Hangover Remedies Flood Market

There are currently 32 alleged hangover remedies being sold in the U.S. Chaser, Rebound, and similar brands are widely advertised and sales are growing rapidly. Most products are made of so-called natural substances and escape regulation by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Therefore consumers have no guarantee as to the purity, contents, strength, or quality of these products.

But more important is the fact that these products have not been able to demonstrate that they actually prevent or even reduce hangovers. This is clearly a case of buyer beware.


To abstain:

  • You don't have to take a drink just because it's offered to you.
  • You can "lose" unwanted drinks that are given to you. For example, set them down and later walk away.
  • Stay away from people who give you a hard time about not drinking as much as they do.
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To drink in moderation:

  • A good general guideline for most people is to limit
    consumption of alcohol beverages to one drink (beer, wine or spirits) per hour.
  • Sip your drink. If you gulp a drink, you lose the pleasure of savoring its flavors and aromas.
  • Don't participate in "chugging" contests or other drinking games.
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Another serious problem with these alleged hangover remedies is that they may encourage people to drink more than they should. Excessive alcohol consumption is harmful to health and is often associated with undesirable social outcomes. Think of a hangover as nature’s way of telling us that we consumed too much.

The search for hangover cures isn’t new. The ancient Greeks thought that eating cabbage would cure a hangover and the ancient Romans thought that eating fried canaries would do the same. Today, some Germans eat a breakfast of red meat and bananas, some French drink strong coffee with salt, some Chinese drink spinach tea, some Puerto Ricans rub half a lemon under their drinking arm, some Haitians stick 13 black-headed needles into the cork of the bottle from which they drank, and some Russians drink vodka in an effort to cure hangovers. None of these "cures" is effective either.

The best advice is to either abstain or drink in moderation.


  • Horovitz, Bruce. 32 hangover remedies offer to halt that headache. USA Today (Money, Section B), December 30, 2004; Cottom, Abby. Personal communication. November 30, 1998; O'Hara, C.B. The Bloody Mary. New York: Lyons Press, 1999, p. 11; Hangover remedies. Top Health: The Health Promotion and Wellness Newsletter, 2000 (December), p. 262.