BlogNutritionThe Best Hangover Food And Drink Cures

The Best Hangover Food And Drink Cures

Are you suffering from a pounding headache, fatigue, and nausea? It looks like you have all the signs of a hangover. Let's find out what products can fix it!

Taisiia Dobrozorova
Written by Taisiia Dobrozorova on October 12, 2021
Fact checked by Ievgeniia Dobrynina

Table of contents

What happens to our bodies in the morning after a party? Why do we feel thirst and suffer from the headaches so keenly? 

Get your 100% personalized meal plan by completing our 3-min quiz

Get your 100% personalized meal plan by completing our 3-min quiz

None of the known diets should be followed without considering your unique body needs, preferences, and goals

Start Quiz

What are hangover markers? And what do they stand for?

Let's start with the basics and definition of a hangover. In simple terms, a hangover is the reaction of our organism to a large amount of alcohol.

Scientifically speaking, it starts when blood alcohol concentration approaches zero(1), that is, on the morning after the party.

Mental and physical symptoms(2) of a hangover include:

  • headache, 
  • tiredness, 
  • concentration problems, 
  • thirst, 
  • dizziness, 
  • nausea, 
  • cognitive impairment,
  • mood changes.

So, if you observe such unpleasant markers after an alcoholic feast, most likely you deal with a hangover.

Tiredness and concentration problems can seriously interfere with your work. In turn, nausea, headache, and dizziness can generally put you out of action.

Moreover, an alcohol hangover shows similar symptoms that occur in mineral deficient conditions(3). Not surprising, though. The lack of certain biochemical components always prevents our body from functioning properly.

What food cures a hangover

So what kind of food, then, can replenish the empty reserves of trace elements? Such types of nutrients may be essential for beating a hangover:

  • Hydrating products. (After an alcoholic evening, the first to come to the rescue should not be pills or a new portion of alcohol, but clean water and products that will help restore water balance).
  • Potassium. (Potassium is an important electrolyte that helps the body maintain water balance. Alcohol is very dehydrating, so eating foods with potassium can help you replenish electrolytes that you lost the day before).
  • Complex carbohydrates. (Complex carbohydrates are easy to digest, and in a hangover, your body needs exactly the food that doesn't need to be digested for a long time. For instance, cook a bowl of oatmeal. But remember, fast carbs are not your friends. There are many of them in cookies and glazed cereals).
  • Protein. (Protein is the “building block” of our body, so it is ideal as a hangover savior. Foods high in protein can help slow the absorption of alcohol, make you feel fuller, and restore strength to your body).
  • Vitamin B foods. (Alcohol interferes with the absorption of B vitamins (B6, folic acid, B12), which the body needs to maintain metabolism and provide energy).

What to eat with a hangover

Since you know what can be the greatest helpers in fighting immense grogginess, you may start looking for hangover remedies in your refrigerator.

To replenish your body's stores and alleviate symptoms of a severe hangover, you should sort the food best suited to your needs.

Chicken Noodle Soup (or Tomato bisque)

The hot broth starts the body's work. When you eat, you begin to sweat, which means that the body has turned on, began to process the acetic acid remaining after alcohol, and expel it outside.

Chicken noodle soup is ideal since it contains protein, sodium(4), and easy-to-digest carbohydrates. Chicken soup will satisfy some of your needs while you're drunk, just as it will when you're sick.

Depending on your taste, it can also be replaced by tomato bisque. 

To clarify, only the broth itself is important to eliminate the symptoms of a hangover. Eat very little noodles and meat from this soup, since these are ingredients that are heavy enough for digestion.

- Ievgeniia Dobrynina, Dietitian

Banana

If you're feeling weak or unbalanced, it's possible that you're deficient in potassium. Bananas are an excellent source of potassium. They're also simple to digest so that they won't cause a churning tummy.

In this sense, avocados are just as good.

Sweet Potato

Sweet potatoes are substantial in complex carbs and a good source of potassium, which can help regulate electrolyte levels after drinking alcohol. 

