The 5 Best Foods to Eat Before You Drink

We’ve all been there.

You’re at your favorite sports bar sharing a pitcher with your friends, when all of a sudden, after tasting the salt on your lips from the tequila shot five minutes earlier, it hits you and you realize: holy mother, I’m really really drunk. Thoughts run through your head. How did this happen so quickly? I have a 9am seminar tomorrow. I need pizza. Is it just me, or does Charlie/Jesse/Blair look smoking hot tonight?

Once you rack up a certain number of tequila shots in a given hour, there may be no hope for you, not even late-night pizza. But if you start your night off the right way, with the right kind of meal, you’ll be ready for all the clear liquids in high ball glasses your friends might force your way.

Keep the following food items in mind when gearing up for a long night of drinking, and you might just make it to your 9am seminar and not wake up in Charlie/Jesse/Blair’s bed wondering what happened.

1. Pizza. Though more commonly thought of as a late night snack, pizza consumption has many more long-term benefits if eaten before midnight. It has two of the best alcohol absorbing ingredients: bread and cheese. Many women watching their waistline will use good sober judgment and skip the pizza for dinner in favor of a salad. But guess who’s probably going to be standing in line for an entire pie of BBQ Chicken after the bars close? If you’re dieting, late-night eating is the worst thing you can do to your metabolism. Better to eat the pizza first—there will be no need for it later.

2. Falafel.  These fried chickpea balls can be incredibly dense and filling without leaving you feeling like you’ve just housed a five-pound burger. The hummus and tahini in your pita pocket make for much easier digestion than a lot of other ethnic condiments that can aggravate rather than coat your stomach. Better yet, falafel has a ton of protein, which will fuel you well during a long night.

3. Pasta. When it comes to preparing your stomach for binge drinking, carbs are your best friend. And when it comes to carbs, there is no dish that goes down easier than a simple plate of pasta. If you’re prone to acid reflux or heart burn, avoid heavy tomato sauces in favor of one that is cream-based. A classic carbonara is a great option as the egg and cheese fortify along with the noodles.

4. Ice Cream. Unless you are lactose intolerant, a little ice cream goes a long way when alcohol enters the picture. Dairy helps line your stomach and neutralize all the acid you’ll be intaking later. It’s better for your stomach to add a touch of cream or milk to your coffee if drinking it on an empty stomach. A scoop of ice cream before the bar offers the same kind of reinforcement.

5. Grilled Cheese, or Other Pressed Sandwich. Like pizza, the carbs and dairy in this type of sandwich does double duty. The beauty of a sandwich is also portion control. A plain caprese panini can be smaller and lighter than a greasy slice of pizza or a hefty falafel pocket—if it’s enormous, share it with a friend. And because of the main ingredients, a small grilled cheese sandwich can go a lot further than a colossal salad or several rolls of sushi, which do nothing to absorb the alcohol in your system.

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Originally posted on Monday, April 25th, 2011

17 Responses to “The 5 Best Foods to Eat Before You Drink”

  1. Candy Dish: Campus Scoop : College Candy

    May 1st, 2011

    [...] 5 foods to eat before you drink [...]

  2. Celina Lara

    May 4th, 2011

    Was wondering what type of sandwich the picture is of; it looks delicious!

  3. Phoebe

    May 4th, 2011

    It’s a pesto fontina grilled cheese! You can find the recipe in our upcoming cookbook!

