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How Food Can Help A Hangover

One too many drinks last night leaving you a bit woozy this morning? Bounce back from a hangover with some of these nutrition tips...

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One too many drinks last night leaving you a bit woozy this morning? We’ve all been there and we might get there again, but no one wants to feel that morning-after-slump. Good nutrition can help a hangover, and here’s how.

Hydrate, hydrate, hydrate!

The biggest cause of a hangover is dehydration. Not only does excess alcohol cause our bodies to get rid of fluids, but it depletes a variety of vitamins and minerals. Most hangover symptoms like headaches, fatigue, and cravings are due to dehydration. Start the day with a large glass of water and continue drinking water throughout the day. Try drinking coconut water which is full of electrolytes (especially potassium) and is low in sugar – which your body needs pronto to help a hangover!

Dietitian Tip: Prevent a hangover by drinking at least 16-ounces of water between alcoholic drinks.

Refuel with anti-inflammatory foods

Heavy drinking is often paired with heavy eating of foods high in fat, sugar, and sodium. The combination of these foods with alcohol prevents the liver and gut from fighting inflammation. Waking up with extra inflammation is just downright uncomfortable, can worsen headaches, and cause poor concentration. Skip the greasy breakfast sandwich and go for a nutrient-dense meal filled with plenty of fresh fruit and veggies, lean protein, and plant-based fats (think avocado, olive oil, nuts, seeds). Sorry, but fried foods and donuts are off the table on hangover day.

Get a punch of potassium

Still feel dizzy or weak? You’re most likely low in potassium — one of those electrolytes that alcohol flushes out of you. Power up with a potassium-rich breakfast like mashed avocado toast, a side of potato hash browns, or a banana smoothie (bonus: use coconut water!). 

Control the carbs to help a hangover

Alcohol wreaks havoc on the body’s ability to control blood sugars. And after a heavy night of drinking, the liver is just about done trying to process any more simple sugars. Stick to complex carbohydrates that are unrefined like sweet potatoes, brown rice, mixed berries, and non-starchy veggies (broccoli, celery, leafy greens). These carbohydrates are also full of more vitamins and minerals compared to refined products like breakfast pastries and sugary cereals.

Get settled with ginger

Is your stomach feeling queasy? Ginger is an excellent natural nausea-reducing aid and can prevent vomiting. Some studies even demonstrate ginger being as effective, if not more, than over-the-counter anti-nausea medications. Settle down with some warm lemon-ginger tea (bonus: lemon has a vitamin C boost) or add sliced lemon to a tall glass of water.

Get going on beating the hangover blues with more tips and actionable steps below.

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Actionable Steps


1

Read the longer version

To learn more, read these articles reviewed by our professionals: What to Eat When You’re Hungover, The Best Foods to Cure Your Hangover, According to a Dietitian, and What Hangover Remedies Really Work.

2

Hydrate

Refuel and re-hydrate as best you can to replenish lost fluids, electrolytes, and key nutrients.

3

Get some good sleep

Get plenty of quality rest. Deep sleep allows your body time to heal and recover from any stress. A hangover is a desperate call for healing.

4

Think before you drink

Did you have a well-balanced meal before drinking? Are you choosing drinks low in sugar? Do you know your drinking limits and how to stop before you hit that limit? Be mindful with your drinking and be well-nourished going into the night.

About the Author


shannon costello

Shannon Costello

Registered Dietitian Nutritionist (RDN)

Shannon is a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist (RDN), Health Coach, Certified Personal Trainer, and Group Fitness Instructor with over 5 years of experience working in Corporate Wellness specializing in overall health, nutrition, and fitness. Throughout her journey to becoming an RDN, she grew her passion for culinary nutrition by teaching and developing hands-on cooking classes for all ages in the community.
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