how to use food to recover from a girls/guys night out
The holidays may be over but that doesn’t mean that there aren’t some big nights out up ahead in 2020. With the big games, Galentine’s Day, Valentine’s Day and St. Patrick’s day just around the corner, you’re going to need to gear up with some knowledge on how to recover quickly so you don’t lose your whole day to a night on the town. Most people try to recover by putting together the greasiest (and probably super delicious) meal they can with whatever is left in the fridge.
While we can definitely stan that kind of recovery, there are a few other (healthier) alternatives. How alcohol is broken down and absorbed is complicated and pretty toxic as it’s metabolized. It’s these toxins that lead to the hangover symptoms that you feel. With the help of our nutritionist, Amy Haynes, we pulled together the best tips, tricks and yes, foods to eat, to help recovery go faster.
Eat right before you go out
As most people know, the liver takes the brunt of your night out shenanigans. Eating 20-30 grams of complex carbohydrates about 1 hour before your first drink can help support your liver in processing alcohol. The carbohydrates convert to glycogen in the liver and lessen the severity of the toxins created in the natural breakdown of alcohol. A couple easy options to eat to help get this done are a couple slices of toast, ½ of a bagel, or 2/3 cup cooked rice or quinoa.
Drink tons of water
We know, we know. This is the advice literally everyone gives after a night out to recover, but this list wouldn’t be complete without it. The key with overcoming dehydration is to try to stop it before it happens. Drink water in between alcoholic drinks and before you go to sleep to avoid waking up in the middle of the night with a mouth that feels dryer than the Sahara Desert.
It wouldn’t hurt to add a few electrolytes into your water as well to help your body hold onto that hydration. You can buy little packets of electrolytes on Amazon or pick up a Gatorade in a pinch (although we suggest you avoid the sugar).
You can also add a pinch of Himalayan pink salt to water you drink both while you’re out and after you get home to help replenish minerals in your body.
Fast in the morning
To get technical (thanks, Amy!), hangovers happen when glutathione levels are depleted. Essentially, glutathione is made of amino acids that are very helpful when your body is processing alcohol. Fasting can actually help replenish glutathione levels and help the liver to process alcohol. So when your body tells you that food is a “no go” the morning after indulging a bit too much, it might be a good idea to listen.
Have a vitamin B brunch
Vitamin B is great for helping you energize, which you will definitely be needing after a night out. Alcohol also has a tendency to deplete the vitamin B in your body so this one is a bit of a double whammy. If your stomach can handle brunch, we recommend some boiled eggs to keep the grease level down, slices of avocado, a few pieces of whole grain toast and washing it down with a glass of milk (again drink lots of fluids). While the toast may not have any vitamin B, the carbs will help give you a little energy boost and they can help settle a nauseous stomach.
If this feels like WAY too much for you to be doing in your current state, just opt for a banana or a bone broth which still has vitamin B6 and requires very minimal prep.
Boost your immune system at dinner
Once your stomach has had a chance to have some me time, make sure to eat a dinner that contains a lot of vitamin C. We don’t recommend this right off the bat in the morning because foods high in vitamin C tend to be acidic, which is not a good idea to keep nausea at bay.
There is research that shows a connection between alcohol use and a lowered immune system so it can’t hurt to help your body defend itself with a little vitamin C. Fruits and vegetables like broccoli, strawberries, oranges and kale are full of vitamin C and honestly sound like they would make a great salad.
There is research that shows a connection between alcohol use and a lowered immune system
Drink coffee or tea
This one is again about increasing energy levels. If you can’t get through a normal morning without a cup of coffee, how are you supposed to get through THIS morning without one? The caffeine will help with the brain fog that you’re feeling and it gets some liquid into your body. Technically coffee is a diuretic, but according to the Mayo Clinic, it doesn’t cause the excessive amount of fluid loss that would increase dehydration.
Get some sleep
This one may seem basic, but it can be hard to get enough sleep to compensate for a night out. Between staying up late and your body waking you up at 7 a.m. after going to bed at 3 a.m. (this can’t just be us) it’s easy to add sleep deprived on top of everything else you are feeling.
Try to get at least 8 hours of sleep (or as much as you can) after a night out. You might even sleep through some of the worst of the repercussions from the night before.