  4. Lee

    November 4th, 2011

    Thanks for all the tips, I am off out tonight for a 10 hour drinking session in a VIP booth with free vodka and champagne. Looks like i will be ringing domino’s in a minute. Also why do carbs help absorb alcohol? I understand why fatty foods such as cheese and pizza would. Thanks for the great post hopefully I won’t feel like i died tomorrow

  5. copper057

    January 21st, 2012

    Just to let you know, I am an alcohol enforcement (police) officer and teach alchol awareness to students as well as military. Food does not “absorb” alcohol. The trick is eating before you drink because it closes up the pyloric valve (the sphincter mucle that controls the food intake from the stomache into the duodenum and into the intestines). Only 20% of alcohol is absorbed through the walls of the stomache and 80% is absorbed through the intestines. Don’t want to be the one falling down drunk before kickoff or before the band starts at the club? Eat approximately 1 hour before you start throwing them back. The ethanol will be absorbed slower into your bloodstream than drinking on an empty stomache. Ever see the drunk-tards getting thrown out of a night spot before the place is full? They decided to drink before eating. Now there is a point to not choosing a salad as your food of choice, it is digested too fast, eating the pasta and pizza and other breaded carbs is the right food, because it closes the P/Valve longer and will prevent the next morning “bud mud” runs as well. Hope I helped with some knowledge, be safe. NOTE***** No food or beverage speeds up sobriety, only time will sober a person up).

  6. copper057

    January 21st, 2012

    Just to let you know, I am an alcohol enforcement (police) officer and teach alcohol awareness to students as well as military. Food does not “absorb” alcohol. The trick is eating before you drink because it closes up the pyloric valve (the sphincter mucle that controls the food intake from the stomache into the duodenum and into the intestines). Only 20% of alcohol is absorbed through the walls of the stomache and 80% is absorbed through the intestines. Don’t want to be the one falling down drunk before kickoff or before the band starts at the club? Eat approximately 1 hour before you start throwing them back. The ethanol will be absorbed slower into your bloodstream than drinking on an empty stomache. Ever see the drunk-tards getting thrown out of a night spot before the place is full? They decided to drink before eating. Now there is a point to not choosing a salad as your food of choice, it is digested too fast, eating the pasta and pizza and other breaded carbs is the right food, because it closes the P/Valve longer and will prevent the next morning “bud mud” runs as well. Hope I helped with some knowledge, be safe. NOTE***** No food or beverage speeds up sobriety, only time will sober a person up).

  7. michelle

    February 23rd, 2012

    I just got done reading a different article about foods to stay away from before drinking alcohol and one food was particularly cream because it clogs the liver which you obviously don’t need when drinking. I was wondering between the contradictions of staying away from creams or going for them like you mentioned with ice cream and pasta sauces, which one is true?

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    March 3rd, 2012

    The ethanol will be absorbed slower into your bloodstream than drinking on an empty stomache. Ever see the drunk-tards getting thrown out of a night spot before

  9. emily

    January 18th, 2013

    I’m confused as to why you highlighted carbs before drinking so much. I have always learned that protein and high-fiber foods work best. The rationale is simple. When you consume bread prior to drinking, it works similar to when you mix alcohol with a sugary drink, causing it to absorb faster. Since the carbs in juices are the same chemically as the carbs in breads and pastas, they actually offer no support to the body in slowing down the process of alcohol absorption. Foods like eggs, chicken and sweet potatoes protect the stomach best for a night of drinking. Hope this helps a bit :)

  10. Julio

    April 28th, 2013

    Thank you for some other magnificent article. The place else could anyone get that kind of
    information in such a perfect way of writing?
    I have a presentation subsequent week, and I’m at the search for such info.

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    April 28th, 2013

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    July 17th, 2013

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  13. Andirk

    August 30th, 2013

    Don’t forget to drink lots of water. Throw an emer-gen-C in there too. Water while drinking will also slow you down while not looking like a complete panzy.

    And get laid, too. That helps. Maybe it’s the cardio.

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    September 16th, 2013

    Stunning quest there. What happened after?
    Take care!

  15. Wikit

    December 18th, 2013

    What a delicious sandwich, got totally want to taste.

  16. rose

    April 11th, 2014

    Best food to eat before is mcdonalds french fries and nothing else on the menu does the same…take ibprophen before and fries and golden morning

  17. rose

    April 11th, 2014

    Oh and eggs and crap do not make a hangover go away…that is a lie I took the drs advise on alcohol before they are wrong and probably dont party…fries from mcdonalds gets you to class lol before you drink.

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