With all the beach parties coming up, and the nights out at rooftops and clubs, there’s no escaping alcohol, and while having a drink or two can put you in a good mood, overdoing it will get your head pounding and your body aching the next day. But did you know there are ways to prevent hangovers through food?
Eat protein and healthy fats. The food that you have eaten before drinking affects how quickly the alcohol will get to your head. Basically, the more you’ve eaten, the slower alcohol is absorbed and the longer it will take for it to affect you; which is why people tend to feel tipsy very fast when drinking on an empty stomach. Although any food in your stomach is helpful, experts agree that protein and fat are the most effective in slowing the absorption process of alcohol.
Eat fruits and vegetables. Besides their great value for your health and overall wellbeing, fruits and vegetables are a great way to stay hydrated while getting the antioxidants and vitamins you need to stay healthy. Dehydration is one of the most common results of excessive alcohol and headaches caused by drinking.
Drink water. It’s not enough to get hydrated before going out, you need to stay hydrated throughout your evening. The general advice is to have a glass of water for every glass of alcohol you have, preferably in between glasses.
Tip: If the color of your pee is darker than the color of lemonade, you need to drink more water.
Avoid chocolate, spices, and tomatoes. Drinking alcohol can cause irritations in your stomach which result in acid reflux and items like chocolate, fried food, spices, and tomatoes will only increase your reflux; so it’s better to avoid them altogether.
Avoid caffeine. One of the most dangerous combinations one can make is caffeine and alcohol. If you have a coffee before you go out, you will be under the impression that the alcohol is not affecting you at all and end up drinking more than you normally would. The truth is that caffeine is making you feel that you are not intoxicated, but as soon as its effect goes off, you will directly feel the hit of alcohol.
Avoid salt. Having salty snacks while drinking is a double-edged sword. On one hand, it makes you feel full and bloated, so you don’t eat a proper meal; and on the other hand, salt makes you feel thirsty, and you are likely to drink more alcohol instead of reaching for a glass of water. End result? More dehydration, faster absorption of alcohol, worse hangover the next morning.
Bottom line, although we don’t advise excessive drinking if you find yourself in a situation where you will be consuming a lot of alcohol, remember these quick tips, they will help you have fun without having to lose the entire next day.
Dietitian Christelle Bedrossian