated, easing many of the symptoms of a hangover.


  1. [1] Verster JC, Berthélemy O. Consumer satisfaction and efficacy of the hangover cure after-effect(©). Adv Prev Med. 2012;2012:617942. doi: 10.1155/2012/617942. Epub 2012 Jul 18. PMID: 22852090; PMCID: PMC3407600.
  2. [2] Laufer, E. M., Hartman, T. J., Baer, D. J., Gunter, E. W., Dorgan, J. F., Campbell, W. S., Clevidence, B. A., Brown, E. D., Albanes, D., Judd, J. T., & Taylor, P. R. (2004). Effects of moderate alcohol consumption on folate and vitamin B(12) status in postmenopausal women. European journal of clinical nutrition, 58(11), 1518–1524.
  3. [3] Quintanilla, M., Ezquer, F., Morales, P., Ezquer, M., Olivares, B., & Santapau, D. et al. (2020). N-Acetylcysteine and Acetylsalicylic Acid Inhibit Alcohol Consumption by Different Mechanisms: Combined Protection. Frontiers In Behavioral Neuroscience, 14. doi: 10.3389/fnbeh.2020.00122
  4. [4] Schmitt, B., Vicenzi, M., Garrel, C., & Denis, F. M. (2015). Effects of N-acetylcysteine, oral glutathione (GSH) and a novel sublingual form of GSH on oxidative stress markers: A comparative crossover study. Redox biology, 6, 198–205.
  5. [5] Shen, Y., Lindemeyer, A. K., Gonzalez, C., Shao, X. M., Spigelman, I., Olsen, R. W., & Liang, J. (2012). Dihydromyricetin as a novel anti-alcohol intoxication medication. The Journal of neuroscience : the official journal of the Society for Neuroscience, 32(1), 390–401.
  6. [6] Khanna, S., Atalay, M., Laaksonen, D. E., Gul, M., Roy, S., & Sen, C. K. (1999). Alpha-lipoic acid supplementation: tissue glutathione homeostasis at rest and after exercise. Journal of applied physiology (Bethesda, Md. : 1985), 86(4), 1191–1196.