Foods to Sober Up

Having a meal after heavy intoxication can help combat symptoms of a hangover.
Having a meal after heavy intoxication can help combat symptoms of a hangover. (Image: Stockbyte/Stockbyte/Getty Images)

There are various aftereffects of intoxication, all usually grouped under the general term "hangover." These effects can range from a slight feeling of sluggishness to dehydration and more severe symptoms such as nausea, headaches, dry mouth and upset stomach. If you’ve ever had a hangover, the last thing you usually want is something to eat, though there are in fact a number of foods that will aid your recovery from the alcohol-caused condition.

Depleted Nutrients

Alcoholic beverages like red wine that have higher amounts of congeners, or chemicals resulting from fermentation, are more likely to trigger hangovers than others, such as white wine. Alcohol causes a drop in blood sugar, therefore foods that boost blood sugar can help alleviate hangover symptoms. These include foods that restore potassium and salt levels as well as those containing fructose.

Don’t Pass on Potassium

Consuming lots of alcohol drains the body of potassium. In order to gain it back, eat plenty of potassium-packed foods like bananas, avocados, beets, cantaloupe, lima beans, dates and plain yogurt. You can also get potassium from more savory dishes like baked potato (with the skin) and brussel sprouts.


Fructose helps the body recover from a hangover because it burns alcohol more quickly. You can get a quick fix of fructose from foods such as pickles, cucumbers, plain apple slices, sardines, applesauce or watermelons.

Eggs and Other Favorites

Eggs are a great hangover breakfast because they contain cysteine, a substance that can break down the toxin acetaldehyde. Those dreaded hangover symptoms are caused by acetaldehyde, so the sooner it dissolves in your system, the sooner you'll feel better. The good news is many foods that will help with hangovers go hand-in-hand with drinking, such as chicken wings, guacamole and even crab legs, which contain a whopping 1,300 milligrams of fructose.

A Little Prevention

Prior to indulging in alcohol, eat fatty foods to avoid the disruptive effects alcohol has on the stomach. You can also drink milk, which protects the stomach lining in addition to slowing the alcohol absorption process. And no matter what you eat or drink, always be sure to drink plenty of water before, during and after alcohol consumption.

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