Sweet potatoes can also assist in the moderation of blood sugar spikes and crashes, which may help to lessen appetite and prevent overeating caused by alcohol consumption.

Porridge

Porridges are a nutrient-rich snack containing the B vitamins we lose in the metabolism of alcohol, and zinc, which we likewise require morning-after.

On the off chance that your glucose is low (and it runs low from drinking), a bowl of porridge is a perfect hangover cure.

Watermelon

Watermelon is also on the list of hangover foods. Since headaches in this condition are usually caused by dehydration and decreased blood flow to the brain, watermelon may be a lifesaver. This summer food is rich in Array(5), a nutrient that can improve blood circulation.

Dairy products

Many of the chemicals included in milk products help to eliminate toxins from the body. As a result, dairy products are thought to be highly beneficial for a hangover.

Fermented milk products (yogurt, kefir, etc.) have the strongest effect.

Vegetarian food for a hangover

Finding hangover food recipes is much easier when you are eating a wide variety of foods. But what about vegetarian meals? After all, vegetarians may suffer from headaches after a party as well. Here are some possible options:

Smoothie with spinach. Spinach, like other greens, is rich in potassium(6), retinol, folate, and ascorbic acid. These trace elements in a short time fight a hangover, quickly removing stagnant fluid from the body.

Miso soup. Another great vegetarian hangover meal. If you exclude seafood from it, then the dish is also suitable for vegans. It is an excellent substitute for chicken broth.

Is greasy food good for a hangover?

In a word, no, it isn't good for a hangover. Fatty foods eaten the following day do not absorb alcohol. 

Moreover, they prevent the liver from further breaking down alcohol. The fact that alcohol is not yet sufficiently broken down is evident from the very fact of having a hangover. 

Our advice is to skip very fatty foods and use as little oil as possible in your breakfast.

What to drink with a hangover

Drinks are just as important, if not more important, in the fight against hangovers. Alcohol is a potent diuretic. It flushes out fluid stores from the body. To restore them, refer to the list of thirst-saving beverages we have prepared.

Green Tea (helps to restore water balance and can be indispensable for a hangover).

Herbal tea (also helps to dehydrate the body. For cooking herbal tea, you can take plants such as rose hips, yarrow, ginseng, hops, etc).

Mixed fruit and vegetable juice (pear juice, green grape juice, and keiskei juice - an unusual combination that actually is an effective treatment(7) against a hangover).

Water (drinking as much water as possible will most likely be the first instinctive reaction of your body, but do not forget about it throughout the day).

Pickle juice (the salt in pickle juice is meant to help you rehydrate after a night of drinking. Pickle juice will help you retain electrolytes, but you should also drink enough water and get plenty of rest).

The 5 best hangover breakfasts 

Now that you know what micronutrients and foods are needed to fight a hangover, there is only one question: how do you make a proper meal out of them? Any hearty and healthy breakfast will certainly benefit you. Yet, we need not only to calm thirst and hunger but also to eliminate general malaise.

Tackling this problem doesn’t take much time and effort. Here are some simple recipes that combine the “hangover saviors” your body requires.

The dietary fried eggs

The brunch staple to mop up the toxins will be eggs. They are rich in cysteine, which increases glutathione we lose due to drinking. For that reason, eggs can help restore essential amino acid stores and reduce hangover symptoms. 

A properly cooked fried egg may contain almost no fat, but it certainly does contain cysteine. Calorie content of dietary fried eggs - 162 kcal per 100 grams. Reduce the amount of sunflower oil, or even better, replace it with olive oil, and enjoy healthy fried eggs for a hangover.

Portions: 1

Ingredients:

  • 1 egg
  • 1 squirt of olive oil spray
  • salt

Lentil soup with tomatoes

Such a soup, thanks to the lentils rich in vegetable protein and the light freshness of the tomatoes, will help to have a quick start after a wild night. And for a more satisfying option, you can use vegetable or chicken broth instead of water.

