The 15 Best Foods to Eat Before Drinking Alcohol
In fact, picking the right foods before you indulge in an alcoholic beverage or two can help control hunger, balance electrolytes, and decrease some of the adverse effects associated with alcohol.
Conversely, selecting other foods can end up causing bloating, dehydration, heartburn, and indigestion.
Here are the 15 best foods to eat before drinking.
Eggs are highly nutritious and filling, packing 7 grams of protein per one 56-gram egg (1).
Plus, protein is the most filling macronutrient, keeping you feeling fuller for longer, which can reduce your risk of alcohol-induced food binges later in the night (4 Trusted Source).
Since alcohol lowers inhibitions and has been shown to enhance appetite, choosing a filling meal before a night of drinking may be a smart way to minimize cravings later on (5 Trusted Source).
You can enjoy eggs in many ways. Prepare them scrambled, hard-boiled, or mixed with your choice of veggies for a nutritious, fiber-filled omelet.
In fact, a single 1-cup (81-gram) serving of oats supplies nearly 10 grams of protein and 8 grams of fiber, plus plenty of iron, vitamin B6, and calcium (6).
In addition to its stellar nutritional value, several human and animal studies have found that oatscan benefit liver health by protecting against alcohol-induced liver damage and improving liver function (7 Trusted Source, 8 Trusted Source, 9 Trusted Source).
Besides oatmeal, oats work well in baked goods, granola bars, and smoothies. They can even be blended and used as a base for pizza crusts, veggie patties, or flatbreads, which are perfect choices for pre-drinking snacks.
Because they're made up of nearly 75% water, bananas can also help keep you hydrated (10).
Bananas are a healthy, convenient snack all on their own but can also be topped with peanut butter or added to smoothies, fruit salads, oatmeal, or yogurt for a power-packed treat.
Some animal research suggests that omega-3 fatty acids could help reduce some of the harmful effects of alcohol, including inflammation in the brain caused by binge drinking (12 Trusted Source).
One of the simplest ways to prepare salmon is by roasting it. Place salmon in a baking dish with the skin down and season with salt, pepper, and your choice of spices.
Simply bake at 400°F (200°C) for around 10–15 minutes, then pair with your choice of vegetables and enjoy as a healthy meal.
5. Greek yogurt
Protein is especially key, as it's digested slowly and can minimize the effects of alcohol on your body by slowing its absorption (2 Trusted Source).
Try topping unsweetened Greek yogurt with fruit, nuts, and seeds for an easy, filling, and delicious snack before your night on the town.
6. Chia Pudding
Chia seeds are a great source of fiber and protein, as well as important micronutrients like manganese, magnesium, phosphorus, and calcium (17).
Plus, chia seeds are rich in antioxidants, such as rosmarinic acid, gallic acid, and caffeic acid, all of which work to prevent cell damage and protect your liver (19 Trusted Source, 20 Trusted Source).
Chia pudding is easy to make. Simply mix 3 tablespoons (42 grams) of chia seeds with 1 cup (237 ml) of dairy or nondairy milk alongside your choice of fruits, nuts, spices, and natural sweeteners.
You can find chia seeds in stores and online.
Berries like strawberries, blackberries, and blueberries are loaded with essential nutrients, including fiber, manganese, and vitamins C and K (21 Trusted Source).
They're also rich in water, helping you stay hydrated, which minimizes the effects of alcohol and prevents dehydration (22 Trusted Source).
What's more, eating antioxidant-rich foods like berries may protect your cells against alcohol-induced damage.
One animal study found that blueberries were effective at increasing levels of several antioxidants in the liver, which could help protect against oxidative stress caused by alcohol consumption (23 Trusted Source).
Another study in 12 people noted that consuming 17.5 ounces (500 grams) of strawberries daily improved antioxidant status within 16 days (24 Trusted Source).
Pair berries with a handful of almonds for a more substantial, pre-drinking snack, or try adding them to smoothies, fruit salads, and yogurt parfaits.
In addition to supplying an assortment of important vitamins and minerals, asparagus has also been well studied for its ability to promote liver health.
In fact, one study found that asparagus extract improved several markers of liver function and increased antioxidant status in mice with liver damage (25 Trusted Source).
What's more, test-tube studies indicate that asparagus is a great source of antioxidants like ferulic acid, kaempferol, quercetin, rutin, and isorhamnetin, which prevent cell damage caused by excess alcohol consumption (26 Trusted Source, 27 Trusted Source).
For an easy side dish, drizzle asparagus with olive oil, season with salt and pepper, and bake at 425°F (220°C) for 10–15 minutes, or until lightly browned.
It also contains naringenin and naringin, two antioxidant compounds that have been shown to prevent liver damage and help optimize liver health in test-tube studies (29 Trusted Source).
Plus, a six-week rat study found that drinking grapefruit juice increased levels of several enzymes involved in liver function and detoxification (30 Trusted Source).
Try cutting grapefruit into wedges and sprinkling the fruit with a bit of salt or sugar to help balance the tangy, tart flavor.
However, keep in mind that grapefruit may interact with certain medications, so be sure to speak with your healthcare provider if you have any concerns.
Melons are very rich in water and can help keep you hydrated while drinking.
Honeydew, watermelon, and cantaloupe all make refreshing, hydrating snacks that can be cut into wedges or cubes.
Rich in heart-healthy monounsaturated fats, avocados are one of the best foods you can eat before drinking alcohol.
Best of all, this fruit is as versatile as it is delicious. Try spreading it over toast, using it to top salads, or sprinkling wedges with a bit of salt for a tasty snack.
It's particularly high in magnesium and potassium, two minerals that can help minimize electrolyte imbalances caused by drinking alcohol (36).
