Your Hangover Is Probably Going to Be Worse If You’re Vegan, Study Says

Vegans might have a healthier heart and awesome poops, but lesser zinc and nicotinic acid in their diet means their hangover hell can be worse.
Mumbai, India
January 2, 2020, 8:24am
study says vegans have worse hangovers
Photo: Alexas_Fotos / Pixabay 

As we fall headfirst into a new decade, we do so with the resolution to do better, be better and eat better so we can also have a healthier 2020. But if one of your resolutions was to give up meat this #Veganuary, you may want to add another one of staying sober because a new study says that vegans and vegetarians have it way worse when it comes to hangover hell.

In a new report published in the Journal of Clinical Medicine, researchers at Utrecht University in the Netherlands analysed the after-effects of drinking alcohol in 13 social drinkers, and came to the conclusion that those who have a meat-free diet are deprived of two key anti-hangover ingredients.

The study kept tabs on 23 hangover signs and symptoms, including headaches, nausea, heart palpitations, vomiting, dizziness, sweating, sensitivity to light, sound and thirst, while noting down everything the respondent ate or drank during their booze binge. It ultimately concluded that participants who lacked nicotinic acid, otherwise known as Vitamin B3, and zinc in their diets had more severe hangover effects. It further connected the dots that since B3 is mainly found in meat, shellfish and legumes, and zinc is prevalent mostly in meat, poultry and seafood, it was those who abstain from these foods, aka vegans or vegetarians, who’re more likely to have a bad hangover.

"Nicotinic acid and Zinc are required to break ethanol, which is alcohol, down into acetaldehyde”, Rabia De LaTour, MD, gastroenterologist and assistant professor of medicine at NYU Langone Health told The New York Post. “You need these two nutrients to digest alcohol. It makes sense that if you're lacking in it, you would experience a worse hangover.”

However, LaTour also points out that since other factors like genetics and total food intake also matter, ingesting supplementary pills that contain zinc or B3 are not the best idea to avoid a throbbing headache or sick stomach the day after drinking. She also warns that the study mentioned above shouldn’t be taken too seriously due to its small sample size and that a lot more research is required on this end.

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