can have some painful consequences the next morning—or longer. A
can leave imbibers with a
and more – and often these symptoms are combined with staying up late, being in a loud space for extended periods,
consuming excess sugar
, and not having optimized nutrients in our bodies when we already feel that day-after low.
“There are multiple issues that leave us feeling less than optimal after excess alcohol consumption,” says Kylene Bogden RDN, Pureboost Ambassador and co-founder of FWDfuel . “Alcohol intake, especially without adequate nutrition, can cause our blood sugar to crash, leaving us feeling tired and nauseous. Additionally, as our liver and kidneys work hard to metabolize the alcohol, we tend to use the restroom more, leading to dehydration . Lastly, alcohol decreases stomach-emptying and increases stomach acid, which can also lead to gastrointestinal disturbance.”
Feeling the day-after effects? While there’s no magic cure for a hangover—other than preventatively drinking alcohol in moderation or not consuming alcohol at all —these are some of the best hangover foods that are proven to help alleviate those unpleasant symptoms.
Grilled or Baked Chicken or Fish
“More than anything, it is important to eat a meal with ample protein and fat before, or at least during the time that we are consuming alcohol, especially if it is more than one drink because this will keep blood sugar steady,” Bogden says. If you can, aim for a palm full of protein the night before, cooked in 1-2 tablespoons of healthy fat , like olive oil, and a serving of carbohydrates . “This strategy helps with blood sugar control and also supports the loss of amino acids that occurs when your body metabolizes alcohol.”
You want to hydrate before, after, and during an event where there will be rampant alcohol. “Consume an electrolyte-rich beverage, a bonus if it contains amino acids as well,” Bogden says. “This can really help decrease the severity of symptoms.” Straight off supermarket shelves, you can stock up on electrolyte-rich sports drinks like Gatorade, Pedialyte, or coconut water , like Vita Coco. If you don’t like the flavor or need some more energy, try mixing coconut water into a smoothie. Or, plan ahead, and sip on this coconut water margarita as your drink of the night.
Fruit and Nut Butter
“Focus on smaller, lighter meals throughout the day,” Bogden suggests. Balanced, glorified snacks , if you will. “For example, do not eat an apple alone, dip it in peanut butter .” Any fruit and nut butter will work as a satisfying mini meal or snack. Try bananas with almond butter, strawberries with cashew butter, or pears with sunflower seed butter.
Crackers With Hummus
While it may be tempting to go straight for the Cheez-Its, amp up your crunchy snack with a protein and
. “Instead of polishing off a box of crackers, scoop out a serving or two and dip it in
,” Bodgen says. Make your own
in just five minutes (if your hangover headache can handle it).
Known for its healing properties, fresh ginger , steeped as a ginger tea or an ingredient in a dish like ginger stir-fry beef or ginger chicken soup with vegetables , can help alleviate a hangover. “Ginger may help relieve some of that nausea,” says nutritionist Rachel Binkley R.D., L.D. “If you can tolerate it, try to focus on getting protein, fruits, and vegetables.” Because caffeine can dehydrate you and potentially make your hangover even worse, consider sipping a warm ginger tea during the day instead of coffee or soda.
“If you are nauseous, it might be best to stick to bland foods,” Binkley suggests. “Your body needs more fluid and electrolytes when you are hungover. Don't be scared to choose something with a little more sodium.” This is where bone broth comes in. Purchase frozen (such as Brodo) or boxed (such as Pacific Foods) bone broth to heat on the stovetop or microwave, or make your own. Vegetarians can also cook up a batch of Parmesan-based broth in the Instant Pot , for a rich and soothing sip.
Though you may crave deep-fried fast food when hungover, press pause on that Taco Bell delivery order. “It may be best to avoid spicy or fried foods when you are hungover,” Binkley says. “These are more likely to upset your digestive system.” Instead, satiate your cravings for something crunchy by baking fries in the oven or air fryer . Add some nutritionist-approved salt and snack away.
Get a little bougie on your hangover day and go for a side of paté, chopped liver, or even sauteed foie gras, if that’s your thing. Poultry liver is full of vitamin B and protein—two nutrients essential in beating a hangover. “We want to focus on replenishing what nutrients were lost, and what our body used up in the process to metabolize the alcohol,” Bodgen says. “The key ingredients are ample protein, B vitamins, and electrolytes.”
There’s a reason a big brunch is the classic hangover remedy—a traditional diner-style American breakfast can have all the elements to jumpstart your hungover day. But at brunch, opt for savory over sweet. “The biggest key is to avoid refined sugar and fried foods,” Bodgen says. “Refined sugar will further hinder the blood sugar imbalance that arises when being hungover, and fried foods delay gastric-emptying, another issue our body is fighting as it works to get back on track.” Go for eggs that are poached or scrambled , for a boost of vitamin B and protein, whole wheat toast, and home fries instead of hash browns. A side of bacon or turkey sausage won’t hurt the healing process either.
This ingredient may look clinical, but it can help remove toxins from the body. “Activated charcoal is a helpful supplement to further support our body’s metabolism of alcohol,” Bodgen says. Add it to lemon water or a smoothie , but know that if you’re taking essential medications, charcoal can also rid your system of the active ingredients. If you are taking important meds, consult your doctor before giving this hangover remedy a try.