Portions: 8

Ingredients:

  • Red lentils - 150 g
  • Green-brown lentils - 200 g
  • Canned tomato slices - 400 g
  • Garlic 
  • Onion - 1 
  • Carrot - 1 
  • Olive oil - 20 ml
  • Ground black pepper
  • Sea salt
  • Saffron - 1/2 teaspoon
  • Dried basil
  • Dried oregano
  • Dried tarragon

Kebab

According to research(8), alcohol interferes with your body's absorption of amino acids. The constant use of alcoholic beverages is often the cause of amino acid deficiencies. 

Meat is a type of high-protein food. Thus, while your body breaks down protein into amino acids, that makes meat a great hangover option.

Portions: 4

Ingredients:

  • Minced meat (lamb or beef) - 700 g
  • Lard - 100 g
  • Bow - 2
  • Salt and pepper
  • Coriander
  • Dried basil
  • Garlic cloves - 2
  • Cilantro greens - 5-6 sprigs
  • Vegetable oil - 50 g

Congee porridge

Congee, a thin rice porridge, is a popular Chinese breakfast. It can help to soothe the stomach after alcoholic intoxication.

Portions: 4

Ingredients:

  • Rice - 200 g
  • Garlic cloves - 2 
  • Ginger - 50 g
  • Soy sauce - 1 tbsp.
  • Chicken breast - 2 pieces
  • Oyster sauce - 1 tbsp.
  • Ground black pepper
  • Porcini mushrooms - 6 
  • Sesame oil - 1 tbsp.
  • Chicken bouillon 

Sweet potato puree

If you want to say goodbye to your hangover, make a sweet potato puree. Indeed, the peel of this vegetable has 3 times more antioxidants than all other vegetables.

Portions: 8

Ingredients:

  • Peeled and sliced sweet potatoes - 3 lb.
  • Butter - 60 gr. (or less)
  • Chopped banana - 1
  • The juice of one peeled and squeezed orange (do not throw away the zest)
  • Chicken broth - 1 tbsp. 
  • Brown sugar - 0.5 tbsp.
  • Grated nutmeg - 0.5 tsp.
  • Salt 
  • Pepper

Unusual hangover remedies you can try

Most of the time, the usual hangover remedies are enough, but sometimes we think out of the box. Don’t be afraid to try more “specific tricks” if you feel they may work for you. Intuitive eating is still a partly uncovered topic in nutritional science.

Kombucha

If you want anything other than juices and water, kombucha can be a good option. It includes electrolytes and can aid in rehydration. Although there isn't much evidence that kombucha can assist with stomach pains, the bubbles may make you feel better.

Ginger

Ginger reduces general intoxication and helps suppress nausea that often accompanies a hangover. You can also make a drink from it.

Prairie Oyster

One of the most notable headache fixes in the United States, Prairie Oyster, surprisingly quickly brings your body back to normal. Its ingredients are one raw egg, hot sauce, salt, Worcestershire sauce, and pepper.

A Big Glass Of Coconut Water

What can better work for a hangover than water? Only coconut water! Coconut water is recognized as the best way to rehydrate the body(9). It’s a natural drink that contains some essential minerals. Coconut water has no artificial additives and is high in electrolytes.

The bottom line

  • Drink as much water as you can stand. Rehydration is the vital thing that will help you feel better.
  • Learn what nutrients and minerals your poor body may be lacking. Find meals that match your symptoms. Don't be afraid to try unexpected food combinations.
  • Vegetarianism will not stop you from quickly recovering from a hangover. You don't have to cram in fatty broths to get fresh.
  • A hangover can affect your physical and emotional well-being. Therefore, do not dwell on your bad mood and general weakness. These can disappear after a quality breakfast.
  • Try to go with different meals and start treatment as early as possible. Better yet, consume alcohol in moderation to keep your body healthy!

Sources