Cracking hangover cure

The Christmas period is all about over-indulging and going to parties until the early hours – then comes the downside of the morning after. Breakfast is a crucial start to your recovery and protein-rich eggs seem to be the choice of those in the know to speed up your return to health.

Eating eggs the morning after a big night out can do more than simply satisfy your taste buds – they are a nutritional powerhouse so can also help fight your hangover and improve alertness.

Research has shown[1] that cysteine, the amino acid found in eggs, counteracts the poisonous effects of acetaldehyde, the chemical produced by the body as it metabolises alcohol. Acetaldehyde is responsible for the headaches, nausea and other unpleasant consequences of drinking one glass too many.

What’s more, research from Cambridge University[2] has found that egg protein can help us to stay awake and alert during the working day, something to remember after the office Christmas party! The study, published in the journal Neuron, focused on specialised brain cells called orexin-hypocretin neurons. Wakefulness and energy rely on signals transmitted by the cells. The Cambridge team found that protein components of the type found in egg whites stimulated the neurons much more than other nutrients.

Eggs’ status as a health food is supported by official data which shows that today’s eggs are significantly more nutritious than previously thought. The data[3] shows that eggs contain more than 70% more vitamin D, double the amount of selenium, and fewer calories than when previous analyses were carried out 30 years ago.

Nutritionist Cath McDonald said: “There are many hangover cures out there but very few with real nutritional foundation. Eggs really aid hangovers and provide a nutritious and tasty remedy.”

For more information contact the British Egg Information Service on 020 7052 8899


[1]Sprince, Herbert; Parker, Clarence M.; Smith, George G.; Gonzales, Leon J. (1974), "Protection against Acetaldehyde Toxicity in the rat by L-cysteine, thiamine and L-2-Methylthiazolidine-4-carboxylic acid", Inflam. Res. 4 (2): 125–30, doi:10.1007/BF01966822, PMID 4842541.

[2] Mahesh M. Kharnani et al., Activation of Central Orexin/Hypocretin Neurons by Dietary Amino Acids, Neuron, Volume 72, Issue 4, 616-629, 17 November 2011.

[3]Led by the Institute of Food Research and comprising partners including British Nutrition Foundation, Royal Society of Chemistry, Laboratory of the Government Chemist and Eurofins Laboratories.