If you drank too much last night, step away from the pizza—and try these good-for-you hangover remedies.
Macey Hall 1 / 9
Rough night last night? On the mornings after you drink too much, when simply getting out of bed seems insurmountable, proper nutrition is instrumental in helping you bounce back to 100%.
And although you may be dying for a burger and fries, greasy, fatty food will actually make you feel worse—not to mention, it’ll negate all that hard work you put in at the gym. So what the hell should you eat?
We have you covered. With the help of a few good nutritionists, we’ve put together a list of foods and drinks that will help cure your hangover—in a healthy way.
Besides being an easily digested food that’s gentle on your stomach, eggs are packed with protein. Plus, thanks to their large amounts of cysteine, “eggs help mop up alcohol’s leftover toxins,” says Tammy Lakatos Shames, R.D., author of The Secret To Skinny. Although your waistline may be the last thing on your mind, keep your dish mostly egg whites—with just a yolk or two—so that you don't overdo it on the cholesterol.
People swear by this stuff to cure a hangover, and for good reason. It's insanely hydrating, and one carton typically packs more potassium than a banana—which is the key nutrient for feeling better fast. An added bonus of coconut water is that it’s more flavorful than regular water, which is helpful for people who have a hard time getting H2O down when they’re hungover. And while there’s no advantage to those flavored with fruit, there's no harm, either. “If the pineapple or tropical fruit flavors make it easier to get down, then I say go for it,” says Shames.
Although usually associated with a different kind of sick, try some soup after a rough (and by rough, we mean awesome) night. The salt in tomato or chicken varieties helps you retain water, and if you’ve been vomiting, you’ll need their potassium and sodium in your body, which returns your electrolytes back to baseline, says Sarah Krieger, R.D., a Tampa-based nutritionist. Plus, a sneaky benefit: the salt makes you thirsty, so you’re forced to rehydrate.
For hangover fuel, skip the typical drunchies like chips and pizza, and grab a piece of fresh fruit or a glass of 100% fruit juice instead. “Fructose—the sugar in fruit—helps to naturally boost the body’s energy," says Shames. "And it increases the rate at which the body gets rid of alcohol’s toxins." The fiber from fruit also aids your body in breaking down and absorbing the remains of last night’s beers, plus—because booze can have a diuretic effect—you'll restore the vitamins and nutrients that were lost from last night's binge.
One fruit that deserves its own bullet point is the banana—especially if you've (yikes!) thrown up. It's the obvious choice to get potassium into your system fast, plus bananas are gentle on the stomach. What's more: they’ll provide necessarily electrolytes lost during heaving drinking, Shames said.
Sure, coffee is an obvious hangover choice, but here’s why. Caffeine dilates blood vessels, which helps you get rid of your headache quicker, Krieger said. Plus, caffeine perks up brain functions, which we’re assuming are a little foggy after a long night out. If you can’t stomach it black, keep your coffee healthy by using nonfat milk and minimal sweetner.
Green tea is packed with antioxidants, which keep your body’s cells—and therefore organs—healthy. This means a healthier liver, which will help you recover faster. If you’re feeling nauseous, add rosemary or lavender to your tea—they’ll calm your stomach fast.
Although typically not recommended outside of intense physical activity, go ahead and make an exception on particularly hellish mornings. Sports drinks like Gatorade and Powerade pack loads of fluid-balancing electrolytes, which is exactly what your body needs after one—okay, a few—too many beers. To stay healthy, pick ones with low or no sugar.