*Disclaimer: The written article is based on a summary of existing scientific literature on the topic of infrared saunas. The article is for educational purposes and the information provided below cannot be taken as a promise to help with acute health problems or diseases.
The claims in the article are backed by 33 scientific references. All references are numbered. You can access the text of the reference by clicking on the number.
The science is pretty clear: becoming anxious is a hideous side-effect of hangovers - although the science mostly focuses on proxies of anxiety such as "tiredness", "low mood", etcetera (1; 2; 3; 4; 5).
Even though the topic hasn't been studied in extreme detail my modern medicine, it's still possible to connect some dots in the currently published scientific literature. For instance, while speculative, it's highly likely that reducing the intensity of the hangover also decreases the symptoms of that same hangover.
Anxiety, of course, is only one symptom of a hangover. And yet, anxiety is a very important one!
The goal of this blog post is to give you three simple steps to reduce your hangover intensity:
These steps are:
- Consuming adequate nutrients that are proven to affect hangover intensity.
- Adequate but not excess hydration - ideally from clean water sources
- Detoxing and relaxing with an infrared sauna!
Ready to learn how these tips flesh out?
How To Get Rid Of Anxiety Hangover Tip 1: Consume Foods Or Supplements High In Nutrients
Online you'll see tons of different ingredients advertised with the goal of lowering hangovers. For instance, people might recommend turmeric, theanine, ginger root, milk thistle, and many more ingredients.
But, what if you wanted to simplify an anti-hangover routine, and just stick to the basics? The Pareto 80-20 principle - meaning that 80% of the results commonly stem from 20% of the time investment - probably rules here as well (6)!
So, let's introduce you to the most important nutrients to get rid of that irritating hangover:
A. Cysteine-Rich Foods (Or Supplements!)
Most people have never heard about "cysteine". That's not a problem though because cysteine is an "amino acid" - a building block of protein. Different foods have different amino acid profiles, and different amino acids have different biological effects on your body (7; 8).
In other words, different foods such as meats, eggs, beans, grains, vegetables, dairy, and fruits, all have different amino acid profiles.
Let's change topics though before I dig deeper into cysteine:
Now, it's been known for a very long time that alcohol has an effect on liver function (9; 10; 11). The liver is the main organ involved in detoxing alcohol, even though the entire process is much more complex than just an isolated story about liver function.
What is known, moreover, is that cysteine plays a major role in both overall liver function as well as detoxification and the prevention of liver damage (12; 13; 14; 15). And while most of these effects have been demonstrated in animal studies, the compound is used in medicine as well before surgery or to prevent damage after a patient has overdosed (16; 17).
So what are some foods high in cysteine? Different meats, fish, lentils, oatmeal and eggs score best (18).
Including these foods can thus help you recover quicker from a hangover! If you want to supplement, include some N-acetyl-cysteine (NAC) in your supplemental regime! NAC is pretty cheap and highly effective!
B. Eat Foods High In B Vitamins Or Supplement!
Next up, B vitamins. The topic of B vitamins is extremely complex because there's a wide range of B vitamins found in different foods. One food that's high in vitamin B5 might not be high in B12, and vice versa.
Nevertheless, it's reasonable to assume that some vitamins like vitamin B1, B9, and B12 are especially hard hit by drinking (19; 20; 21; 22; 23).
The most important recommendation I have for you is to consume high-quality, preferably organic, whole foods. Leavy vegetables, some fruits, lean meats, shellfish, eggs, and other foods all play a role in preventing nutritional deficiencies.
If you don't commonly consume sufficient quantities of these nutrients then supplement with a high-quality B vitamin product, such as Jarrow B-Right or Thorne Basic B Complex. In terms of foods, organ meats and eggs are especially high in full-spectrum B vitamins!
Nevertheless, if you do choose to drink then using a high-quality B-vitamin almost certainly helps because of the increased nutritional demands placed on your body.
C. Glutathione Supplement
Let me take a quick detour before talking about a "glutathione supplement":
Drinking increases what is called "oxidative damage" and depletes compounds that counter that oxidative damage called "antioxidants" (24; 25).
