Is drinking Gatorade after a night of drinking an effective method for preventing hangovers?

A Forbes article claims:

You not only lose water when you booze, you also dump electrolytes. These salts and other minerals keep your body functioning properly. Sports drinks like Gatorade help replenish these reserves.

  • 2
    How is this question "unclear"? This is a claim I've personally heard many times over the years.
    – GHP
    Jun 9, 2015 at 13:02
  • What is unclear about the question? I can update to be more clear if needed Jun 9, 2015 at 14:41
  • 4
    Drinking any non-alcoholic liquid before going to bed reduces hangover. Many hangover symptoms are simply dehydration.
    – Philipp
    Jun 9, 2015 at 14:57
  • Skeptics requires a Notable Claim to be skeptical of. Though I am pretty sure this question has been addressed in past questions.
    – Chad
    Jun 9, 2015 at 18:08
  • 5
    forbes.com/2006/12/12/… notable claim on a reputable website, stating that gatorade helps prevent hangover, so unless this is a dupe i think were safe to reopen.
    – Himarm
    Jun 9, 2015 at 20:29

1 Answer 1


Regarding Gatorade efficacy on hangover effects, there are comments from Dr. Seymour Diamond and Dr. Jeanmarie Perrone that it might be useful for rehydration due to its balanced electrolyte content. However Dr. Jeanmarie Perrone cautions about the placebo effect in beliefs relating Gatorade as a hangover cure since it is not proven with evidence.

"If it was a proven hangover remedy, then I think we would have more evidence to suggest it was the answer," she said. "I think believing that Gatorade is going to help you or believing that Pedialyte will help you will probably help you as much as the sugar and salt would help," she said. "There's a good solid placebo effect to anything that anyone takes in this regard."

A hangover develops when blood alcohol concentration (BAC) returns to zero after a bout of heavy alcohol drinking and is characterized by a mixture of unpleasant physical (lightheadedness, nausea, increased cardiac work with normal peripheral resistance, diffuse slowing on electroencephalography, and increased levels of antidiuretic hormone), nervous system activity by impaired memory/visual-spatial skills and mental symptoms-impaired memory retrieval processes. There is empirical evidence for showing that impaired performance is a result of the alcohol hangover.

Symptoms of hangover seem to be caused by hormonal alterations Antonino Bianco 2014, dysregulated cytokine pathways Dai-Jin Kim, 2003, and toxic side effects such as dehydration Eriksson CJ, 2001.

Hangover symptoms are worst at a time when almost all ethanol and its metabolite acetaldehyde have been cleared from the blood, and peak blood ethanol or acetaldehyde levels are not related to the severity of hangover Ylikahri RH 1976. Congeners–complex organic molecules such as polyphenols, higher alcohols including methanol, and histamine, which occur in varying amounts in ethanolic drinks are probably more to blame than ethanol. The severity of hangover symptoms declined in the order of brandy, red wine, rum, whisky, white wine, gin, vodka, and pure ethanol G. L. S. Pawan, 1973.

Blinding, i.e. preventing participants from knowing which is the hangover or placebo test day, is especially difficult in alcohol hangover research. Considerable amounts of alcohol (> 1.0 g/kg) need to be consumed to produce a hangover. Alcohol intoxication and its after-effects are impossible to mimic by a placebo condition. Hence, participants can easily recognize the hangover and placebo condition. Alcohol (hangover) expectancies may thus affect performance. Joris C. Verster, 2008

A new scale, the Hangover Symptoms Scale (HSS) has been developed by researchers, which is used as a standard measure of hangover symptoms that cleanly taps the physiologic and subjective effects commonly experienced the morning after drinking. Higher scores on the HSS were positively and significantly associated with drinking frequency and the typical quantity of alcohol consumed when drinking, a personal history of alcohol-related problems, and a family history of alcohol-related problems. Wendy S. Slutske, 2006

Effective interventions per animal studies for hang over symptoms include prostaglandin inhibitors Khan MA 1973, and vitamin B6 Verster JC 2010. Animal studies have shown that dihydromyricetin (DHM), a flavonoid component from Hovenia, is highly effective in counteracting acute EtOH intoxication, EtOH exposure/withdrawal-induced GABAAR plasticity and AWS symptoms, as well as reducing excessive EtOH consumption. Yi Shen, 2012

No compelling evidence exists to suggest that any conventional or complementary intervention is effective for preventing or treating alcohol hangover. The most effective way to avoid the symptoms of alcohol induced hangover is to practise abstinence or moderation. Max H Pittler,2005

Gatorade contains oral sucrose which has been reported with increased rate of alcohol removal from blood Soterakis J, 1975. However, more hang over research is needed to make sure that it was the effect of the sugars and not other variables that reduced the alcohol content in the blood in a larger randomized population since the small number (n=8 of total participants) and the type (alcoholic male participants) had an effect on these findings.

Screening for hangover severity and frequency may help early detection of alcohol dependency and substantially improve quality of life.

  • 7
    Is this an answer? It doesn't show any evidence that Gatorade has been tested.
    – Oddthinking
    Jun 23, 2015 at 9:56

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