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The Best Hangover Food: What to Eat from AM to PM


Tis’ the season… for office drinks, dinner parties, and, let’s face it, weekday hangovers. The good news? Waking up with a pounding head and the prospect of a full day’s work ahead is daunting but doable if you have a ready-made ‘food for hangover’ game plan.

A hangover peaks the moment your blood alcohol concentration hits zero, according to a study published in the journal Addiction. Your central nervous system starts sounding the alarm, firing up your immune system and prompting an inflammatory response.

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So, what’s the best way to restore equilibrium. This shouldn’t come as a surprise, but your junk food favourites will only magnify the ill-effects that come with the morning after the night before.

“You’re at greater risk of blood sugar spikes and crashes following a night of drinking, and high sugar foods can further contribute to these effects,” warns nutritionist Jenna Hope.

“Additionally, high fat, greasy foods may lead to an irritated stomach which for many people may already be sensitive the morning after the night before.”

Your heart might be calling out for a Just Eat feast, but what you really need now is micronutrient-packed sustenance, i.e. proven hangover cure food. We’re here to help.

Whether you’ll be powering through work or tucked up in bed with a “head cold”, this is the healthy hangover food you need to feel human again.

If you’re plant based, we’ve included plenty of vegan hangover food suggestions too.




Nature’s ready-made hangover cure food. Eggs are rich in cysteine, an amino acid used by your body to produce an antioxidant called glutathione. Drinking alcohol drains glutathione: bad news, because it helps your body break down acetaldehyde, the toxic booze byproduct responsible for your pounding head and dry mouth.


Regrettably, the diuretic effect of last night’s prosecco has wreaked havoc on your electrolyte stores, so avocados will give your body a much-needed potassium boost. Also, researchers in Japan have discovered five compounds within avocados that protect against liver damage. Win-win.


Oats contain complex carbohydrates that provide a slow and steady release of sugar into the bloodstream, warding off the mid-morning slump, making them the ultimate food for hangover. A study published in The BMJ found that eating a breakfast full of complex carbohydrates after a night on the town can boost your mood and reduce feelings of fatigue.

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Wholegrain toast with honey

If you can’t quite stomach porridge, wholegrain toast slathered with honey is the perfect substitute. According the Royal Society of Chemistry, this easy-to-munch combo provides the sodium, potassium, and fructose you need to bounce back from a hangover.

Your body digests fructose at the same rate as alcohol, so a spoonful or two will speed up the recovery process. One Delta State University study revealed that honey can speed up alcohol elimination by as much as 32 per cent.

Healthy Breakfast Ideas, Healthy Vegan Breakfasts


Morning snacks


The ultimate vegan hangover food – reach for a banana for a potassium-rich mid-morning boost. One medium-sized banana contains about 11 per cent of the 3,500mg recommended daily by UK dietary guidelines, and will shore up your reserves of those blood-balancing complex carbs.

Brazil nuts

Foods rich in selenium help to reduce alcohol-induced inflammation and oxidative stress. Brazil nuts are the richest natural source of selenium – one large Brazil nut provides around two and a half times your RDA, which is 60 micrograms in the UK.


This summertime staple is also the ultimate cold weather hangover cure. If your head feels as though it’s about to split into two, decreased blood flow to the brain is partly to blame. Watermelon is rich in L-citrulline, a nutrient that increases blood flow, banishing your headache (and dry mouth) in one go.

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Chicken noodle soup

Your go-to cold and flu remedy also doubles up as healthy hangover food. A study by Iowa State University revealed concluded that chicken noodle soup and chicken broth were more effective at rehydrating its thirsty participants than water and sports drinks.

Meat (or another high-protein option)

Whether you go for chicken, turkey, or a meat-free substitute, the hangover cure food you need is of the high protein variety. Not only will it satiate you – because, let’s face it, the hangover munchies are real – it’s packed with amino acids, which will help flush toxins from your liver. Looking for vegan hangover food? Sub the steak for a tofu, tempeh, or seitan-based dish.


It probably didn’t feel like it at the time, but that round of Tequila shots has seriously stressed out your immune cells. Luckily, kale can save the day. Researchers in Zurich have found that high doses of vitamin E can help to counteract the damage that drinking does to your cells. If you can’t face leafy greens, we suggest whizzing up a smoothie.

Afternoon snacks


Oranges are rich in vitamin C, which accelerates the alcohol metabolism process by helping your body to retain precious glutathione. Go for the whole fruit rather than pouring a glass of juice, which will spike your blood sugar levels.

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Hear us out with this one. Not only will gherkins replenish nutrients like vitamin A and vitamin K, they’re also choc-full of electrolytes like potassium, calcium and manganese. They’ll also give your gut bacteria a welcome probiotic boost if you go for the fermented variety.



B vitamins are often lost when your body metabolises alcohol, and since these water soluble nutrients are not stored in the body, they need to be replaced, stat. Protein-packed salmon is a powerful source of B vitamins, and it’s also rich in omega-3 fatty acids which help to soothe inflammation.

Sweet potato

Replenish your depleted vitamin A stores – useful for fighting inflammation and soothing your immune system – and satisfy your carb cravings with sweet potato. They’re also a tasty source of magnesium, which helps the body break down the booze and eliminate it from your body.



An unlikely hero, but asparagus is the hangover cure food you’ve been waiting for. In a test tube study in Korea, asparagus extracts more than doubled the effectiveness of enzymes that break down alcohol, and also protected liver cells from damage.



For every G&T or glass of vino you drink, your body expels up to four times as much liquid. Those who failed to down a glass of water between each drink (hey, no judgements here) will wake up seriously dehydrated. Keep your water bottled topped up so you can sip away throughout the day.

Coconut water

When it comes to hangovers, coconut water is basically regular water with bells on. Packed with sodium, potassium, and other electrolytes, it’ll help to replenish and restore your body while quenching your thirst. One study in Malaysia found that coconut water is as effective as traditional sports drinks for rehydration, without causing nausea, fullness or an upset stomach.

Green tea

Is there anything green tea can’t fix? That compounds in green tea significantly decreased blood alcohol concentration in rats, one study published in the Korean Journal of Clinical Laboratory Science found, and as such may be helpful to prevent and even treat liver damage.


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