There is no magic food for a hangover cure. Hangover research is limited, but certain foods and drinks, like bananas, pickles, or coffee, may be able to help your symptoms.
A hangover is your body’s reaction to drinking too much alcohol.
Symptoms include fatigue, nausea, headache, sensitivity to light, dehydration, or dizziness that lasts several hours.
Research on hangovers is limited, and the exact processes behind them are poorly understood.
It’s thought that the body experiences specific hormonal and immune responses during a hangover that trigger different symptoms (
While there is no known cure for hangovers, several foods and drinks may alleviate symptoms.
Here are the 23 best foods and beverages to help ease a hangover.
Many fruits and vegetables are rich in nutrients and natural sugars. These healthful foods may help reduce hangover symptoms.
Alcohol blocks the production of a hormone that helps your body hold on to water, leading to dehydration and the loss of electrolytes like potassium and sodium (3,
Bananas are especially rich in potassium and can help replenish your body’s stores. One medium banana contains 9% of the daily value (DV) for potassium (
Since headache associated with a hangover is usually due to dehydration and decreased blood flow to the brain, eating watermelon may help (
Watermelon is rich in L-citrulline, a nutrient that may increase blood flow (
What’s more, its high water content can help you rehydrate.
Blueberries are rich in nutrients that fight inflammation in your body, which comes in handy if you have a hangover (
An older study of 20 men found that blood levels of various inflammatory compounds increased after alcohol consumption (
Thus, eating blueberries after having too much to drink may help fight related inflammation.
Oranges are rich in vitamin C, which may prevent your body from losing glutathione.
Glutathione is an antioxidant that helps rid your body of alcohol and decreases during alcohol consumption (
Eating oranges may give you the vitamin C you need to keep glutathione levels stable and reduce hangover symptoms (
Pickles are high in sodium, an electrolyte that excessive drinking depletes.
Eating pickles or drinking their brine may help boost your sodium levels and overcome your hangover.
One dill pickle spear contains about 12% of the DV for sodium. Even better, 2 ounces (60 ml) of pickle juice provides about 16% of the DV (
Keep in mind that the sodium content of pickles may vary by brand.
6. Sweet Potatoes
Sweet potatoes contain several nutrients that may help you get over a hangover faster.
One cup (200 grams) of cooked sweet potato has over 200% of the DV for vitamin A, 13% for magnesium, and 20% for potassium (
Vitamin A may help fight the inflammation associated with hangovers, while magnesium and potassium are needed to replace what’s lost during alcohol consumption (
Spinach is rich in folate, a nutrient that diminishes due to heavy drinking.
A 2002 review of the research found that alcohol impairs folate absorption, and chronic alcohol intake can lead to deficiency (21).
Eating spinach can help you maintain adequate folate levels after drinking alcohol. One cup (180 grams) of cooked spinach provides 66% of the DV (
Eating avocados after a night of heavy drinking can help raise low potassium levels from alcohol consumption and dehydration.
In fact, one avocado (136 grams) packs 15% of the DV for this mineral (
What’s more, research shows that avocados contain compounds that protect against liver injury. Since drinking in excess takes a toll on your liver, avocados may be especially beneficial for hangovers (
Asparagus packs certain compounds that may provide hangover relief.
According to one test-tube study, asparagus extracts more than doubled the effectiveness of certain enzymes that help break down alcohol, and also protected liver cells from damage (
Though there is currently no research on the effect of asparagus on hangovers in humans, eating this vegetable may be worth a try.
The protein and healthful fats in many meat and fish products may help with a hangover.
Meat and other high-protein foods may help your body better handle a hangover.
Research shows that alcohol prevents your body from absorbing certain amino acids. In fact, chronic alcohol consumption can lead to amino acid deficiencies (26, 27).
Your body breaks down protein into amino acids, making it a good choice during a hangover.
Three ounces (85 grams) of beef have close to 22 grams of protein, while three ounces (85 grams) of chicken breast pack 24 grams (
11. Chicken Noodle Soup
Chicken noodle soup is a popular remedy for the flu or common cold. However, it may also be helpful for hangovers.
