It’s always fun to be the life of the party or to be out late celebrating with friends. But if you’re down for the count the next day because you drank too much and feel awful, what are you supposed to do?
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Registered dietitian Julia Zumpano, RD, LD, says it’s important to control your alcohol intake because drinking too much can cause some serious health consequences. But, if you did take it too far the night before, rest assured there are foods you can eat that can help cure your hangover.
Foods that help with hangovers
Before you reach for that greasy burger, coffee or “hair of the dog” (aka more alcohol), Zumpano suggests the following foods to help you get back on track. While there’s no magic pill for a hangover, these options can help you get back to normal:
- Sports drink/electrolyte-enhanced beverage. The road to hangover recovery starts with good hydration. Since alcohol is a diuretic, it makes you pee more and leads to dehydration. When you have a hangover, you’re already dehydrated and your electrolyte level is low. Consuming a sports drink, coconut water or an electrolyte-enhanced beverage before you go to bed or as soon as you get up can help replace lost electrolytes from drinking. Or just simply focus on drinking water – it will help support your body in recovering from the hangover. (Remember, next time you drink try to have a glass of water between each alcoholic drink.)
- Salmon. Low levels of B6 and B12 vitamins are said to intensify hangovers. Salmon is rich in both B vitamins and can help you get back up to a more comfortable level. It might sound odd, but adding this fish to your diet the day after drinking can help perk you back up, especially because salmon is known to decrease inflammation.
- Mangoes and other fruits. There’s evidence that the natural sugars found in honey and natural fruits can actually help you move the alcohol out of your system faster. Try eating mangos, grapes, oranges, pears and plantains. Watermelon is also another great option since it has such a high water content and it can help you rehydrate.
- ‘Bland’ foods. “This is what we call the ‘BRAT’ diet,” says Zumpano. “Bananas, rice, applesauce and toast.” These plain foods are easy for the body to digest and are often recommended when someone is not feeling well, specifically an upset stomach, diarrhea, nausea or having trouble eating or keeping food down. These foods also tend to contain carbohydrates, which can settle an upset stomach and help boost your blood sugar. Bananas are also rich in potassium, which your body needs when it’s low on electrolytes from drinking too much.
- Ginger. Ginger has been found to reduce nausea, so incorporating it into your diet the day after drinking can settle your upset stomach and help you feel better. Reach for dried ginger, ginger tea or try grating ginger into a fresh smoothie.