There is absolutely no question that alcohol can do a lot to your body, especially when you have a little too many drinks. This can cause anything from brain fog to bloating to the intense misery of a head-pounding hangover.
But by taking a few cautionary measures before the alcohol reaches your system, you can help minimize a lot of the damage. Foods to eat before drinking can play a huge role on how you feel at the end of the night and, more importantly, the next morning.
In fact, selecting the correct foods to eat before drinking can help balance electrolytes, mitigate hunger, and reduce some of the negative effects associated with alcohol. Drinking after a fast can especially cause a lot of issues so it is important to have a good amount of food before you start drinking for the evening.
Along with that, while eating is great before drinking, selecting the wrong foods to eat before drinking can cause dehydration, bloating, indigestion, and heartburn.
Here are some foods to eat before drinking alcohol and what to skip to help prep your body for a big night out.
What to eat before drinking alcohol
Eggs are extremely nutritious and filling, packing around seven grams of protein for each egg. Snacking on foods like eggs that contain a lot of protein before drinking alcohol can help in delaying alcohol absorption and slowing the emptying of your stomach. Additionally, protein is the most filling nutrient as it keeps you feeling fuller for longer, which can reduce the risk of food binges later in the night.
You can cook eggs in many ways. Prepare them hard-boiled, scrambled, or mixed with your choice of vegetables for a fiber-filled, nutritious omelet or egg scramble. Since alcohol can lower self consciousness and has been shown to also enhance appetite, selecting a filling meal before a night of drinking may be a smart way to minimize cravings later on.
Unsweetened Greek yogurt is one of the best foods to eat before drinking and consuming alcohol, offering the perfect balance of protein, carbs, and fat. Protein, as earlier mentioned, is especially key, as it is more slowly digested and can slightly limit the effects of alcohol on the body by slowing its absorption. Try topping unsweetened Greek yogurt with different kinds of nuts, fruits, and seeds for a delicious and filling snack before your night out on the town.
Another great choice for foods to eat before drinking is oats. Oats are a fantastic source of both protein and fiber, both of which aid in the feeling of fullness and can ease the effects of alcohol. A single serving of oats, about one cup, supplies almost 10 grams of protein and about 8 grams of fiber, plus plenty of vitamin B6, iron, and calcium.
Along with its incredible nutritional value for eating after drinking, several studies have found that eating oats can even benefit liver health since it protects against liver damage that is alcohol-induced and can improve liver function. Other than oatmeal, oats can work well in granola bars, baked goods, and smoothies.
Fruits can be really important if you are planning to enjoy any adult beverages. This is because these nutritious fruits are a great way to maintain hydration. Alcohol can make you really dehydrated by making you lose more fluids than normal.
Because of this, take advantage of any chance you can to snack on some fruit as a food to eat before drinking. Anything like strawberries, cantaloupe, watermelon, or any fruit that is water based are some of the most hydrating choices.
Another great choice for foods to eat before drinking is salmon. Salmon is one of the greatest sources of omega-3 fatty acids, which are associated with a multitude of health benefits. These Omega-3 fatty acids could potentially help cut back some of the harmful effects that alcohol can induce, like inflammation in the brain caused by binge drinking. Salmon is also very high in protein which may help slow the absorption of alcohol, carrying around 22 grams in every four ounce serving.
Vegetables are potentially another food option for foods to eat before drinking alcohol. Just like fruit, vegetables can also help keep you hydrated, as water makes up at least 90% of most fruit and vegetable contents.
There are some vegetables that you might want to consider eating including iceberg lettuce, broccoli or cauliflower, celery, cucumber, radishes, spinach, and green pepper amongst many others.
This might seem obvious but it never hurts to hear. Water is another great choice to drink before you plan on drinking alcohol. Drinking water before drinking alcohol can lend a helping hand in making you feel less thirsty. You might also be able to cut back on the amount of alcohol you consume by drinking more water. You will just want to make sure you drink enough water before you start drinking to really reap the benefits.
Foods to avoid before drinking
There are a couple of foods that you can avoid to help you in not feeling terrible the morning after drinking. If you want to avoid experiencing a lot of acid reflux after drinking alcohol, avoid spicy or acidic foods and save it for another day.
Alcohol has been linked to gastroesophageal reflux disease as alcohol can lessen pressure in the lower esophagus and can affect the digestive tract muscle movement. These specific effects from alcohol can contribute to instances of heartburn and spicy and acidic foods can heighten these effects of heartburn.
Examples of reflux-inducing foods to not eat before drinking to avoid include pizza, fried or fast food, chili powder or peppers, as well as chocolate, carbonated beverages, or even tomato-based sauces.
Sometimes you have to make an appearance at a gathering that will consist of alcohol and your first instinct may be to reach for a caffeinated pick me up like coffee, tea, or chocolate but know that caffeine and alcohol are not a great combination.
Caffeine can make a person feel way more energized in the moment and cover up alcohol’s depressant effects. This could lead you to drink even more. It definitely does not fall under foods to eat before drinking and can make you feel terrible the next day.
Another very specific type of beverage that individuals tend to consume alongside alcohol is energy drinks. Energy drinks pair with a lot of different alcohols consistently at the bar.
However, you will want to try and avoid energy drinks before alcohol. Even though you might be hoping to gain energy from other ingredients in the drinks, like ginseng or B vitamins, energy drinks usually contain some type of caffeine.
This means that drinking energy drinks prior to or with alcohol might affect you the same way that caffeine on its own can, or even worse.
Another avoidant food is anything that falls in the salty category. Salty foods contain high amounts of sodium, a nutrient that the body needs but only in small amounts. You might have the urge to enjoy some salty foods like peanuts and alcohol before enjoying a drink, but those are the very snacks you want to avoid before enjoying any alcohol.
Preparing for a night out
Eating the right foods and finding the best foods to eat before drinking can make a big impact on how you feel the next morning. Consuming the wrong foods can make you feel terrible and exhibit all the hard symptoms that a night of drinking can bring.
Eating your fruits and vegetables, drinking your water, and avoiding highly processed foods like salty foods can make you feel so much better after a night of drinking, so if you are wondering what to eat before a night out, now you have a good selection to choose from.