Good morning sunshine!
If you are not feeling too hot from last night’s fun, it is likely due to the over-consumption of alcohol (technically poison to our bodies) which includes toxins such as ethanol. These work to interfere with the neurotransmitters in our brains and slow the messages passing from our brain to the rest of our body. This leads to changes in your body including hormonal swings.
However, the worst of the hangover is due to alcohol being a diuretic–meaning it speeds up the rate your body expels fluids. (Hence why the line for the bathroom at the bar is always so long!) So unless you chugged an entire bottle of water before bed, the brunt of your hangover is due to dehydration.
Hangover symptoms typically include a headache, achy muscles, increased sensitivity to light and sound, decreased motor skills, nausea and an upset stomach. There is no surefire “cure” for your hangover other than giving your body time to recover–but here are the best and worst food and drinks to help get you through your morning after.
This is the main player in the game to beat your hangover. Your body is literally begging for water when you are hungover–give it what it needs. When your body is running low on H2O (maybe from your decision last night to declare a new love for tequila) it began to pull water from other available sources–such as your brain (hence your pounding head). Stumble to the sink and start chugging that sweet sweet water. Even better, keep a spill-proof water bottle full next to your bed and next time you go out for a wild night, drink as much water as you can before hitting the hay.
The favorite of hard-partying frat boys for a reason. Pedialyte is made to replenish fluids, sodium, and potassium for sick children who may have lost these vital substances. The sodium and potassium help your body retain the water it needs to rehydrate and honesty, it does not taste bad.
“Oh, I am so trendy and healthy” you can tell yourself as sipping coconut water helps you come back to life. Similar to Pedialyte, coconut water has five of the electrolytes found in human blood (while sports drinks only have two). It is also lower in calories and sugar than sports drinks so you can drink guilt-free.
Tea is known for soothing upset tummies and is a favorite of pregnant women suffering morning sickness. Boil some water and pop in your favorite calming brew as you delete last night’s horrible snap story.
Avoid orange but reach for some cranberry or apple juice and enjoy the sweet taste of recovery. The vitamins and water will help rehydrate your body and the fructose (natural sugars) will give you a quick kick of energy. Just be sure you are not consuming too much sugar–as this will weight you down and slow your healing process.
Ever seen an ’80s football movie? This is what they are drinking on the sidelines. It’s pretty funky but pickle juice is a solid hangover shortener as it speeds up your rehydration process. Containing vinegar, salt, and water–pickle juice will help replenish electrolyte and sodium which in turn, help your body hold water. Try a sip or two before drinking at night and another two sips in the morning–if you can stomach the strong taste.
Scrambled, sunny-side-up or in a sandwich–eggs are a betch brunch staple for a reason. Packed with amino acids, nomming on some eggs will boost liver function and break down acetaldehyde–the leftover toxic from your body breaking down ethanol. Also, they are super easy to make so even your man can do it while you try to wash off that stubborn caked-on mascara.
Also super easy to prepare, a hot bowl of oatmeal has tons of B vitamins, calcium. magnesium and iron. Top with some fruit and soon you will start to feel like a human again.
Crackers or Toast
Feeling extra unwell? Some plain crackers or toast topped with a little honey is great for raising your low blood sugar while settling your upset stomach. However, do not make this your main meal of the morning–be sure to follow up with some protein (eggs, anyone?) for some longer-term energy and nutrition.
Fruit and Veggies
Aim for ones full of potassium (also great for helping with cramps) such as bananas, dates and leafy greens. Break out the blender and make a smoothie if you do not want a morning salad. Include some yogurt as it is also packed with potassium and you will start feeling better in no time.
What To Avoid
Sorry about this one but it is true. Large, fatty meals are better at preventing hangovers than curing one. Fried foods especially can irritate your already struggling stomach so stick to the suggested foods above for the morning after. Crush that burger and fries before the drinks start flowing to help your body handle the alcohol when it enters your system. And for an added hangover reducer try having a small, healthy snack like a granola bar with that bottle of water before you head to bed.
Orange, grapefruit and other sour citruses (in juice or fruit form) can irritate your already queasy stomach. Also, avoid a Bloody Mary–tomato juice is acidic and more alcohol is a bad decision.
Another reason to skip the Bloody Mary! Hair of the dog or whatever you want to call it–is just postponing and worsening your impending hangover. Your body needs to flush out the remaining alcohol–not digest more.