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The Morning After: 11 Food And Drink Choices To Ease Your Pounding Head (And What To Avoid)

Superbowl parties are a metric ton of fun: You get together with your friends, eat all the good food, and argue over which team is going to win (and maybe you make a drinking game out of the commercials, too). Once the game is over, you either celebrate your victory with a few pints or drown your sorrows before stumbling home and pouring yourself into bed.

The next day, you wake up feeling like the person you woke up next to looks (thanks a lot, beer goggles!). You could call in sick (after all, calling in sick the day after the Superbowl is so common that Heinz Ketchup started a petition on change.org to make it a national holiday), or you could be an adult and take care of it before heading in to work so that you can actually have a productive day.

Here are some things that will help you accomplish the latter:

Water

A great big glass full of high-quality H2O should be your very first priority. Since alcohol is a diuretic (meaning that it pushes liquids out of your body), you need to replenish all the liquid you lost. If you’re smart, you drank some before you went to sleep. Even if you’re not so smart, that morning glass is still going to help you feel better.

Not a water person? Try these instead:

  • Coconut Water (contains five of the electrolytes found in human blood)
  • Herbal Tea (both the ginger and peppermint variety will help ease an upset stomach)
  • Pedialyte (more sodium and potassium than Gatorade. Fewer calories)
  • Real Fruit Juice (fructose = instant energy. The vitamins are a bonus)
  • Pickle Juice (the vinegar, salt, and water help replenish your sodium and electrolyte levels)
  • Coffee (but only if you’re a regular coffee drinker; caffeine is a diuretic too, but it can help give you the energy boost you need to get out the door)

Eggs

Scrambled, hard-boiled, soft-boiled, poached; it doesn’t matter how you eat them as long as you do. Two of the amino acids found in this handy breakfast staple are taurine and cysteine – Taurine boosts liver function and cysteine breaks down acetaldehyde (a chemical left over when your body breaks down ethanol; you can thank it for that pounding headache)

Oats

Oats are far from the most exciting food, but that’s not a bad thing when the last thing you want to do is eat. The good news is that a bowl of this nutritious deliciousness contains a bunch of vitamins and minerals that your body needs to bounce back. Add fruit for even more energy (see above).

Toast

Burnt toast might not be all that appetizing, but the carbon in the charred bits will actually help you feel a little better. To sweeten it a little, feel free to add some honey (which is full of fructose and will give you instant energy).

Soup

Is there anything better and more comforting than a bowl of soup when your stomach is practicing for the Olympic gymnasts team? Of course not. Bonus: The sodium in the broth plus the liquid will help replenish and rehydrate you.

Chicken noodle and miso should be on the top of your go-to list – Chicken contains cysteine (see eggs), and the fermented miso can help feed the good bacteria in your gut for better digestion.

Now that you know what to reach for, you should also know what to steer clear of.

Greasy Foods

You’ve probably spent most (if not all) of your adult life thinking that a plate full of greasy goodness is going to make you feel better after you’ve spent your night doing shooters off some stranger’s body. Turns out that fried foods can irritate your stomach more. That said, a great big burger might actually help you prevent a hangover if you eat it before you start drinking by insulating your stomach so that the alcohol has a harder time getting into your bloodstream.

Citrus

I don’t care how good you think the idea of a mamosa sounds, you need to avoid it – Sour citrus can further irritate your already sensitive stomach. You think you feel like you’re about to die now? A big glass of OJ is likely to make you feel a whole lot worse. And while we’re on the subject…

More Alcohol

It’s said that starting your morning with ‘Hair of the Dog’ will make you feel better. Maybe you’ve even tried it and noticed that it helped take the edge off, but the fact is that drinking even more alcohol will dehydrate you even more.

What does that mean? That you’re going to feel even worse in a few hours. Just avoid it altogether and drink some water like the grown person that you are.

What’s your go-to hangover cure?

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