Updated on December 28, 2022
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The Best Foods to Eat When You’re Hungover
It’s all fun and games until the morning after a night out. The splitting headache is starting, and getting out of bed seems out of the question. Whether you made brunch plans or not, you’re going to have to get yourself out of bed to eat some hangover food. While the first thing to sound good might be a greasy cheeseburger, do not rush to your food delivery app!
In fact, don’t even start the coffee pot. We need to go over some facts before you try to eat the hangover away. Everyone has the foods they swear by to kick the hangover, but it’s important to understand why some foods help and some don’t.
It’s also important to remember that there is no hangover cure other than not to drink at all. You will likely experience some hangover symptoms no matter how much you drink. There are plenty of foods that can help with a hangover, and it’s important to stick to those for your poor stomach.
Food to Eat When You’re Hungover
To start, we’ve got to talk about this breakfast staple. Eggs are a great source of protein which your body is going to need in its hungover state. A common hangover symptom is an upset stomach, which eggs can help with.
This is because eggs contain something called cysteine. It’s an amino acid that helps your body break down acetaldehyde, which is said to cause hangovers. Eggs are also full of vitamins A, B12 and D, which are never bad to put in the body.
Keep in mind that you should avoid greasy foods like breakfast meats with your eggs. They can counteract the benefits of eggs on your hangover, and make your upset stomach worse. Eggs are also very easy to make, so your hungover self should be able to handle it.
Hungover? Grab a banana. Alcohol is a diuretic, so your body is going to lose a lot of water. Dehydration leads to losing electrolytes like potassium and sodium. Low potassium levels can lead to feeling weak and having muscle cramps. Bananas are high in potassium, so eating one when you’re hungover can help replenish your levels and get you back in tiptop shape.
Bananas are also a great source of fiber, so if you’re dealing with hangover-related digestive issues, this yellow miracle fruit should help. They’re also a great source of magnesium and Vitamin C.
Chicken Noodle Soup
It should be no surprise that this common cold remedy could also be good for a hangover. When you’re dehydrated from drinking too much, you lose a lot of sodium in the body. Research shows that chicken broth is an effective method of restoring sodium levels which can help rehydrate you and alleviate hangover symptoms.
Not only is it going to help you rehydrate, chicken noodle soup is a nostalgic comfort food that could help you with feelings of ‘hangxiety.’
Alright, fish might sound like the last thing you want to smell when you’re hungover, but it’s going to help! Salmon is full of omega-3 fatty acids which can help with one of the biggest causes of a hangover, inflammation. Alcohol is notorious for causing inflammation in the body, so we need to do everything we can to combat it.
If eggs aren’t your jam for breakfast, you can always try oatmeal. Oatmeal is full of complex carbohydrates that can curb hangover symptoms. It’s also full of magnesium, Vitamin B and iron. You can throw your banana into the oatmeal to make it a full breakfast, too!
Want to kick up your hangover oatmeal game? Honey is another food that can help you fight off hangover symptoms. Honey is said to help your body burn off alcohol faster because it’s giving the body sugar to metabolize. It will also help you balance out your blood sugar levels, which could also be low from a boozy night out.
There’s research to back up the honey theory, as well. A study was done where participants that drank alcohol and had honey had a significant increase in blood alcohol disappearance. While honey may help your body burn off alcohol faster, it is unlikely to reduce any of the physical symptoms that you’re dealing with. So, pair it with another hangover food like oatmeal!
Dark, Leafy Greens
Greens such as spinach and kale are great additions to your hangover breakfast. They’re rich in vitamins and other nutrients such as fiber and iron that will help rejuvenate the body. Spinach in particular is full of folate, and alcohol is known to diminish your folate levels after a night out.
Remember those eggs we were talking about? Throw some spinach in them to make a nice, hangover-friendly breakfast.
Since hangovers cause inflammation, we also want to incorporate anti-inflammatory foods. Sweet potatoes are considered a functional food, and have high levels of antioxidants and Vitamin A. They will also satisfy a craving for carbs without eating actual bread, which can make your hangover symptoms worse.
Fermented foods are going to be your best friend when dealing with a hangover. Foods like sauerkraut, kimchi and kombucha have naturally occurring B Vitamins that are depleted during a night of drinking. If you’ve had a rough night out, try having fermented foods or drinking a kombucha to kill off your symptoms. They’re also great for your overall gut health.
Not to be confused with fermented foods, pickles can also help a hangover. Specifically, pickle juice may help. Pickle juice is full of potassium and sodium, which are essential electrolytes for dehydration.
Coconut water is an excellent addition to any hangover food. It’s full of potassium, so if you’re feeling weak, it may work better than water on relieving your symptoms.
Foods to Avoid When You’re Hungover
There are plenty of foods to eat when you’re hungover, but also many to avoid.
Don’t even think about ordering bacon with your eggs! Eating greasy food as a hangover cure has been debunked many times. It’s only going to make an upset stomach worse. The only time greasy food MIGHT help you out is eating it before you go out drinking. That cheeseburger can help slow down the metabolism of alcohol, but only before. Once you start drinking, avoid the greasy late night foods.
You’re already dehydrated, so don’t make it worse! Coffee is also a diuretic and won’t do you any favors. Before you go for a hot cup of java, make sure you’ve sufficiently hydrated yourself.
Another thing you should avoid at brunch is the orange juice pitcher. The acidity of citrus is going to wreak havoc on your already upset stomach. If you have acid reflux, it can also make symptoms worse that will, in turn, make the hangover worse.
The Bottom Line
Let’s face it, hangovers are never fun. The only way to avoid them is to not drink at all, but these things happen. It’s important to take care of your body after a night out, so you don’t make anything worse.
Follow this guide to craft a hangover-friendly meal that will hopefully keep you from hugging the toilet. If your hangover symptoms don’t subside or get worse, you may want to consult with your healthcare provider. As always, have fun and drink responsibly!