Best and Worst Foods to Cure a Hangover
Hangovers are the worst. Alcohol has a wide range of effects on your body, many of which contribute to the symptoms people face when hungover. These include dehydration, gastrointestinal effects, electrolyte imbalance, low blood sugar and even difficulty in sleeping. We’ve compiled a list of best foods to have as well as ones to avoid during a hangover, to make that struggle a little easier for you!
Bananas. These fruits are loaded with potassium and magnesium, two things the body loses when drinking alcohol. Additionally, potassium helps to reduce nausea and tiredness.
Crackers. Crackers contain fast-acting carbs that increase help to absorb and process the alcohol remaining in your body. They also help raise your blood sugar to combat that groggy feeling that we all know too well.
Coconut Water. Sometimes sports drinks can be too sweet for your tastebuds, especially after a night of heavy drinking! Coconut water as a natural drink contains essential electrolytes like calcium, potassium and magnesium. It also has a soothing effect on your stomach and is less likely to irritate it.
Eggs. Eggs are rich in cysteine, an amino acid that your body uses to produce the antioxidant glutathione that the body loses when drinking alcohol. They also help breakdown acetaldehyde which is the root cause of hangovers. Perhaps the ‘Hangover Eggs’ recipe should on the menu as an antidote for a sore head!
Ginger. This spice is famous for reducing nausea, settling your stomach and stimulating the metabolism which in turn enhances detoxification. If chewing on ginger in root form may be too much to take in when you’re already hungover, why not grate it into hot water or blend it into a fresh fruit or vegetable juice?
Honey. Due to the presence of fructose which competes with the metabolism of alcohol, honey has the ability to neutralise the harmful effects as well as aid in digestion of alcohol. A simple solution that is known to work a treat is to boil one cup of water, add honey and lemon juice to taste.
Pickles. Pickles are known to be high in sodium, an electrolyte that is used up when alcohol is consumed. Eating pickles or drinking its brine may be effect in boosting your sodium levels. However, be mindful that the sodium content of different picked may vary by brand.
Watermelon. One of the main symptoms of a hangover are headaches, which are most likely caused by dehydration and decreased blood flow to the brain. Eating watermelons may help as they are rich in L-citrulline, a nutrient that can increase blood flow. Alternatively, its high water content can also help in rehydration.
Foods to avoid
Alcohol. As famous as the saying ‘the hair of the dog’ may be, drinking more alcohol will in truth leave you feeling worse in the long run.
Caffeine. Dr. Alexander Kuo, the medical director of liver transplantation at Cedars-Sinai in Los Angeles, has stated that alcohol can cause ‘gastroesophageal reflux, so it may be helpful to avoid foods that can further trigger heartburn, such as caffeine, acidic foods, spicy foods and mint’.
Greasy Meats. Andrea Chernus, a registered dietitian, says greasy food is the worst thing you could have because ‘alcohol is processed through the same metabolic pathways as fat, and so when your body is breaking down the alcohol, it’s kind of putting the fats to the side’. When it does this, your body cannot handle both of them at the same time. So, as tempting as it may be to grab the sandwich wrapped in bacon and extra cheese, keep in mind that it will leave you feeling bad for longer.
Hangovers affect individuals differently. A single drink is enough to trigger a hangover for one person, whereas another may have several drinks and still be able to escape being hungover. If you find yourself being the former, try some of the tips we’ve set out for you.