Can Bloody Marys Help With Hangovers?

What's your go-to hangover remedy? Advil, coffee, maybe a cold shower? After a night of one too many drinks, we long for a way to get rid of that pounding headache that makes it impossible to focus on anything else. Rumor has it that bloody marys can help ease the discomfort of a hangover. Is this true, and if so, what is it about a bloody mary in particular that helps us recover swiftly and smoothly?

According to the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, the term "hangover" refers to the various symptoms experienced after the overconsumption of alcohol, such as dehydration, nausea, muscle aches, headaches, and sensitivity to noise or bright lighting. Hangovers will be at their worst when our blood alcohol content (BAC) falls back down to zero — what it was prior to any drinking having taken place. Generally speaking, hangover symptoms can be experienced for upwards of 24 hours.

It's a widely held myth that a morning-after drink cures a hangover. In reality, the more alcohol you drink, the more severe the hangover (via Medical Daily). So if it's not the alcohol in the bloody mary that does the trick, then what is it?

Certain ingredients may help relieve hangover symptoms

There are many variations of a classic bloody mary, but its core ingredients generally consist of vodka, tomato juice, hot sauce, salt, black pepper, lime juice, and a decorative and delicious garnish to top it off (via After Drink). A bloody mary itself won't serve as a cure for a hangover, but a few of its non-alcoholic ingredients may help ease the unpleasantness of symptoms.

The tomato juice in a bloody mary may be the quick relief you're looking for. Tomatoes are a great source of vitamins, antioxidants, and potassium (via Eat This, Not That!). Potassium contains electrolytes, which are important in order to adequately rehydrate ourselves — particularly if your symptoms include nausea and vomiting. Additionally, the spices used in the making of a bloody mary may help keep us more awake and alert. Alvin Seymore, the head bartender at D.C.'s St. Regis Hotel, says, "A good bloody mary arouses the senses. You may still have that hangover, but you'll be able to function because you woke up" (via The Washington Post).

When it comes to hangovers, the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism says the only real cure is to give it time and to be mindful of drinking in moderation. Otherwise, consider reaching for a hearty glass of tomato juice if you're in need of relief from that pounding headache.

If you or anyone you know is struggling with addiction issues, help is available. Visit the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration website or contact SAMHSA's National Helpline at 1-800-662-HELP (4357).