You’ve probably heard this advice before to avoid feeling sick and tired the next day, eat something heavy and greasy. However, this may not work for you.
Bacon, eggs, and greasy toast are certainly good bets, but if you’re feeling peckish in the early hours after a night on the tiles, you need more choices.
The best approach to managing a hangover is to minimize its effects as gently and quickly as possible. There is no magical solution to the feeling of death and despair that is a hangover. As such, your food and drink choices the next morning significantly affect how you’ll feel the rest of the day. Let’s dive in, shall we?
What Is a Hangover
A hangover is an unpleasant state you experience after drinking too much. The state leaves you feel pain, sluggish, splitting headache, uncomfortable, unable to focus at work, irritable, and regretting why you drank too much.
These symptoms vary in intensity and duration. There is no specific formula to determine how much alcohol you can drink before you get into hangover territory.
However, a general rule is that the more you imbibe, the more you’re likely to experience a hangover. Let’s focus on getting you out of your self-imposed hell through the right food choices.
- Upset stomach
- Pounding head
- Excess thirst and dry mouth
- Sensitive stomach
- Unusually high sensitivity to light and sound
- Motion sickness and vertigo
- Inability to concentrate
- Mood swings
- Uncomfortable sleep
- Muscle aches
- General lethargy
Best Hangover Foods
You need to know the best and worst foods for managing a hangover. As a general rule, greasy foods work best. That is not to say you should suffer through such foods if they are not your favorite. Here are some essential nutrients and food groups:
- Chicken Noodle Soup
Chicken noodle soup or chicken soup is gentle on your stomach, which is exactly what you need in this trying time. This feel-good solution and comfort food is packed with sodium and electrolytes, which help in hydration.
Additionally, the protein content is ideal for boosting liver function. Your liver is responsible for helping you get rid of excess alcohol in your system. Furthermore, you can sip the chicken broth if you feel too nauseous for anything solid. You’ll still access the soup’s hangover-minimizing benefits.
- Tomato Juice
The primary ingredient in tomato juice is water. Since alcohol is a diuretic, tomato juice helps replenish the lost water. It is gentler on your stomach when you don’t feel like solid foods. Tomatoes also contain vitamin C, a powerful antioxidant.
Too much alcohol in your body leads to acetaldehyde build-up. Therefore, vitamin C helps neutralize its oxidative power.
The best part of using tomato juice is taking it before or during your drinking session. This approach gives you the best fighting chance against a hangover. Orange juice is also a great option, as it contains plenty of vitamin C.
- Ginger Tea
Since ginger is effective at curing motion sickness and nausea, ginger tea is a great hangover cure. The tea delivers the much-needed ginger while hydrating you.
Its anti-oxidative properties help break down alcohol while detoxifying your body. If you are in a rush, pop a piece of peeled ginger in your mouth and slowly chew and swallow.
- Chicken Breast
Chicken breast contains cysteine, an amino acid your body requires to produce glutathione. This amino acid helps break down the toxic byproducts of alcohol metabolism. The more you drink, the more you deplete your body’s natural reserves. Therefore, this is an excellent food choice once you feel capable of eating solid foods.
- Whole Grain Toast
How about some bread? This choice is a plain, uncomplicated source of sugar. Therefore, munching on toast will raise your blood sugar levels without irritating your stomach.
The complex carbohydrates work best for those who can’t afford greasy food. You only need to take some protein once you recover from the worst phase of the hangover. If you find the toast too plain, spread some honey on it.
- Green Tea
Green tea is highly effective in combating short and long-term hangover symptoms. First, it helps minimize headaches, nausea, and a drop in focus and concentration. Second, it helps minimize alcohol’s adverse effects, such as liver damage, on the liver. Taking green tea before alcohol also helps protect your stomach’s lining.
- Leafy Greens
When discussing hangover cures, you probably think of meat and its high-fat content. Leafy greens are a proven solution due to their rich vitamin and mineral content. Additionally, they are perfect for vegans. You can also make them more flavorful by incorporating them into an omelet and blending them in a green smoothie.
- Coconut Water
Coconut water is a natural isotonic solution that gets absorbed into your system much faster than other liquids.
Additionally, coconut water effectively addresses the damage of heavy drinking, dehydration, low potassium and magnesium, low blood sugar levels, and too many free radicals in your system. It replenishes lost electrolytes and B vitamins and restores energy levels.
- Poached Egg
Eggs contain high cysteine levels, making them a great alternative when you’re not up to consuming a chicken breast.
Additionally, eggs are a powerful protein and vitamin source. Their vitamins A, B12, and D are especially beneficial in boosting your immune system, brain activity, cell metabolism, muscle function, and brain activity.
Furthermore, eggs are easier to cook, less intense on your palette, and require little to no grease.
The primary symptom, effect, and anchor characteristic of a hangover is dehydration. Dehydration accelerates all other effects of too much alcohol.
Therefore, whatever other remedy you’ll opt for, do not ignore drinking water. It is readily available, and its plain taste should not upset your stomach. Your body will likely crave water, so you should have an easy time consuming it.
What if the Hangover Symptoms Persist
These foods should address most of your hangover symptoms. However, you may need a doctor’s intervention after excess alcohol consumption.
In most instances, only heavy drinkers may find these solutions ineffective, which signals a larger problem. As such, alcohol addiction treatment is necessary.
However, alcohol poisoning is a life-threatening condition that afflicts most first-time and overly enthusiastic drinkers.
In such cases, you need emergency medical intervention. Symptoms include vomiting, seizures, confusion, slow breathing, and hypothermia. Additionally, dropping in and out of consciousness, unconsciousness, and pale skin should worry you. For more information, you can check out this blog: “how to get of a hangover“.
How to Minimize Chances of a Hangover
- Avoid drinking on an empty stomach. Food in your stomach helps reduce alcohol assimilation into your bloodstream. Eating greasy food and those full of amino acids is especially effective in regulating assimilation.
- Avoid drinking and smoking. Nicotine is known to make a hangover feel worse, as it increases intoxication in your body.
- Check if you have a family history of alcoholism. Your genetic makeup may predispose you to assimilate alcohol into your bloodstream faster than normal.
- Get enough sleep after a heavy night drinking spree. This will present your body with a chance to flush out toxins naturally.
Feeling a hangover could have you swearing off alcohol for the rest of your life. Going to work or hanging out with your family while nursing one makes things worse. You can also look for hangover pills to slow down your after-party effects.
This article points out some great hangover foods to help you arrest, slow down, and even reverse the effects of too much alcohol. You