Research shows that chicken noodle soup can help you rehydrate — mostly due to its high sodium content (
One cup (240 grams) of chicken noodle soup provides 32% of the DV for sodium (
Salmon is rich in omega-3 fatty acids that are excellent at decreasing inflammation in your body (
Since drinking alcohol can increase the number of compounds that cause inflammation, eating salmon or other fatty fish may be a good way to ease hangover symptoms (
Eggs are rich in cysteine, an amino acid that your body uses to produce the antioxidant glutathione (34).
Drinking alcohol decreases the body’s stores of glutathione. Without it, your body has difficulty breaking down the toxic byproducts of alcohol metabolism (
Eating cysteine-rich eggs is a great way to increase glutathione in your body and possibly improve hangover symptoms.
Below are some other foods that may help with a hangover.
Oatmeal contains complex carbohydrates that provide a slow and steady release of sugar into the bloodstream. This may help with hangover symptoms.
One older study found that eating a breakfast full of complex carbs instead of refined sugars led to improved mood and fewer feelings of fatigue (
However, the study participants were healthy men who hadn’t been consuming alcohol, so it’s unclear whether results would be the same in people experiencing hangover symptoms.
Still, it’s possible that reaching for oatmeal after a night of heavy drinking could help with hangover-related fatigue or low blood sugar.
Extensive research supports the use of ginger as an effective remedy for nausea (
The anti-nausea effects of ginger make it a possible treatment for the stomach upset associated with hangovers.
Because of its high fructose content, honey may improve hangover symptoms. Depending on the type, it can be between 21% and 43% fructose, depending on the type (
While research on this subject is limited, fructose may help rid your body of alcohol more quickly (
One study of 50 adults found that honey increased the rate of alcohol elimination by up to 32.4% (
Despite its ability to increase the speed at which your body gets rid of alcohol, fructose did not appear to reduce the intensity of hangover symptoms in another study (
Nevertheless, people should not rule out honey and other high-fructose foods as a possible way to feel better after drinking too much.
Crackers contain fast-acting carbs that can increase your blood sugar during a hangover and improve related symptoms.
When the liver processes alcohol, it no longer focuses on regulating blood sugar. This is why low blood sugar can result from excessive drinking, especially in people with diabetes. Eating carbs increases blood sugar (
Five saltine crackers (15 grams) contain approximately 11 grams of carbs (
Due to their high magnesium content, nuts may be a solution to your hangover.
Excessive alcohol consumption can deplete magnesium in your cells. As a result, refilling magnesium stores may help treat symptoms (
One ounce (28 grams) of almonds packs close to 20% of the DV for magnesium (
The below drinks may help to reduce hangover symptoms.
Drinking water is one of the most important things you can do with a hangover.
Since alcohol is a diuretic, it makes you pee more frequently and increases water loss. Water can replenish these lost fluids (
20. Tomato Juice
Tomato juice may be another good beverage to drink with a hangover.
Research shows that tomatoes contain compounds that protect against liver injury. Excessive alcohol consumption can lead to liver damage, so tomatoes could theoretically help reduce the effects of drinking alcohol (
21. Green Tea
Green tea may help fight hangovers, too.
One study found that compounds in green tea significantly decreased blood alcohol concentration in rats. Additional research shows similar effects in mice fed green tea extracts (56,
While researchers have only assessed these effects in animals, the effectiveness of green tea in improving hangover symptoms may translate to humans.
22. Coconut Water
Since hydration is such an important part of hangover recovery, drinking coconut water may facilitate getting over a hangover.
Coconut water contains lots of electrolytes. One cup (240 ml) of coconut water has 11% and 13% of the DVs for sodium and potassium, respectively (
As a result, research has shown that coconut water is just as effective as traditional sports drinks for rehydration (
Lastly, coffee may be beneficial for beating a hangover.
Some studies link coffee consumption to decreased inflammation, but the research is mixed. Therefore, drinking a cup of joe after a night of heavy drinking may or may not fight inflammation from a hangover (
However, if you’re looking to improve your hangover fatigue and become more alert, coffee is a good choice (
While there is no magical cure for a hangover, several foods and drinks may help you feel better.
The best way to prevent a hangover is to avoid alcohol altogether or to drink it in moderation.