It’s that moment when you wake up and swear to never drink again. Ever. Because the pain in your head and throughout your whole body is worse than that time your girlfriend made you watch The Notebook. Just. Make. It. Stop. Only three of the ten best-selling energy drink brands have concoctions worthy of your next hangover. To be a valid hangover cure this concoction needs 6 things:
1. Vitamins – Not just any vitamins. Vitamin B5 is like a boy band, nobody needs that shit. What your body REALLY needs after a long night of drinking is vitamins B1, B3, B6, and C. These vitamins are all depleted when your body metabolizes the booze.
2. Minerals/Electrolytes – It’s what plants crave. If you’re hungover, you need magnesium and potassium. These get depleted just like the vitamins.
3. Water – Stay away from carbonated energy drinks. Carbonation irritates the stomach, and odds are your stomach is irritated enough.
4. Milk Thistle – They give that shit to people in the hospital who’ve eaten deadly mushrooms. Milk thistle protects the liver as it tries to process what the hell kind of poisons you just ingested. Unfortunately there’s not enough milk thistle in energy drinks to really do anything, but unlike tequila shots, a little bit is better than nothing.
5. Caffeine – When you’ve got a pounding headache, caffeine narrows the blood vessels, so fewer little men with hammers can get to your brain at once.
6. NAC aka N-acetyl-cystine – Glutathione is like the Batman of liver detoxification, and cysteine is like the Alfred, making sure Batman’s suit and gear are ready for action.
Here are the best energy drinks for hangovers:
First place goes to Rockstar Recovery. Both Recovery Orange and Lemonade favors have B-vitamins, electrolytes, milk thistle, caffeine, and NAC. And they’re non-carbonated. There’s no vitamin C added, but you could always put it in a glass and add an orange slice like it’s a ShockTop.
Second place goes to the Monster Rehab line. There are five different flavors: Tea+Lemon, Raspberry+Tea, Tea+Pink Lemonade, Peach Tea, and Tea+Orangeade. Monster Rehab is non-carbonated and does have electrolytes, caffeine, milk thistle, B-vitamins, and vitamin C (but no NAC). The watch out here is that while Rockstar is juice based, Monster is tea-based. Tea has tannins, and tannins in dark colored alcohol can make a hangover worse. The tea will probably do more harm than good, but if it’s not helping your hangover, try Rockstar Recovery instead.
Third place goes to Arizona, as in Arizona Iced Tea. Arizona has an Arnold Palmer Natural Energy drink. This concoction has magnesium and potassium electrolytes from coconut water, vitamin B6, and milk thistle. Even better, the caffeine comes from green tea.
And of course, they’re best enjoyed with a greasy bacon, egg, and cheese sandwich. Bottoms up!
For more information on energy drinks and their ingredients, visit GreenEyedGuide.com and grab your copy of “Are You a Monster or a Rock Star: A Guide to Energy Drinks – How They Work, Why They Work, How to Use Them Safely” on Amazon.