There are some things that can only be taught by experience. Despite warnings from parents, siblings or misguided companions, sometimes you need to do something really stupid for yourself before discovering that it’s a horrible idea. Drinking on an empty stomach definitely falls into this category.
It only takes one or two truly terrible experiences before we all realise that, if we’re planning to drink ourselves into oblivion, we need to eat a little something before we start. However, it can be next to impossible to find two people who agree on what precisely is the best way to line the stomach. Some insist on takeaway as others opt for an all natural approach to self preservation. Fortunately, we can now settle the debate. According to representatives from the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, these are the actual best foods to eat before you go drinking.
Protein-rich poultry can be a secret weapon for anyone planning to get totally sloshed. Any food that contains high levels of the nutrient is a good way to prepare for the evening ahead, since proteins take a long time to digest, which in turn “slows how fast your blood alcohol level goes up”, according to Dr Isabel Maples. Clearly, there’s more to fried chicken than comfort.
Not only is yoghurt a great aid to digestion and full of nutrients, but it can also help line your gut for up to six hours on a night out. Speaking to Thrillist, Dr Kim Larson also revealed that a topping of crunchy granola can also deliver an extra injection of macronutrients to help keep you on the straight and narrow.
One of the many disastrous side effects of alcoholic overindulgence is a depletion of the body’s Vitamin B12 levels. A simple way to rectify this particular imbalance is with a generous serving of salmon before you begin bingeing. Not only is the fish naturally high in the vitamin, but it also contains omega-3 fatty acids. Vital in improving neurological function and short term memory, these nutrients are clearly going to help anyone on a night out.
For what seems like forever, milk has been the go to stomach liner for generation after generation of drinkers. Unlike many things prompted by alcohol, this theory actually makes some sense. Not only will milk help hydrate you, but it will also replace the potassium that is lost through “excess urination” on a night out, according to Dr Maples.
Another staple in the anti-alcohol armoury, pasta has long since been the pre-sesh partner to milk, and with good reason. According to Dr Maples, "Alcohol changes your body's stores of glycogen, a quick energy source stored in the liver." Eating a meal of pasta or other carb heavy food before hand will help maintain glycogen and ensure you avoid a crash.
Whether you eat it as intended or smashed in a side of guacamole, avocado is a great ally in the fight against alcohol poisoning. Naturally loaded with healthy fats, avocados take a long time to digest, which will in turn help slow the speed with which your blood alcohol goes up.
If you’re looking for something to dunk into for your predrinks bag of crisps, look no further than the famous chickpea paste. Rich in fats, as well as fibre and protein, hummus becomes even more effective if you use raw carrots and cucumber for dipping.
Of course, any overindulgence in alcohol is going to have consequences. But, at the very least, if you’re looking for a way to slightly lesson the pain, these foods can definitely help. Just don’t expect them to cure absolutely everything.