Hungover? You need food!


The office party.  The neighbors’ open house. Nogs and bubbly and toddies.  A little too much holiday cheer?

Forget about the hair of the dog; you need food.


Eating before drinking is a good thing. Food in your stomach slows down the absorption of alcohol into your bloodstream and gives your body a little extra time to process alcohol’s byproducts. Dairy products can also protect the stomach lining. Smoothies and sports drinks can help maintain electrolytes and keep you hydrated. Fried and fatty foods stick to the stomach lining the longest. In Mediterranean countries it’s traditional to down a spoonful of olive oil before imbibing.

Last Call

Replenish before bed with a few glasses of water. It fights dehydration and helps break down the alcohol still in your stomach and dilute what’s in your bloodstream. Even better are enhanced waters and sports drinks that can replace the salts and minerals lost through drinking.

The Morning After

Before you reach for the coffee, try some juice. The fructose will give you a boost of energy and metabolize any residual alcohol, and the vitamin C can flush out toxins. Experienced drinkers swear by the restorative effects of prickly pear juice.

Eggs are a good choice for breakfast. They contain large amounts of cysteine, a substance that breaks down the hangover-causing toxins that alcohol leaves in your liver. And what about mopping up the eggs with burnt toast? There’s an urban legend kind of remedy that claims that the carbon in burnt toast will act like a filter to remove alcohol and toxins, akin to the carbon that is pumped into the stomach of a poisoning victim. But a hangover and alcohol poisoning are two very different animals, as are activated carbon and blackened toast.

Now for the coffee…

The caffeine will help fight fatigue. It can also alleviate a headache by constricting blood vessels in your head that the alcohol swelled. Unfortunately, coffee is a diuretic and will exacerbate dehydration so that ultimately that hangover headache will come roaring back.

The best cure of all is time. Most hangovers disappear within 8 to 24 hours.

Need more suggestions? The Chowhound board has a thread dedicated to hangover foods. features an interactive chart of hangover cures from around the globe.

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4 Responses to Hungover? You need food!

  1. Janice says:

    Perhaps I need to write a post about kitchen safety. I’m thinking smoke detectors, fire extinguishers, proper ventilation…

  2. Dorothy says:

    Wait – activated carbon and burnt toast aren’t the same thing? You’ve obviously never had the toast I once made in desperation over a gas flame (probably while hungover…)

  3. Janice says:

    You sound like a man who knows of these things (lol).

  4. Ed SChenk says:

    Very comprehensive. All good advice

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