Vitamin B12 plays a key role in the functioning of the brain and nervous system. It can boost your mood and energy and strengthen your immunity, but it also has another unexpected benefit—it can be used as a hangover remedy.
Keep on reading to find out how.
What Is Vitamin B12
Cyanocobalamin, commonly known as vitamin B12 is one of the eight B vitamins. It is indispensable for many essential functions in the human body, from keeping red blood cells and the central nervous system healthy to metabolizing food into energy and helping synthesize DNA.
Some of the health benefits of the vitamin B12 include:
- Reducing anxiety and depression
- Improving feelings of wellbeing
- Regulating your moods
- Improving short-term memory
- Supporting bone health, and
- Enhancing immunity.
If your body doesn't have enough vitamin B12, you are at risk of deficiency. The most common vitamin B12 deficiency symptoms are:
- Loss of appetite
- Weight loss
- Numbness and tingling in the hands and feet
- Soreness of the mouth or tongue
- A pale yellow tinge to your skin
- Difficulty maintaining balance
- Disturbed vision
- Poor short-term memory.
A severe vitamin B12 deficiency can cause megaloblastic anemia, also known as vitamin B12 deficiency anemia where red blood cells are not produced properly and are larger than normal. As a consequence, they are not able to deliver enough oxygen into the bloodstream. Fortunately, this condition is very rare.
Alcohol effects on vitamin B12 deficiency
Regular alcohol consumption is an established risk factor in vitamin B12 deficiency. Consuming alcoholic drinks may negatively impact your vitamin B12 levels in several ways:
Impair vitamin B12 absorption
Alcohol damages the mucosal lining of the stomach and intestines. It may lead to a condition called gastritis—the inflammation of the stomach lining—that contributes to reduced absorption of vitamin B12 from the food you eat.
What’s more, alcohol also prevents nutrients from being fully absorbed by your body and stimulates the growth of intestinal bacteria that use vitamin B12, thus reducing even further the available amounts of this essential vitamin.
Deplete vitamin B12 storage
Vitamin B12 is water-soluble, however, unlike other water-soluble vitamins, it is stored in the body for several months before it gets flushed out. Both moderate and heavy alcohol consumption can drain your body's stores of vitamin B12. The sudden depletion of vitamin B12 may also be the cause of the fatigue, dizziness, and brain fog you experience the morning after drinking.
Promotes poor nutrition
Because alcohol suppresses hunger, heavy drinkers tend to have poor nutrition and often don’t consume enough essential nutrients such as vitamin B12. Moderate drinkers are at a somewhat lesser risk of nutritional deficiencies.
Let's have a closer look at how vitamin B12 can be used as a hangover cure.
Is Vitamin B12 Good For Hangovers?
The only reliable hangover cure is limiting alcohol intake in the first place. Nonetheless, taking vitamin B12 supplements before and after drinking alcohol may help replenish the amount of this essential nutrient in your body and allow it to recover faster from hangover symptoms.
Is It Better to Take Vitamin B12 in the Morning or at Night for Hangovers?
There is no clinical evidence that shows a significant difference between taking vitamin B12 for hangovers in the morning or at night. In other words, you can take vitamin B12 at any time that you find convenient.
However, some research suggests that early morning might be the optimal time for taking vitamin B12 because water-soluble vitamins must be taken on an empty stomach. Besides, due to its natural ability to boost energy and reduce stress levels, vitamin B12 might be more beneficial if taken as you're starting the day. Just make sure to avoid caffeine for at least an hour after taking supplements as it can inhibit efficient absorption of the vitamin.
Besides, taking vitamin B12 right before bed can have a negative impact on your sleep due to potential side effects such as headache, anxiety, nausea, and vomiting. But given that these side effects are very rare, taking vitamin B12 at bedtime should be fine unless sleep disruption becomes a persistent symptom after taking supplements.
Although there are several ways to increase your vitamin B12 intake such as oral supplements and vitamin shots, intravenous therapy is the most effective option. Here’s why.
Using IV Therapy to Take Vitamin B12
IV therapy is one of the fastest ways to combat common hangover symptoms such as dehydration and headaches. Vitamin B12 and other nutrients are delivered directly into your bloodstream with a 100% absorption rate. This means that, unlike oral supplements, the nutrient becomes immediately available for use in your cells to help you feel better as quickly as possible.
IV infusions contain a number of different ingredients combined in a sterile saline solution, depending on your specific health goals. Reset IV offers a range of hangover packages that consist of special blends of hydrating fluids, vitamins, antioxidants, and anti-nausea and anti-heartburn medication to help you recover from a night of drinking:
- The Hydration package is based on a normal saline solution—a mixture of water and sodium chloride—that helps restore a healthy balance of fluid and electrolytes in your body while at the same time boosting your energy levels.
- The Still Spinning package consists of electrolytes and your choice of anti-heartburn medication to help with acid reflux symptoms, nausea medication to calm your stomach, or pain relief medication to help get rid of headaches.
- The Pre Game package is made of normal saline solution that recharges the fluids necessary for normal body function, in addition to a B-vitamin complex to replenish all the nutrients you lost while drinking.
- The Baller package offers a choice of anti-nausea and pain relief, anti-heartburn medications, and multivitamin cocktails.
- The DEFCON 1 package contains normal saline solution, electrolytes, and your choice of anti-nausea, anti-heartburn, and pain relief meds.
Our IV bags for hangover will detox and rehydrate your body, restore nutrients lost after drinking, and cleanse your system so that you’ll be back to feeling your normal self in no time. We also provide custom blends and add-ons to address your specific needs. Vitamin B12 add-on can be included in any of our hangover cures.
Supplementation is not the only way to incorporate B12 into your routine. This vitamin is abundant in many types of food sources and you should be able to get most of the recommended daily amount by eating a varied and balanced diet.
Food Sources for Vitamin B12
Vitamin B12 is found in high concentrations in animal products such as meat, fish, oysters, shellfish, eggs, and dairy products. As it is not naturally present in fruit, vegetables, and grains, vegans may not get sufficient amounts of vitamin B12 in their diet. That is why fortified cereals and grains can be good sources of this vitamin for anyone following plant-based diets.
The recommended daily allowance (RDA) of vitamin B12 is around 2.4 micrograms a day for adults. Taking up to 25 micrograms of vitamin B12 supplements per day is usually safe and unlikely to cause you any harm. There’s not enough evidence to show the possible negative effects of taking high doses of vitamin B12.