If you’ve ever had a few too many drinks, odds are that you’ve woken up the next day with a hangover. This condition, which can be accompanied by headaches, fatigue, nausea, dizziness, shakiness and other unpleasant symptoms, can often affect your mood, your performance at work and your interactions with others.
The best way to avoid a hangover is to avoid drinking, or to drink in moderation. However, if you do get a hangover, you will probably want to get rid of it as quickly as possible. Though hangovers go away on their own within about 24 hours, you can also try eating certain foods to speed up the process, or to at least make you feel better in the meantime. The following are some of the healthier food options you can choose when trying to recovery more quickly from a hangover.
Breakfast joints are notorious for offering menu items labeled as “hangover cures,” but not all of these meals are proven to help you recover any faster. However, one breakfast food item that may help you feel better is eggs. The reason is that eggs contain significant amounts of cysteine, which is an amino-acid that can break down toxins that cause the hangover in the first place. What’s even better is that eggs are also good for you – they are a good source of protein, are good for your eyes and may even help reduce your risk of cancer.
Eating bland, dry foods, like toast, can often help boost your blood sugar. Meanwhile, adding these bland items to your diet can help settle an upset stomach, which is one of the more common symptoms of a hangover. This is perhaps why toast is included in the BRAT diet.
Like toast, crackers are dry and bland, so they’ll also have a positive effect on the blood sugar and your stomach. Avoid crackers with too much salt or flavorings since those might irritate your stomach. Instead, stick to plain crackers with little or no salt.
4. Bouillon Soup
This is a heavy broth soup that comes from Haitian culture. Often, it contains chunks of meat, potatoes and vegetables to add flavor and substance. This type of soup can help replace some of the salt and potassium that you lost from a night of drinking. Many people find that it is also easy on an upset stomach.
Foods that contain fructose, like honey, are often helpful for getting the alcohol out of your body faster. The effects of the fructose may include burning the alcohol faster, which helps you to feel better more quickly.
6. Fruit Juice
Like honey, fruit juice contains a significant amount of fructose that can help your body get rid of the lingering alcohol in your system. Go for natural juices without too much of the refined sweeteners – the real thing should have plenty of fructose to help you burn off the alcohol. If you find it difficult to swallow any fluids because of the night before, try eating some fruits instead.
7. Water And/Or Sports Drinks
It may not be a food, but water is one of the most important things for fighting a hangover. Drink plenty of water as soon as you wake up in the morning to prevent dehydration and to help you feel better faster. If you're really looking to replenish those fluids and missing electrolytes from your body, turn things up a notch with a good sports drink.
8. Cactus Extract
Though studies are still being conducted, preliminary results show that extract from the skin of the prickly pear cactus may help relieve some of the symptoms of a hangover, including nausea, dry mouth and appetite loss. It may also reduce the levels of a certain protein linked with heart disease often found in those with hangovers. You can find this product online or at many health food stores.
Eating tomato-based foods like soups or pastas, or drinking tomato juice can help replenish any vitamin C that was depleted after a heavy night of boozing. People also tend to enjoy the rich taste while hungover, which is why Bloody Mary cocktails have become popular for breakfast. No, a Bloody Mary is not a recommended cocktail cure. Please just stick to the tomato juice. And you can still have the celery if you want.
10. Beef Or Chicken Noodle Soup
If it works for when you are sick with a cold or flu, it should work when you are hungover. Like the recommended boullion soup, a soothing bowl of this classic comfort food is just the ticket to a faster recovery. It's easy on the stomach and replenishes lost nutrients from the night before. Just don't call Mom and ask her to make you a bowl like when you were little, she might not be thrilled about the fact that she's treating a hangover and not the common cold.
“Hangover Foods” To Avoid
There are a few foods that are commonly associated with curing hangover which don’t have any real results to back up their claims. Avoid the following foods to improve your chances for a quick recovery:
- Fatty foods: People often assume that piling up the greasy food on their plate in the morning will help soak up the alcohol in their system and get them back on track faster. However, lots of fatty foods like sausage or bacon are more likely to irritate a hangover person’s stomach than to help them feel better. In reality, fatty foods are better at preventing hangovers because they could help repel alcohol from the stomach lining. Unfortunately, once you’re already hungover that trick won’t work. You’re probably better off anyway since all that fat isn’t great for your health to begin with.
- Hair of the dog: This is a popular term used to refer to the practice of drinking more alcohol to get rid of a hangover. While it might make you feel a little better at first, you’ll probably still feel bad later on. Plus, you’ll be harming your liver by adding more toxins to the body.