Many of us tend to celebrate by drinking alcoholic beverages.
But sometimes we end up drinking too much, and experience hangover symptoms the next day.
In Japan, green tea is a traditional home remedy for a hangover.
There is a historic basis for this.
According to a written account in the Azuma Kagami (a historic chronicle from the Kamakura period), the priest Eisai gave green tea to the shogun Minamoto no Sanetomo and it cured his hangover.
There is no cure
Unfortunately, there is no definite proof that green tea is the cure for a hangover.
So far, that cure doesn’t even exist.
This might be because the precise mechanism responsible for hangover symptoms hasn’t been discovered yet.
Many of us think that the problem is dehydration caused by alcohol.
But studies have shown that alcohol consumption doesn’t result in dehydration.
Here’s one such study from 2020.
According to what I’ve read, here are some of the suspected causes for a hangover:
Alcohol is metabolized by the liver into acetaldehyde, a toxic substance and a known carcinogen.
Acetaldehyde isn’t the only thing responsible for a hangover, however.
Among other things, alcohol consumption disrupts our sleep, the hormones that regulate our biological clocks, and it can also trigger migraines.
It’s a complex interaction of many elements at the same time.
How green tea might help
Water is necessary for the correct function of the liver, so being hydrated is always a good idea.
Green tea can do the job as well, since it’s about 98% water.
The best way to avoid hangover symptoms is by drinking less alcohol in the first place.
If you drink water as well as alcohol, you pace yourself so that the total alcohol content is less than if you just drank an alcoholic beverage.
Personally, I find that drinking water is sort of boring. I would rather drink green tea.
When I’ve been drinking with friends, I have tried drinking iced green tea and it definitely helped me to avoid a hangover.
Also, I’ve noticed that drinking plenty of green tea (or water) the day that I consume alcohol, before I go to bed (even if I don’t feel like it), helps a lot.
That is much more effective than drinking it the next morning when you are already feeling ill.
Randomised double-blind placebo-controlled intervention study on the nutritional efficacy of a food for special medical purposes (FSMP) and a dietary supplement in reducing the symptoms of veisalgia
Acute biochemical responses to moderate beer drinking
Interventions for preventing or treating alcohol hangover: systematic review of randomized controlled trials
Unknown safety and efficacy of alcohol hangover treatments puts consumers at risk