Wine and Wellness: A Winemaker’s Evidence-Based Approach to Hangover Prevention

As someone who makes wine for a living and who enjoys trying wines from around the world (daily), I’ve become quite familiar with the unpleasant feeling of a hangover. Or at least I used to be. There’s many mornings where I’ve sampled more wine before breakfast than you’ll have during a long weekend of wine tasting so I’ve been forced to learn the science of hangovers – or at least understand what little we actually think we know about it. It doesn’t seem like there is a reliable way to get over them, but the combination below seems to help prevent them – for me. (none of the things below claim they can cure or prevent hangovers)

It’s seems to be a complex mix of congeners (a byproduct of fermentation) and your bodies physical response that causes most hangovers. If the pandemic has taught us anything, it’s that our bodies all react differently to the same situation – so what might cause a hangover in you might not for me. Your allergies, gut biome, and general health are different than mine.

Over time, I’ve experimented with various methods and products to help my body process alcohol more effectively and prevent hangovers. In this post I will be sharing the things I personally use and the basic science or theory behind it. Everything I am sharing is over the counter and I’ve included Amazon links, but please make sure it’s right for you with your doctor.

Some of these things will prevent you from feeling as intoxicated as you actually are, that means that you probably wont say something more embarrassing than when you’re sober…but your BAC will still be over the limit. Don’t drink and drive.


Available here :
ZBiotics Coupon CODE : RAYMOND
Dose : One Bottle, pre-drinking

This is my favorite stuff, (check the Zbiotics website for the in depth science) and it seems to make the biggest difference for me. It’s also a pretty geeky and novel approach, and I love that.

It is a probiotic supplement, a half ounce near tasteless (water with a splash of citrus) liquid drink, that contains a modified strain of bacteria that produces an enzyme that breaks down acetaldehyde. Acetaldehyde is thought to be a main substance responsible for many of those morning after symptoms, sort of. Basically the acetaldehyde isn’t great for you and can cause increased cytokine response – which can cause headaches, chills, fatigue, nausea, and stomach upset.

When ZBiotics is consumed before drinking alcohol the probiotic will begin to produce the ADH2 enzyme in your gut, which will then help break down the acetaldehyde. Basically the probiotic processes the alcohol before it gets to your liver.

ZBiotics is designed to be taken as a dietary supplement before drinking alcohol. The recommended dose is drink per day, and it lasts 16 hours!


Available here: Amazon Link
My Dose: 1 pill (300mg) every 3 drinks.

DHM is the main ingriedient in a very popular hangover helper, “Cheers Restore.” But why spend a ton of money when you can get it cheaper by itself. DHM, or dihydromyricetin, is a natural compound found in the bark and leaves of the Japanese raisin tree. It has been used for centuries in traditional Chinese medicine as a remedy for various ailments, including hangovers. Recently, DHM has gained popularity as a natural supplement that can help prevent and alleviate the symptoms of hangovers.
In multiple studies it has shown to trigger the liver to produce more enzymes used in the processing of alchohol, boosts the efficiency of ADH and ALDH, reduced the lipid fat acculumation, and significantly reduced inflammatory agents, called cytokines. So basically it does all the things. 

Read this article on the USC website for more details here :

“We now know what [DHM] is doing and how it’s doing it mechanically, activating a cascade of energy-regulating mechanisms that speed metabolism of ethanol and its byproducts,” – Joshua Silva, a doctoral student at the USC School of Pharmacy and study co-author

Available here : Amazon Link
My Dose: 2-3 Capsules, 15 minutes before drinking and 2-3 more after a few hours. And 2-3 before going to bed.

The link to the one above is my favorite complex vitamin, I’ve used it for years. It’s like $25 for 276 pills, so it’s cost effective.

B vitamins are a group of water-soluble vitamins that are essential for many bodily functions, including energy production, metabolism, and nervous system function. The B-complex includes eight vitamins: thiamin (B1), riboflavin (B2), niacin (B3), pyridoxine (B6), biotin (B7), folic acid (B9), and cobalamin (B12). Each of these vitamins plays a unique role in the body, but they all work together to support overall health.


When we drink alcohol, our body uses up its stores of B vitamins to break down the alcohol. This can result in a deficiency in processing, which can cause symptoms such as fatigue, weakness, dizziness, and headaches – all of which are common hangover symptoms. By taking a complex B vitamin supplement before and after drinking, you can replenish your body’s stores of these important nutrients and reduce the severity of hangover symptoms.

But that’s not all – complex B vitamins can also help slow down the process of getting drunk. When we drink alcohol, our liver breaks it down into acetaldehyde, a toxic substance that can damage cells and cause inflammation. B vitamins, particularly thiamin, riboflavin, and pyridoxine, play a role in the metabolism of alcohol and can help reduce the amount of acetaldehyde that is produced. This means that by taking a complex B vitamin supplement before drinking, you may be able to slow down the rate at which you get drunk and reduce the overall amount of alcohol in your system simply because your body will have more of those vitamins needed to process alcohol.

Available here: Amazon Link
My Dose: One pill before and one pill after.

Milk thistle is a plant extract that has been used for centuries to treat liver problems. It contains a compound called silymarin, which has been shown to help protect liver cells from damage caused by alcohol consumption. It also has a bunch of other proposed positive effects but more research needs to be done as studies seem to be all over the place.

When we drink alcohol, it’s metabolized by our liver, which can cause oxidative stress and inflammation. Silymarin helps to protect the liver from this damage by scavenging free radicals and reducing inflammation. Additionally, silymarin can increase the production of glutathione, which is an important antioxidant that helps the liver to detoxify harmful substances, including alcohol. While more research is needed to fully understand the effects of milk thistle on hangover prevention, the evidence so far suggests that it may be a useful natural remedy to support liver function and reduce the severity of hangover symptoms.

Cheers! Recover

The All in One!
Available here:  Amazon Link
Dose : Whatever is on the bottle

If you want just an easy way to go – go with ZBiotics and the Cheers! line. The Cheers products contain all of the main supplements (minus ZBiotics) I mentioned in an easy to swallow gel capsule. The only reason I don’t use these more often is because of the cost per dosage is so much higher than taking them independently. If you prefer simplicity over cost, Cheers! Recovery is the way to go.

I’m kidding. There is no evidence that dehydration causes a hangover, but of course it can make things worse. So maybe just drink a glass of water every now and again. Here’s more from Cedar-Sinai about it :

I just want to reiterate, I’m not a doctor. I make wine. These are the things that I actually use and that seem to help me. If you have something else that works for you, leave a comment below – I’d love to look into it! 

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