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Tiktokers Say Asparagus Can Cure a Hangover. Is That True?

Tray of asparagus.

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Key Takeaways

  • One video on TikTok points to asparagus as a natural way to prevent or cure your hangover from drinking too much alcohol.
  • The research backing up this claim is weak.
  • There are other steps you can take to prevent a hangover like staying hydrated, staying away from darker drinks, and cutting down on the amount you drink.

No one wants to feel dehydrated and fatigued after a night of drinking. That's where popular hangover cures come in, whether it's taking painkillers or drinking water. The latest remedy wants you to turn to a natural solution: asparagus.

One TikTok video went viral after claiming that eating asparagus before drinking alcohol can help curb some of those pesky side effects you might nurse the following morning.

But research to support this is lacking. Taking shots with a side of asparagus might not actually do much for you the next day. However, there is one tried and true method: drinking less.

"Regardless of the potential hangover cures you may read about, what we do know is that the less amount of alcohol you consume, the less amount of alcohol-related hangover symptoms your body will endure," Tracy Lockwood Beckerman, registered dietitian and author of “The Better Period Food Solution,” tells Verywell.

Can Eating Asparagus Combat a Hangover?

There is some limited data suggesting that eating asparagus might help combat hangover symptoms and reduce oxidative stress—a negative effect that can occur with alcohol consumption.

According to a 2009 study, asparagus contains amino acids and minerals that specifically protect liver cells from toxins and helps alleviate hangover symptoms.

But, when comparing samples of asparagus leaves or shoots extracted by using boiling water, the leaves, a part of the asparagus that isn’t often consumed, contained levels of beneficial amino acids in quantities that were several folds higher than what was found in the young shoots.

Researchers found the same discrepancy when evaluating the levels of several inorganic minerals, proteins, and carbohydrates.

It is also important to note that this was one study conducted over 10 years ago and it was not conducted as a clinical trial with humans as subjects.

The researchers did not indicate how many stalks or leaves of asparagus are needed in order to experience a positive effect. In other words, these results come with several caveats.

What This Means For You

If you want to curb a hangover after a night of drinking, try hydrating before going to bed. It's important to drink plenty of water to keep from dehydrating. You can also avoid darker alcohols like whiskey that tend to cause worse hangover symptoms.

How to Combat A Hangover

Eating asparagus certainly won’t hurt you, especially considering that only one in 10 Americans are eating enough fruits and vegetables. But whether they will actually make you feel refreshed after a night of drinking remains questionable at best. 

To help avoid a hangover, you can try these proven tips instead:

  • Avoid darker alcohols (like whiskey), which contain congeners, a by-product of the alcohol fermentation process. Drinking certain congeners can lead to hangover symptoms.
  • Drink non-alcoholic fluids before you go to sleep. Alcohol is a diuretic, and dehydration can exacerbate your symptoms.
  • Eat. Alcohol is absorbed more slowly when you have food in your stomach.
  • Take prickly pear extract before you start drinking. The evidence is limited, but it's better than the evidence for asparagus.
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Article Sources
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  1. Kim B-Y, Cui Z-G, Lee S-R, et al. Effects of Asparagus officinalis extracts on liver cell toxicity and ethanol metabolism. J Food Sci. 2009 Sep;74(7):H204-8. doi:10.1111/j.1750-3841.2009.01263.x

  2. Center for Disease Control and Prevention. Only 1 in 10 adults get enough fruits and vegetables. Updated February 16, 2021.

  3. Palmer E, Tyacke R, Sastre M, Lingford-Hughes A, Nutt D, Ward RJ. Alcohol hangover: underlying biochemical, inflammatory and neurochemical mechanisms. Alcohol Alcohol. 2019;54(3):196-203. doi:10.1093/alcalc/agz016

  4. Wiese J, McPherson S, Odden MC, Shlipak MG. Effect of Opuntia ficus indica on symptoms of the alcohol hangover. Arch Intern Med. 2004;164(12):1334. doi:10.1001/archinte.164.12.1334