Ask anyone who has ever made the mistake of forgetting to eat before a long night out, and they’ll tell you that eating before alcohol is essential. However, not all food is created equal when it comes to a good pre-drinking meal.
VALLEY has a simple guide on the most important things to eat before a night out, as well as some of the foods to avoid.
Healthy Fats and Protein
If you often find yourself reaching for a greasy slice of pizza before your weekend festivities begin, you are somewhat on the right track. While fats are important to eat before going out, healthy fats and even sources of protein are much more beneficial. Fats and protein slow down how fast your body absorbs the alcohol and enters the bloodstream, which means you won’t become intoxicated as quickly. You’ll still feel the effects, but they won’t come on so suddenly.
Healthy fats and protein can be found in avocados, various nut butters (almond butter, in particular), salmon, and a variety of other sources.
Fruits & Vegetables
Antioxidants have numerous health benefits aside from being beneficial before drinking. They can support both immune and heart health, as well as help keep skin glowing. There is also research that looks into consuming an antioxidant-rich diet in order to prevent certain diseases, including cancer. Antioxidants are most commonly found in fruits and vegetables, especially in berries.
Another important reason to eat vegetables or fruit before drinking is because of the high levels of water content present. Drinking alcohol while dehydrated will leave you feeling the effects of alcohol a lot faster – and will almost guarantee that you’ll be hungover the next morning.
While vegetables and fruits are important, eating a salad may not be the best decision before going out. Salads typically aren’t very filling, which isn’t ideal before a night out. Instead, VALLEY recommends eating a well-balanced meal with all three macronutrients: carbohydrates, protein and fat.
What Not to Eat Before Drinking
Before reaching for fast food or other fried foods before drinking, think again. Food containing high levels of saturated fat can actually do more harm than good before consuming alcohol. These foods help your body absorb alcohol faster than normal, which is the exact opposite reaction desired when trying to pace yourself.
Too much salt is never good when it comes to eating a balanced diet, and this is also true when it comes to drinking. Not only are you more likely to feel more bloated, but salty snacks can cause you to become dehydrated. This will most likely lead to you reaching for another drink, which will dehydrate you even further. Alcohol can make you extremely dehydrated as it is, and you wouldn’t want to add anything other foods that will make the situation worse.
It’s a common misconception that the more carbs you eat before drinking, the better. However, simple carbohydrates such as white bread, most pastas or crackers aren’t exactly the best things to eat before you head out. Simple carbs such as these quickly convert to sugar, which is absorbed very quickly by the body. In addition, most popular alcoholic drinks (especially mixed drinks) are very high in sugar as it is, and consuming too much sugar in a day can have negative health consequences. These simple carbs are yet another food group that can cause dehydration.
If you choose to drink, it is important that you never do so on an empty stomach. Eating a well-balanced meal will help to prevent a terrible hangover the next day and is good for your overall health.
*VALLEY does not support underage drinking. Please remember to drink responsibly.