TikTok Thinks Asparagus Can Help Cure Hangovers, But Does the Veggie Really Work?

Two registered dietitians weigh in.

June 23, 2021
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Photo by: Isabelle Rozenbaum/Getty

Isabelle Rozenbaum/Getty

According to several recent TikToks, asparagus can help prevent a dreaded hangover from taking hold after you’ve imbibed a bit too much. This claim has been circulating on the social media platform for days, and is even discussed in one video that now has more than two million views, but can the stalky green vegetable really stop a hangover in its tracks? It’s complicated.

While the below TikTok says that asparagus’ minerals and amino acids “help protect your liver from toxins” and the “enzymes in asparagus help break down alcohol and alleviate hangovers,” the actual science behind those assertions isn’t exactly clear or definitive.

“Eating asparagus isn't a legit hangover helper,” says Toby Amidor, MS, RD, CDN, FAND, a nutrition consultant for Food Network. “There is a small in vitro study that looks at specific isolated components in the shoots and small leaves of the asparagus and its effects on human and rat liver cells, and although it does show some promise, we need to remember that most individuals are not eating the asparagus shoots and leaves.”

Amidor also points out that while this study yielded some encouraging results, it was done in test tubes, not animals or humans, so it’s difficult to say what the results for people might look like.

However, while asparagus might not be the hangover cure that some TikTokers say it is, it still deserves a spot on your plate. “Eating asparagus is never a bad thing. Enjoy it any way you like it — steamed, sauteed, in a stir-fry or in your morning omelet,” adds Amidor. “With the CDC stats of 1 in 10 adults not getting enough fruits and vegetables, adding asparagus to your day is always beneficial.”

What’s more? Asparagus does have small amounts of one tried-and-true hangover remedy. “Fruits and vegetables, including asparagus, contain water, and some extra hydration (or water!) before consuming alcohol is always helpful,” Amidor explains.

And the benefits of asparagus don’t stop there. “Using asparagus and extracts made from the root of the plant for medicinal purposes dates back to ancient Greek and Eastern medicine, notes Dana Angelo White, MS, RD, ATC. “While a more recent study supports the healthy attributes of asparagus, it also states that there is not enough reliable scientific evidence to date to support its positive effects on liver, kidney or bladder health.”

As for that “magical” hangover cure, Amidor points out that the only thing that really puts an end to a hangover is time. However, there are some helpful tips to keep in mind if you’re looking to lessen the effects of too much alcohol consumption. “To help prevent or minimize some of the symptoms, eating a well-balanced meal before drinking can help decrease the severity of a hangover, as it helps to slow the rate of absorption of alcohol into your body,” she says. “Electrolytes, like sodium, potassium, and chloride are also helpful to aid with hydration. Sipping on coconut water or a mix of Gatorade and water can help lessen those rough symptoms, many of which have to do with being dehydrated after a boozy night out. B-vitamins also become depleted when drinking lots of alcohol, so taking a B-complex vitamin can help as well.”

While TikTok’s pro asparagus content needs a little work, let’s not forget that this is the platform that introduced us to all of these helpful kitchen tools and scrumptious baked feta pasta, among other things. For that, we’re forever grateful!

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