Vitamins and Alcohol Consumption

From healing wounds to boosting eyesight, aiding digestion to strengthening bones, vitamins are a critical part of our healthy bodies. Even without a sip of alcohol, we’re in a constant state of depleting these 13 essential compounds and searching for where to get more of them. Enter happy hour or Sunday Funday, and that search becomes more of a frantic manhunt.

Imagine you could see inside your body while you’re drinking alcohol. You take your first sip of a margarita. Once that sip hits your mouth, it immediately starts the absorption and metabolizing process. It travels down to your stomach, where, depending on how many cheeseburgers you’ve eaten, about 20 percent gets absorbed into your blood. The rest is absorbed through the small intestine. As your liver works unpaid overtime to metabolize the margarita slushy that is now your bloodstream, it becomes as nutrient deficient as a mom of a newborn who hasn’t slept in 3 months. It’s beyond exhausted, needs a hot shower and feels like it will never be back to its normal self again. Grasping at straws, the poor liver takes all the vitamins and minerals it can from the bloodstream, which then deprives the rest of the body of critical nutrients. Which then gives you a hangover.

Not to get too science-y, but of the 13 essential vitamins your body needs, some are fat-soluble, meaning they remain for up to 6 months in your fat stores (sexy), and some are water-soluble. Water soluble vitamins—like the B vitamins—are particularly vulnerable when drinking because your body doesn’t store water-soluble vitamins. You must always replenish them (with B4!). And another haymaker to your B vitamin supply, B vitamins are directly and indirectly involved in alcohol metabolism and are the first to go during alcohol consumption. But don’t worry. B vitamins are only responsible for silly things like regular heart operations, brain function, hormone production, a healthy metabolism, functioning of the central nervous system and cell duties. NBD.

Not coincidentally, B4 contains a healthy dose (read: 83,333 percent of your daily intake, in some cases) of the essential B vitamins—thiamin, riboflavin, niacin, B-6 and B-12. But that’s just a start. It also helps replenish other essential nutrients like calcium, magnesium, zinc, chromium and even potassium. Just in case you’re sick of eating bananas. So when you hit drinks and apps with friends, a Saturday tailgate or a boring baby shower that thank God is serving champagne, your body will have a vitamin reserve in its back pocket.

Help your liver out! Just like making your best friend dinner when he/she is buried at a new job, throw your liver a pick-me-up lifeline by adding some extra vitamins to your body with B4.