I don’t know about you, but I tend to drink a bit more in the summertime – something about the warm sun, the beach, the sand… and suddenly I’m craving glasses of chilled Rosé and Tequila (with lime of course!).
Drinking alcohol always seems like a great idea…at the time. But by morning we may wish we didn’t have that extra glass: will we ever learn?
Unfortunately it’s all too easy then to justify eating a greasy egg sandwich or downing that sugary drink – anything to make us feel....less terrible. But all those sugar additives and heavy foods – although maybe seem comforting at the time – more than likely makes us feel worse in the long run.
Having had a hangover once or twice in my life :), I’ve researched what to eat – and what to avoid eating – in order to feel better ASAP in a healthful way. There’s no getting around the fact that simply the passage of time will help us, but what we ingest definitely makes a huge difference in how long that time is.
Below are some of my healthy recommendations for helping us feel better when we wake up from that great time we so enjoyed the night before:
Alcohol acts as a diuretic, which can cause dehydration. Dehydration in turn plays a big role in those hangover symptoms, such as headache, nausea, fatigue, and dry mouth. Drinking tons of water helps us rehydrate and assists in replenishing the electrolytes (potassium and magnesium) that we lose when we have too much to drink.
Potassium rich foods – think bananas, avocados, spinach, sweet potatoes, citrus fruits, and tomatoes – are super helpful and nutritious. In order for our bodies to work properly, we need this type of electrolyte. In conjunction with lots of water, eating these foods will help alleviate the symptoms of a hangover big time!
MAGNESIUM RICH FOODS
In addition to potassium, another electrolyte that gets lost in our urine when we drink too much is magnesium. Find foods rich in magnesium, such as beans, nuts, whole grains, dark leafy greens, chicken, and dark chocolate (my personal fav). So eat up: we need to replace them! Coconut water is a great choice, as well, because it’s packed with electrolytes – but without all that added sugar and additives found in sports drinks.
GIVE ME A B!
Feeling weak and shaky in the AM? That's because alcohol causes our blood sugar levels to drop. To counteract that, try going for some of those healthy, starchy carbs like oats and whole grains (instead of bagels and pancakes!). They’ll help get our glucose levels back on track, while providing the much-needed B vitamins we lose while drinking too much.
Feeling sick to your stomach the next morning? Try to stay away from high-fiber and high-fat foods. And dump the sugar and artificial sweeteners – choose foods that are sweetened naturally (like fruit!).
Protein works wonders for that first morning-after meal, as well – it serves as a calming agent for our stomachs. I personally love eggs – just without all that cheese and bacon. What about Vegans, you ask? No problem: just add your favorite plant-based protein powder to your favorite smoothie…that works too.
The most obvious solution to a hangover, of course, is to not put ourselves in this situation in the first place – but we know temptation happens, especially when we’re out having a good time and our defenses are down and…things happen :)
So instead of saying “I’ll never drink again!” try following these recommendations and see how you feel.