Are you on a stomach acid reducing medication and find that your hangovers are worse? Well, there may be a reason for that! Read on to learn more about how acid reducers reduce vitamin and electrolyte absorption.
Approximately 30 percent of Americans have GERD. I know that probably half of the busy professionals I know are on zantac, Prilosec, Pepcid, Prevacid or some other kind of stomach acid reducing medication. All of these medications act by reducing the level of acid in your stomach. Unfortunately, stomach acid is one of the main ways that the body breaks down substances so that they are more easily absorbed into your body.
These types of medications all reduce vitamin and electrolyte absorption, especially B vitamins and magnesium. There are a number of studies that show that patients on the “proton pump inhibitor” class (omeprazole, lansoprazole, Prilosec, The purple pill, Prevacid, etc) had a 65% incidence of B12 deficiency, while the H2 blockers (zantac, ranitidine, pepcid,) had a 25% incidence of B12 deficiency. The proton pump inhibitors are much better at treating GERD, because they stop the actual pumps in your stomach that make the acid. The H2 blockers are not as good, so the B12 deficiency is not as bad. Proton pump inhibitors (PPIs) are a type of acid reduced that even reduce vitamin C absorption, as shown in this study, and they even reduce the amount of active vitamin C in the stomach. Stomach acid helps to “activate” vitamin C. Some people think stomach acid is bad, but frequently, the acid in your stomach activates certain vitamins and antioxidants. Your stomach has the acid in it for a reason, as it helps you absorb food and vital nutrients.
PPIs also significantly reduce magnesium levels. Magnesium is the second most common “positively charged” electrolyte in your cells. It is extremely important for sending signals in the cells and is involved in thousands of different reactions in your body. This study discusses how patients on PPIs have low magnesium levels which can lead to heart rhythm problems. Having a low magnesium level will make your body less able to recover from anything, such as a marathon or a hangover.
So, what does this mean for somebody who might be trying to prevent their hangover with a hangover cure supplement or “hangover pill?” Well, if you are on an acid reducer, you will likely see less of an effect the next morning, because your body will absorb less of the vitamins and anti-oxidants. There are a number of hangover cures such as our Nightlife Prep Supplement, Never too Hungover, and ResQwater. There are also at least 20 others on Amazon of varying quality. It won’t matter if the supplement you take is in pill, capsule, or liquid form, as any of them have to be absorbed through your stomach, aided by stomach acid. At my hangover clinic in Las Vegas, we have treated at least 40,000 hangovers. We also have sold over 1 million capsules of our hangover prevention supplement. I can tell you that it is much easier to prevent hangovers than it is to treat them the next morning. If you take a hangover pill before drinking, being on a PPI or H2 blocker will likely lower the result that you want to see. So, you may want to take a second dose to be on the safe side.
So what can you do? If you have serious GERD and are coming to Las Vegas and are planning on drinking, then don’t stop your acid reducers. GERD can lead to serious medical issues. Do try to drink high quality clear alcohol products, such as Tito’s vodka or similar, as they cause much less hangover symptoms. Generally, alcohol and GERD are not that great of a combination anyways, so you may want to look for an alternate way to have a good time, such as marijuana which is now legal in Nevada for recreational use. If you have mild GERD only related to certain foods, consider switching to Zantac, as it has fewer issues than the PPI’s and then take one of the hangover cures prior to consuming alcohol. One other alternative is to just take acid reducers Tums before you go to bed or only when you have symptoms. If you take Tums occasionally, they will not affect your long-term stomach acid levels, so you can take the hangover prevention supplement prior to drinking.
The other alternative if you are coming here for a big event and are on a PPI and are still going to consume alcohol is to consider an IV hangover treatment while in Las Vegas. Some people call it the “Vegas IV” or “Party drip,” but intravenous vitamins and antioxidants are not affected by any pills, as they go straight into your blood stream. We all know what happens at most bachelor parties here in Las Vegas and it is really hard to keep saying “no” when everybody else is drinking.
At Hangover Heaven, we have a free shuttle that can pick you up and bring you to our hangover clinic, or we can administer the same IV treatment in your hotel room while you are in Las Vegas. We can ship our hangover pills all over the world, but the IV treatments can only be given here in Vegas. Feel free to send an email if you have further questions. We cannot give direct medical advice, but can definitely give you some tips about how to avoid hangovers and have the most fun while you are here on your trip!