Hung Over? You Need Food!

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The office party. The neighbors’ open house. Too much holiday cheer. Nogs and bubbly and toddies.
Forget about the hair of the dog; you need food.

Pregame
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, 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. Hydrate. And hydrate some more.

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.

NationalGeographic.com features an interactive chart of hangover cures from around the globe.

Over at Hangover School, they rate the cures, including a new breed of preventive treatments.

Deep-fried canaries, Polish pickle juice—the LA Times has a slideshow of the world’s worst hangover cures.

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10 Responses to Hung Over? You Need Food!

  1. Pingback: IV Vitamins | Gigabiting

  2. All very good suggestions! I haven’t been hungover in a while, but I will keep this in mind if and when I am!

  3. Janice says:

    I don’t know, i still think In ‘n Out is good for whatever ails you.

  4. Peggy says:

    I wish I had read this last night before we went to the Halloween party! Definitely some great tips that I will put into use next time!

  5. G Martin says:

    Well that just gave me a trip down memory lane to my college days. I don’t drink that much anymore, but it’s good information nonetheless.

  6. Reminds me of my old college days. We used to consider a meal at In ‘n’ Out burger restorative to combat the Sunday morning hangover. Fortunately, my standards have evolved! I think the olive oil is a much better idea.

  7. Janice says:

    I’m not much of a drinker myself, but we know what the holidays look like- plenty could benefit from this.

  8. Monet says:

    These are some helpful tips for the holiday party season! Thank you for sharing. Ryan and I don’t drink very much anymore, but when we do…we’ll remember these tips!

  9. Frank says:

    Now this is what I call news you can use! Great tips–didn’t know about the juice… 😉

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