So you decided last night to let loose a little bit and ended up drinking more than you had originally planned. It’s alright, it happens to the best of us. The only problem is, you’re paying for it today with a wicked hangover. This usually means an intense hangover, nausea and a complete energy drain. Most of us know that drinking can cause a hangover, but do you know exactly why you feel this way after drinking?
There are different theories as to why drinking alcohol makes you feel so zapped the next day, though most experts agree that it’s a combination of dehydration, a change in your glucose metabolism, increased heart rate and a weakened immune system. When people feel this way, they tend to eat foods that are normally greasy and unhealthy, thinking that it’s the best way to cure a hangover. But will that really help you? Before you get off the couch and try to eat (which is easier said than done), let’s take a look at some of the foods you should be eating if you experience a bad hangover.
You may have noticed that when you drink, you tend to go to the bathroom pretty frequently. When you do this, your body expels much of the potassium you’ve been storing through urine, leaving you depleted of this essential mineral. Bananas are easy to eat and digest, which is key since you might not have an appetite at all while hungover.
Bananas are the most popular source of potassium to help you regain electrolytes lost by drinking. Studies have even been formed to show the banana’s effect for those that had too much to drink the previous day and found that bananas slashed hangover symptoms in half. If you’re really feeling down, you can have more than one!
Asparagus isn’t really one of the first foods you think about when you wake up with a pounding headache, but it can make the rest of your day much easier. In 2009, Japanese scientists conducted a study to find the best foods for a hangover, and found that the asparagus was vastly underrated for its benefits. It turns out that asparagus contains amino acids that were able to flush toxins out of your liver.
Asparagus leaves were the source of the helpful amino acids according to research, and the conclusion was that this vegetable “can help alleviate alcohol hangover and protect liver cells.” So not only are you helping the rest of your day go smoothly, but you’re also protecting your liver in the long run! Just remember not to breath through your nose when you’re flushing out those toxins later on.
Eggs have always been a popular choice for a hangover cure, though most people don’t know exactly why they help so much. It turns out that eggs have a couple of compounds that are key for getting your body back to normal in the form of cysteine and taurine. Your liver needs taurine to function properly, and getting rid of the toxins will get your liver back to normal, leaving you feeling much better.
As for cysteine, it helps get rid of the acetaldehyde that built up in your body while drinking. Some scientists say that acetaldehyde is the particular chemical that causes most headaches during a hangover, and it only gets introduced into your body when your liver processes ethanol from booze. Now you know why eggs are so popular in the morning.
One of the problems when you’re incredibly hungover is that you might not have enough of an appetite to keep food down. If you don’t think you can handle eating that much, a spoonful of honey might be able to do the trick. Eating a small amount of honey has been shown to break down the alcohol leftover in your body into acetic acid that can easily be burned through your metabolism.
Experts suggest putting honey on a piece of dry toast or a cracker if you’re not feeling too hungry. Out of the foods that were high in fructose. It was honey that came out on top as being the best for hangovers. Thankfully, there’s not too much sugar that will cause you to feel even worse, and the taste might just be perfect for how you’re feeling.
Even though you’re not technically eating drinks, you need to replenish the fluids in your body that were lost during a night of drinking. Of course, water is the first thing that you need as your body lost a lot of it by drinking, but there are others that can help just as much. Sports drinks are incredibly popular as a hangover cure since they contain plenty of sodium, but many of them also have sugar that can leave you feeling even worse.
Scientists have said that the best drinks for a hangover are coconut water and Pedialyte. These drinks don’t contain as many calories (or sugar) as sports drinks, and even provide more electrolytes that were lost. Coconut water is especially helpful since it contains all of the essential minerals to replenish your body.
When you’re feeling dehydrated, one of the first foods you should turn to is watermelon, since the cure is right there in the name. It’s pretty obvious, but we call watermelon that name because it’s mostly comprised of water. It’s one of the most hydrating foods that you can find, and it has other benefits to get rid of your hangover.
Watermelon is a significant source of hangover fighting minerals such as potassium and magnesium that your body lost while drinking. If you get achy muscles when you’re hungover, you certainly need more potassium to rebound, and watermelon delivers big time to improve your blood circulation and boost energy. Since it’s light in calories, high in fiber and water, it’s incredibly easy to eat even when you’re not hungry.
Though you won’t see many people eating a tomato the same way you’d eat an apple, desperate times can call for desperate measures. Tomatoes are great for detoxification since they contain helpful nutrients like vitamin A and C, lycopene and beta-carotene. Alcohol doesn’t have much nutrition at all (especially liquor), so you might be missing out on these key nutrients, especially for those that don’t like to eat while drinking.
If eating feels like it’s going to be too difficult, try finding (or making) some tomato juice. Researchers have found that tomatoes in any form are beneficial to curing a hangover. The only problem is, tomato juice could remind you of a bloody mary, which is enough to make you sick all over again!
When you drink too much alcohol at a given time, you’re really doing a number on your immune system. To get back to where you were before you picked up that first drink, you need to concentrate on foods that are packed with vitamins and antioxidants, and blueberries are among the foods that have the highest concentration of antioxidants. Plus, they taste great even while hungover.
One of the antioxidants found in blueberries is pterostilbene, which boosts your immune system almost immediately to get you back on track. Vitamins C and K also stand out as powerful antioxidants to relieve nausea and headaches. Not feeling up to eating? Make a smoothie with a high concentration of blueberries to start feeling better.
While almonds might be a little higher in calories than some of the other foods we’ve looked at, they’re just as advantageous for curing a hangover. Eating a handful shouldn’t be a problem for anybody, and they contain healthy fats that allow your liver to get back to normal and prevent disease. There’s also a solid amount of vitamin E that you’ll need after drinking, and protein helps your muscles rebuild from the damage of the night before. Even a glass of almond milk will do the trick if you’re just thirsty.
We’ve heard about the dangers of drinking soda (especially non-diet sodas), but in this rare instance, we can tell you to drink a can if you had to many non-soft drinks the night before. Chinese research took several different soft drinks to test their effect on hangovers. It was concluded that Sprite specifically alleviated many of the symptoms.
It shouldn’t come as too much of a surprise as parents have been giving children with nausea Sprite for years. Sprite was found to reduce acetaldehyde by making it acetate that’s easily burned by the body. So don’t go drinking a soda every day, but just know that Sprite is a solid hangover cure.