Oxidative damage by free radicals is normally a byproduct of energy production in your body's cells. If you drink, however, especially until you arrive at a hangover, the levels of protective antioxidants will go down. The amount of oxidative damage thus increases. Increased antioxidative damage can lead to quicker ageing, for instance.
You can, however, support your body by supplementing "glutathione". Glutathione is aptly called the "master antioxidant" of the human body - its levels are also affected by alcohol consumption (26; 27).
Supplementing with a high-quality glutathione supplement can help your hangover tremendously, and therefore also anxiety associated with hangovers! In fact, glutathione has been called the "hangover cure" by many! You can find many testimonials online of people who swear by supplementing with glutathione...
Let's move to the second tip - a common sense one:
How To Get Rid Of Anxiety From A Hangover Tip 2: Hydrate
Your mom was right! If you've got a hangover, make sure you're consuming sufficient levels of water!
Simple: your body needs water to remove alcohol from the body. Simply put, alcohol dehydrates your body (28; 29; 30). The goal, then, is to supply your body with high-quality water to support re-hydration.
Some forms of alcohol, such as vodka or tequila, contain very little water on their own - these are usually beverages with a higher alcohol percentage. If you're drinking alcoholic drinks that contain very little water and tons of alcohol, drinking lots of water becomes more important to reduce the effects of your hangover.
The solution? Add some spring water from a trusted source, or reverse osmosis water with minerals added back in. If you don't understand the latter principle, then go for high-quality spring water instead.
In many places on this planet, tap water is simply not your best option. Tap water can be highly contaminated and will add to the toxin load of your body, which's already high by alcohol consumption. Therefore: keep a litre of some high-quality spring water near your bed when you're coming home and aid your body's detoxification process!
Not only drink ample water on the night you're drinking but also the next day. The detoxification process of drinking doesn't stop after your last glass: it's probably only just kickstarting then, running into the next day!
How To Get Rid Of Anxiety When You've Got A Hangover Tip 3: Relax In A Sauna
Normally, at Clearlight Infrared Saunas International®, I recommend taking a sauna until you heat up and start sweating profusely.
However, in case of a hangover, and you're asking "how to get rid of anxiety when you've got a hangover", the answer will be slightly different. In this circumstance, I recommend going really easy on the body.
You'll want to maximize sweating but not to the point of discomfort.
There's a simple reason why:
Your body is already stressed from the hangover! If you engage in an intense infrared sauna session, you'll add stress on top of stress.
And here's the real shocker:
How do I know that sitting inside an infrared sauna - and therefore sweating - helps your body recover quicker? Easy: studies show that through sweating, your skin actually expels alcohol (31; 32; 33).
Excreting alcohol through your sweat also increases after most of the alcohol has been taken up. It's therefore reasonable to assume that sweating also helps you recover after a night of drinking, as it's one of the body's main means of getting rid of this toxin.
While underrated and few people around the world know about this third tip, a light infrared sauna session will work wonders!
Conclusion: Support Health And Sweat In An Infrared Sauna For Quicker Recovery
Did you drink a lot last night? And are you asking about "how to get rid of hangover anxiety?" Well, I've just given you three great tips:
- Ensure you're eating cysteine-rich foods, which entail unprocessed whole foods specifically, and eggs and liver particularly
- Consume foods high in B vitamins, and supplement if necessary
- Increase the removal of alcohol through your skin using an infrared sauna
Unfortunately, a lot more research is needed on many of these topics right now. But, the currently available research, and especially people already using these strategies, are very promising.
In Finnish culture, where drinking alcohol is very common, saunas are used as a mean to reduce the intensity of hangovers, for instance. And yet, I think the very gentle and relaxing infrared saunas we offer can massively improve the benefits you get. With an infrared sauna you do get the heavy sweating, and therefore the detoxification, without the stress response. So sitting in a very hot and humid traditional sauna can create further stress in your body, added on top of the hangover stress - that risk is dramatically lowered in an infrared sauna!
So, even though the science is not yet 100% clear, it's probably best to spend 10-15 minutes sweating in an infrared sauna, cool down, sweat some more, and call it an easy day. Don't go overboard!