Nutritionist Jessica Nelson, RDN, explains what happens to your body when you’ve had too much to drink—and reveals the best hangover foods to help ease symptoms.
So you went out and had a little too much fun—and you’re feeling it the next morning. A hangover after a night of drinking is a pain, but here’s the good news: There are ways to speed up your recovery. Choosing the right food the morning after a night out can replenish all of the nutrients your body lost during all the fun. But what exactly are they? (Hint: There’s a reason you crave diner eggs…) We rounded up all of the best hangover foods to help you get your groove back.
The goal is to aim for foods that will sit well in your stomach and provide key nutrients to aid in minimizing common hangover symptoms like headaches, sore muscles, and low energy. Ready to find out what they are? Read on to learn what the best hangover foods are, according to a nutritionist.
Is Greasy Food Good For a Hangover?
We know—greasy fast food sounds like the best food to cure your hangover. But it may actually do more harm than good. While greasy foods typically also contain sodium (which can help replenish the electrolytes you lost), they can also worsen symptoms like nausea, stomach aches, and poor energy levels. If you’re looking to heal your hangover ASAP, skip the takeout meal and get your electrolytes from more nutritious options, like citrus fruits. That said, other foods like eggs and grilled cheese, which can traditionally be greasy if you get them at a restaurant, are actually not a bad idea if you prep them at home. See those and more ideas, below.
What to Eat When You’re Hungover
Drinking alcohol zaps your system of its hydration and nutrient levels, which causes symptoms like nausea and headaches. Here are the best hangover foods to eat the morning after:
Alcohol intake mainly depletes B vitamins, so replenishing those is necessary. Additionally, consuming nutrient-rich foods that contain magnesium, vitamin A, vitamin C, vitamin E, and potassium can replenish your body’s cells—helping you to recover faster.
Foods containing these essential hangover recovery nutrients include:
- Fruits (banana, citrus fruits, melon, berries, and apple)
- Vegetables (spinach, kale, sweet potatoes, carrots, bell peppers, and tomatoes)
- Dairy (cows milk, fortified plant-based milk, yogurt, and cheese)
- Whole grains (whole grain bread, granola, and oats)
- Protein (eggs, beans, meat, nuts, eggs, and dairy)
- Fats (avocado, sunflower seeds, olives, coconut, cashew, peanuts, and almonds)
Rehydrating is also a must. Ideally, you’ll want to do so through water or other electrolyte-packed beverages such as coconut water or sports drinks. However, choosing hydrating foods can also be helpful. Eating water-rich foods may not seem critical, but in reality, 20 percent of our daily water needs come from food. Some foods that contain a high percentage of water include:
Combining these hangover foods together for breakfast, brunch, or lunch doesn’t have to be difficult. To create the perfect hangover meal, include one or two foods from the following food groups: proteins, fats, grains, and produce.
Getting in the essentials like grains, protein, and fats is a sure-fire way to soak up some of the extra alcohol hanging around in your stomach. Proteins and fats especially will help to slow the release of that alcohol into your bloodstream.
The Best Hangover Foods, According to an RD
Whether you’re looking for hangover food to make at home or meals to order in, here are the best options.
Breakfasts for Hangovers
- Scrambled eggs with cheese, avocado on whole-grain toast, and a side of fresh fruit or a small glass of fortified orange juice
- Fortified cereal mixed with nutty granola, a milk of your choice, and blueberries
- Fruit and kale smoothie made with a milk of your choice. Pair it with a whole grain bar that has nuts and seeds
- Whole grain toast with peanut or cashew butter and Greek yogurt with fresh fruit
- Oatmeal made with milk with banana, nuts, and coconut chips mixed in
Lunches for Hangovers
- Chili (meat and/or bean-based) with toppings of avocado and cheese, with a side of whole-grain tortilla chips
- Grilled cheese on whole-grain bread with tomato soup and apple slices
- Turkey or black bean burger topped with tomato, greens, and avocado. Skip the grease and opt for a baked potato or baked potato wedges instead of fries
- Chicken taco seasoned mix on corn tortillas with cabbage slaw, pico de gallo, and sliced avocado. Eat with a side of Mexican rice and fresh pineapple
- Chicken salad sandwich on whole-grain bread with lettuce and a side of chips and grapes
- Peanut butter and jelly sandwich with a yogurt and fruit parfait
Supplements for Hangovers
Eating nutrient-dense foods and electrolyte-packed fluid is a great way to support your body’s natural detox systems. Even better, try pairing those healthy steps with HUM’s liver support supplement, Wing Man.
Wing Man is formulated to support your liver by providing antioxidants from milk thistle, artichoke, and dandelion root. These herbs have been shown to boost the liver’s natural detoxification mechanisms by stimulating the production of bile to promote digestion and vitamin absorption. This helps flush out toxins and supports the regeneration of liver cells.
The Best Foods to Prevent Hangovers
While the foods above will definitely help to replenish your body of essential nutrients, it’s just one part of a bigger hangover cure. Remember that giving your body adequate rest, nourishment and fluids is the best way to recover quickly post alcohol intake. And if you’re looking for ways to prevent another hangover from consuming your morning, eat strategically ahead of time. Prioritize fatty, high-fiber foods (such as guacamole, oatmeal, sweet potato fries, and popcorn) before you start drinking. High-fat foods can help slow the absorption of alcohol, while foods that are high in fiber can help your body digest alcohol and prevent it from getting into the bloodstream.