20 Foods to Eat When You Have a Hangover
There are plenty of ways to prevent hangovers. Chief among them? Don’t drink alcohol (trust me, writing that sentence hurts more than reading it).
But let’s be honest: If you’re reading this, you’re probably past the point of no return. You either have a hangover right now or anticipate having one in the future.
If this sounds like you, don’t be too hard on yourself. Hangovers happen—your symptoms will pass and you’ll be fine. (Note: If you suspect you’re suffering from alcohol poisoning or severe dehydration, go to the doctor ASAP).
When you just want to ease your alcohol-induced headaches, nausea, and fatigue, the solution may be just a grocery store run away.
Before you do, eat, or drink anything else, drink plenty of water. Hangover symptoms are caused by the dehydration that comes from the overconsumption of alcohol. What’s the best way to rehydrate? Water. It’s really very simple, people.
Next up: Grab a banana. The yellow fruit is packed with potassium, something your body loses a lot of after a night of heavy drinking. A lack of potassium can lead to nausea and fatigue—so you might want to stock up on bananas before you hit the town.
Have you ever noticed how salt can sometimes keep nausea at bay? That’s because dehydration (often caused by vomiting or excessive alcohol consumption) and loss of sodium are a package deal. Pickles (specifically pickle juice) are loaded with salty electrolytes that can help your body recover quicker.
Can’t stomach pickle juice? Reach for an electrolyte-rich drink. Gatorade and Powerade are good, but Pedialyte is even better because it has less calories and sugar than most sports drinks.
Nuts like peanuts, walnuts, and almonds are rich in quite a few hangover-fighting nutrients—specifically magnesium and protein. Magnesium (which is lost while drinking) can help your body break down and eliminate alcohol, while protein replenishes your amino acids (more on that on the next slide).
You probably know protein is important, but do you know why? Proteins break down into individual amino acids. These amino acids help detoxify your liver, which is integral in hangover recovery. Eat plenty of protein (plain chicken is a great source) to help your body get back on track.
Remember what you just read about chicken being a great source of protein, which can help put you on the fast track to recovery? So can eggs. Boiled, scrambled, or fried, starting your day with an egg (or two or three) can help combat debilitating hangover symptoms.
Before you get too excited, we’re not giving you permission to chow down on a big greasy pie the next time you’ve been overserved. However, when done correctly and when eaten in moderation, pizza is kind of a hangover-fighting triple threat: It has carbs to regulate your blood sugar, cheese that’s rich in calcium and protein, and you can customize it with nutritious toppings. It’s a win-win-win.
Chicken Noodle Soup
You’re mom wasn’t lying: Chicken noodle soup really can help you feel better when you’re feeling sick. The soup’s high sodium content can help you rehydrate, while the standard ingredients are loaded with nutrients that can help combat hangovers (chicken has protein, carrots help detoxify, and noodles have carbs that help regulate blood sugar).
If you’re not feeling up to a hearty bowl of chicken noodle soup, see if you can stomach bone broth instead. Rich in protein, calcium, sodium, and amino acids, bland broth is kind of the perfect post-drinking meal.
Toast With Honey
Toast with honey is a double whammy when it comes to hangovers: High in healthy carbs and sugars (honey is rich in fructose), this simple snack can help you feel temporarily better.
Millennials, rejoice! Avocado toast is more than a tasty, Insta-worthy brunch. Not only are avocados packed with protein and good fats, they’re also rich in vitamin B6 and fiber that can help your body recover.
Full disclosure: Coffee is a diuretic, so it’ll make you lose liquids. As we now know, dehydration is behind most hangover symptoms—so consuming coffee and nothing else could theoretically make you feel worse. However, it can help ease post-alcohol headaches that are worsened by caffeine withdrawal, as well as give you a bit of an energy boost.
Anyone who’s had too much to drink knows that the side effects are more than just physical: Anxiety and uneasiness are hallmarks of a hangover. Starchy carbohydrates can effectively raise serotonin levels in your brain, which can boost your mood.
Coconut water will simultaneously rehydrate your body while replacing a lot of the vitamins and nutrients (sodium, potassium, electrolytes, and sugar) that you lost during last night’s rager.
Drinking can deplete your body of B-complex vitamins, which can leave you feeling fatigued and generally out of sorts. You can replace those lost vitamins with a fatty fish like salmon, which is also a great source of protein.
What can’t leafy greens (like spinach) do? Rich in vitamins and minerals that are necessary for even a hangover-less person, leafy greens get their color from chlorophyll, which helps detoxify the body.
Watermelons are a great source of, well, water. Sometimes a name can tell you all you need to know.
Plenty of teas can help ease the symptoms of overindulgence (peppermint and ginger are especially useful for relieving nausea). However, ginseng tea can actually shorten your hangover by helping your body metabolize the alcohol faster.
Anything With Turmeric
There’s a reason turmeric has been used as a cure for common ailments for thousands of years: It works. The anti-inflammatory herb helps relieve your symptoms while reducing inflammation in your liver.
Above all, don't forget to take care of yourself!