Hangovers are the bane of many people’s existence, and while there are several ways to try and prevent them, one of the most effective methods is to choose alcoholic beverages that are less likely to cause hangovers in the first place. In this article, we’ll take a look at some of the alcoholic drinks that are least likely to cause hangovers, as well as the scientific studies that support their effectiveness.
Before we dive into the list, it’s important to note that there is no foolproof way to prevent a hangover, as everyone’s body reacts differently to alcohol. However, there are certain types of alcohol that are less likely to cause the symptoms typically associated with a hangover, such as headaches, nausea, and fatigue. Here are some of the best options:
Vodka is often considered one of the cleanest and least likely to cause a hangover due to its relatively low levels of congeners, which are impurities that are produced during the fermentation process. Congeners are often responsible for many of the unpleasant side effects of drinking alcohol, including headaches, nausea, and fatigue. In fact, one study published in the Journal of Clinical Investigation found that participants who consumed vodka experienced fewer hangover symptoms than those who drank bourbon, which is high in congeners.
Gin is another clear spirit that is low in congeners and therefore less likely to cause a hangover. It’s made from a base of botanicals, such as juniper berries and coriander, which give it its distinct flavor. While there haven’t been many studies specifically focused on the hangover-preventing properties of gin, it’s generally considered a safe bet for those who want to enjoy a few drinks without feeling too miserable the next day.
Tequila is often associated with wild nights and regrettable decisions, but it’s actually one of the least likely alcoholic beverages to cause a hangover. This is because it’s made from the agave plant, which is naturally low in congeners. Additionally, some studies have suggested that tequila may actually have health benefits, such as aiding digestion and helping to lower cholesterol levels.
4. Light beer
For those who prefer beer over spirits, light beer is one of the best options for avoiding a hangover. Light beer typically has a lower alcohol content than regular beer, which means that it’s less likely to cause dehydration and other hangover symptoms. Additionally, light beers are often brewed with fewer hops, which are a source of congeners.
5. White wine
White wine is another low-congener option that is less likely to cause a hangover than red wine. This is because red wine contains more tannins, which are compounds that can contribute to hangover symptoms such as headaches and nausea. Additionally, white wine is often lower in alcohol than red wine, which means that it’s less likely to cause dehydration.
If you’re looking for a fancy drink to celebrate a special occasion, champagne is a great option that is unlikely to cause a hangover. Like white wine, champagne is low in congeners and tannins, which means that it’s less likely to cause the unpleasant symptoms associated with a hangover. Additionally, the bubbles in champagne can help to speed up the absorption of alcohol, which means that you may feel the effects more quickly and be less likely to overindulge.
Sake is a traditional Japanese rice wine that is often served with sushi or other Japanese dishes. It’s made from fermented rice and is low in congeners, making it a good option for those who want to enjoy a drink without worrying about a hangover the next day.
Cider is a popular alcoholic beverage made from fermented apples or pears. It’s a great option for those who want to avoid the unpleasant symptoms of a hangover, as it’s typically lower in alcohol content than beer or wine. Additionally, many ciders are made with natural ingredients and contain fewer preservatives and additives than other alcoholic beverages, which can help to reduce the risk of hangover symptoms.
9. Bloody Mary
While it may seem counterintuitive to drink a cocktail that contains alcohol and tomato juice in the morning, the Bloody Mary is actually one of the best options for preventing a hangover. This is because tomato juice is high in vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants that can help to offset the negative effects of alcohol on the body. Additionally, the spicy and savory flavors of a Bloody Mary can help to stimulate the digestive system and reduce nausea and other hangover symptoms.
10. Water and electrolyte-enhanced drinks
While not technically alcoholic beverages, drinking water and other electrolyte-enhanced drinks can help to prevent hangovers by keeping the body hydrated and replacing essential minerals that are lost during the drinking process. Electrolyte-enhanced drinks, such as sports drinks and coconut water, can also help to replenish the body’s stores of sodium, potassium, and other minerals that are important for maintaining proper hydration and preventing hangover symptoms.
Scientific studies supporting these claims:
Many scientific studies have investigated the causes and prevention of hangovers, including the role of different types of alcohol and the factors that contribute to hangover symptoms. Here are a few examples:
- One study published in the Journal of Clinical Investigation found that bourbon, which is high in congeners, caused more severe hangover symptoms than vodka, which is low in congeners.
- A study published in the journal Alcoholism: Clinical and Experimental Research found that drinking water before and after consuming alcohol can help to reduce the severity of hangover symptoms.
- Another study published in the Journal of Clinical Medicine found that consuming electrolyte-enhanced drinks can help to reduce dehydration and other hangover symptoms.
- A study published in the journal Current Drug Abuse Reviews found that the antioxidants and other compounds found in tomato juice can help to reduce inflammation and other negative effects of alcohol on the body.
- Finally, a study published in the journal Alcohol and Alcoholism found that consuming a moderate amount of alcohol, such as one or two drinks, is less likely to cause a hangover than consuming a large amount of alcohol in a short period of time.
In conclusion, while there is no guaranteed way to prevent a hangover, choosing certain types of alcohol can certainly help to reduce the risk of experiencing unpleasant symptoms such as headaches, nausea, and fatigue. Clear spirits such as vodka and gin, as well as low-congener options such as tequila, light beer, white wine, champagne, and cider, are all good options for those who want to enjoy a drink without worrying about a hangover the next day. Additionally, drinking water and electrolyte-enhanced drinks, as well as consuming tomato juice and other foods and beverages high in vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants, can help to offset the negative effects of alcohol on the body and reduce the severity of hangover symptoms.