A Dietitian on What to Eat When You’re Hungover

by Jessica Nelson, RDN, CPT

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HUM Nutritionist Jessica Nelson, RDN explains nutrient depletion after drinking and what to eat when you’re hungover to feel better. 

Is there anything worse than a hangover after a night of drinking? For a speedy recovery the morning after, choosing the right hangover food is essential.

The goal is to aim for foods that will sit well in your stomach, help to soak up some of that alcohol, and provide key nutrients to aid in minimizing common hangover symptoms like headaches, sore muscles, and low energy.

Nutrient Depletion After drinking

The main nutrients that are depleted by alcohol intake are B vitamins, so replenishing those is a must. Additionally, boosting your intake of nutrient-rich foods containing magnesium, vitamin A, vitamin C, vitamin E, and potassium can be helpful for replenishing your body’s cells and helping you to recover faster.

Foods containing these essential hangover recovery nutrients include:

  • Fruits (banana, citrus fruits, melon, berries, apple)
  • Vegetables (spinach, kale, sweet potatoes, carrots, bell peppers, tomatoes)
  • Dairy (cows milk, fortified plant-based milk, yogurt, cheese)
  • Whole Grains (whole grain bread, granola, oats)
  • Proteins (eggs, beans, meat, nuts, eggs, dairy)
  • Fats (avocado, sunflower seeds, olives, coconut, cashew, peanuts, almonds)

Consider Hydrating Foods

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 like a critical tip to consider, but in reality, 20 percent of our daily water needs come from food. Some foods that contain a high percentage of water include celery, strawberries, grapefruit, watermelon, lettuce, and carrots.

Combining these hangover foods together for the ideal hangover breakfast, brunch, or lunch meal doesn’t have to be difficult. To create the perfect hangover meal, just try including one or two foods from each food group of proteins, fats, grains, and produce.

Getting in the essentials like grains, protein, and fats is a sure-fire way of helping to soak up some of the alcohol just hanging around in your stomach. Proteins and fats especially will help to slow the release of that alcohol into your bloodstream.

Scrambled eggs on avocado toast for hungover breakfast

What To EAt When YOu’re Hungover

Here are a few meal ideas to create on your own at home or, more likely, order from somewhere.

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.

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 production of bile to promote digestion and vitamin absorption. This helps flush out toxins and supports the regeneration of liver cells.

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 recovery quickly post alcohol intake.

For more light hangover reading, learn why you shouldn’t drive to work with a hangover and all about the long-term effects of alcohol on your body

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