By David Grotto, RD, LDN
Nobody ever plans a hangover, that’s for sure. The horrible memory of a spinning room or pounding head should be enough of an incentive to just say “no” to another round but sometimes the fun you’re having overshadows those memories and the fact that you’ve had way too much to drink, until it’s too late. Welcome to the morning after.
The best cure for a hangover is to never get one in the first place. Hopefully everyone reading this already knows that if you choose to drink, you should drink responsibly. But if you ever find yourself feeling less than stellar the next day from the effects of alcohol, you might want to try some of these tried-and-true food approaches suggested by Wendy Jo Petersen, MS, RD aka the “Fuelin’ Roadie,” who has helped her fair share of musicians and crew members feel better after a night gone wrong.
1. Fresh ginger contains gingerols which is not only a great remedy for the waves crashing in your stomach but is also great for the aches and pain from moving your body in ways you never knew you could! Brew up a batch of fresh ginger tea and sip all day. Candied ginger can be stored for months and is a great stand-in for fresh ginger.
2. Pho bowls are a steamy, broth-based Vietnamese soup brimming with noodles, fresh herbs, and calming spices. Be sure to slurp the broth to get the added fluids and electrolytes your dehydrated body is craving! If you can’t find Pho, opt for a bowl of good ol’ fashioned chicken noodle soup instead.
3. Eggs truly have the right “ingredients” to fight a hangover. Eggs contain cysteine, an amino acid that helps break down an alcohol-induced toxin called acetaldehyde. An omelet may be just the trick to sop up your hangover woes.
4. Dried apricots are an excellent source of potassium, which is commonly depleted as the result of alcohol’s diuretic effect. Toss back a handful as soon as you get up to get something in your stomach.
5. Probiotics are the good bacteria found in the gut, and if your gut is aching you probably need to replenish your body’s natural defense. Kefir, yogurt, miso, fermented foods, and a variety of food products now have a hefty dose of probiotics in them, so find one you like and keep it on hand.
6. Coconut water is packed with electrolytes and is aso high in potassium, moderate in calories, and has low acidity content. Skip the flavored varieties and stick with the refreshing natural flavor of pure coconut water. If you are trying to be pro-active, drink 16 oz before you head off to bed!
7. Tomato juice is packed with antioxidants, electrolytes, and the fluid you need to help your body regroup. Skip the alcohol and go with the “Virgin Mary” or the popular non-alcoholic “Caesar” made with clamato.
Thank you Mary Jo! And here’s to never having to resort to using these delicious foods and beverages as hangover remedies (raising a non-alcoholic beverage to toast to that!). But these foods and beverages are also great for that queasy feeling regardless of what caused it. Do you have a favorite way to beat hangovers besides common sense? Feel free to comment!