Skip to content

What Happens to Your Body When You Drink a Bloody Mary

Is it the ultimate hangover cure or not?
FACT CHECKED BY Kiersten Hickman

For years we've heard that the Bloody Mary cocktail was the cure to any hangover—no matter how brutal. But, how true is that? First, it may be helpful to unpack everything that goes into a Bloody Mary and what exactly happens to your body when you drink one.

The vibrant drink contains vodka, tomato juice, a wedge of lime and lemon, as well as a variety of spices and sauces. Depending on who's making it, this may include horseradish, Tabasco sauce, Worcestershire sauce, black pepper, smoked paprika, and celery salt. Not to mention, there are a lot of garnishes that come can come with the drink, such as green olives, celery, jumbo shrimp, pickles, and even bacon.

For some people, pulling a "hair of the dog" the night after drinking is just what they need to perk up. While the science behind this is limited, some people swear by it. But the tomato juice may be the key driver in alleviating hangover symptoms.

mimosas and bloody marys

Tomatoes are loaded in vitamin C, B vitamins, and potassium—all of which can help remedy your hangover. Potassium is incredibly important to have after a night of drinking, as it's an electrolyte, and one cup of tomato juice boasts 556 milligrams of the stuff. For context, you should aim to consume between 3,500 and 4,700 milligrams of potassium from food each day. If you had an abrupt visit to the bathroom the night before or the morning after, you'll need to replenish your electrolytes.

Not to mention, some tomato juice brands can pack quite a bit of sodium, another electrolyte your body will require after vomiting or having diarrhea. For example, one cup of Campbell's tomato juice from concentrate contains 680 milligrams of sodium per 8 ounces, which is about 30% of the recommended daily allowance. But keep in mind, too much sodium can also be dehydrating, so make sure you drink plenty of water.

Of course, none of these things will take the hangover away completely. Drinking water, getting rest, and time will all help your body come back to balance. (Related: Side Effects of Eating Too Much Salt, Says Science)

Bottom line: Drinking tomato juice alone may be your best bet. But then again, who wants to drink tomato juice straight? Maybe a mocktail version of the Bloody Mary is the key!

Get even more healthy tips straight to your inbox by signing up for our newsletter! Then, be sure to check out:

Cheyenne Buckingham
Cheyenne Buckingham is the former news editor of Eat This, Not That! Read more about Cheyenne