It's also a great source of antioxidants like quercetin, ferulic acid, catechin, and kaempferol, which can protect against the buildup of harmful molecules known as free radicals caused by excessive alcohol consumption (37 Trusted Source).
Quinoa can easily be used in a variety of dishes, including soups, stews, or salads. You can also add it to homemade granola bars, energy bites, or muffins for a delicious and healthy pre-drinking snack.
You can buy quinoa locally or online.
Beets stand out as a superstar ingredient, due both to their vibrant color and impressive antioxidant content.
One animal study showed that beetroot juice exhibited a protective effect on liver cells, decreasing induced cell damage by 38% (38 Trusted Source).
Beets can be boiled, pickled, broiled, or roasted and used to make dips, soups, salsas, or slaws.
14. Sweet potatoes
Complex carbs are composed of larger molecules that take longer to break down, which can be beneficial for reducing the effects of alcohol on your body (41 Trusted Source).
According to a study in 10 people, eating boiled sweet potatoes minimized spikes and crashes in blood sugar levels, which could potentially reduce hunger and prevent overeating caused by drinking (16 Trusted Source, 42 Trusted Source).
Try whipping up a batch of sweet potato fries for an easy snack or side dish before going out. Simply cut sweet potatoes into wedges, toss with olive oil and spices, and bake 20–25 minutes at 425°F (220°C).
15. Trail Mix
Homemade trail mix is a great option for a healthy, hearty snack before you start drinking.
Nuts and seeds like almonds, walnuts, and pumpkin and flax seeds are all high in fiber and protein, which may help slow the emptying of your stomach to lessen the effects of alcohol (43 Trusted Source, 44 Trusted Source).
Plus, they're great sources of magnesium, potassium, and calcium, all of which can help prevent electrolyte disturbances caused by drinking (45).
Trail mix is easy to make using ingredients like nuts and seeds along with mix-ins, such as rolled oats, coconut flakes, and dried fruit.
If you want to opt for store-bought trail mixes, look for varieties without added sugars, salt, or artificial ingredients. You can find some healthy options locally or online.
Foods to Avoid Before Drinking Alcohol
Being mindful of what foods to avoid before drinking alcohol is just as important as selecting nutritious foods to eat before a night out.
In some cases, alcohol can trigger symptoms of gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), a condition characterized by heartburn, nausea, and belching (46 Trusted Source).
If you have GERD or are prone to indigestion, you may want to also avoid other triggers prior to drinking, such as spicy foods, chocolate, carbonated beverages, and caffeine (46 Trusted Source).
Finally, be sure to skip the refined carbs and sugary foods and drinks, such as white bread, pasta, sweets, and sodas.
These foods and beverages are not only digested more rapidly but can also cause blood sugar levels to fluctuate, increasing your risk of overeating later in the night (49 Trusted Source).
Before drinking alcohol, you may want to avoid salty foods, refined carbs, and foods that trigger GERD.
The Bottom Line
Picking the right foods prior to drinking alcohol is incredibly important.
Certain foods can trigger indigestion, bloating, and heartburn while also upping your risk of increased cravings and hunger.
Meanwhile, other foods may not only ease some of the negative effects of alcohol but can also affect how you feel the next morning while protecting your long-term health.
Reposted with permission from our media associate Healthline.
EcoWatch Daily Newsletter
By Emily Grubert
Natural gas is a versatile fossil fuel that accounts for about a third of U.S. energy use. Although it produces fewer greenhouse gas emissions and other pollutants than coal or oil, natural gas is a major contributor to climate change, an urgent global problem. Reducing emissions from the natural gas system is especially challenging because natural gas is used roughly equally for electricity, heating, and industrial applications.
<span style="display:block;position:relative;padding-top:56.25%;" class="rm-shortcode" data-rm-shortcode-id="6bd9fda1316965a9ba24dd60fd9cc34d"><iframe lazy-loadable="true" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/3KaMnkmf0tc?rel=0" width="100%" height="auto" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" style="position:absolute;top:0;left:0;width:100%;height:100%;"></iframe></span>
What RNG Is and Why it Matters<p>Most equipment that uses energy can only use a single kind of fuel, but the fuel might come from different resources. For example, you can't charge your computer with gasoline, but it can run on electricity generated from coal, natural gas or solar power.</p><p>Natural gas is almost pure methane, <a href="https://www.eia.gov/energyexplained/natural-gas/" target="_blank">currently sourced</a> from raw, fossil natural gas produced from <a href="https://www.eia.gov/energyexplained/natural-gas/where-our-natural-gas-comes-from.php" target="_blank">deposits deep underground</a>. But methane could come from renewable resources, too.</p><p><span></span>Two main methane sources could be used to make RNG. First is <a href="https://www.epa.gov/ghgemissions/inventory-us-greenhouse-gas-emissions-and-sinks" target="_blank">biogenic methane</a>, produced by bacteria that digest organic materials in manure, landfills and wastewater. Wastewater treatment plants, landfills and dairy farms have captured and used biogenic methane as an energy resource for <a href="http://emilygrubert.org/wp-content/uploads/2019/02/eia_860_2017_map.html" target="_blank">decades</a>, in a form usually called <a href="https://www.eia.gov/energyexplained/biomass/landfill-gas-and-biogas.php" target="_blank">biogas</a>.</p><p>Some biogenic methane is generated naturally when organic materials break down without oxygen. Burning it for energy can be beneficial for the climate if doing so prevents methane from escaping to the atmosphere.</p>
Renewable Isn’t Always Sustainable<p>If RNG could be a renewable replacement for fossil natural gas, why not move ahead? Consumers have shown that they are <a href="https://www.nrel.gov/analysis/green-power.html" target="_blank">willing to buy renewable electricity</a>, so we might expect similar enthusiasm for RNG.</p><p>The key issue is that methane isn't just a fuel – it's also a <a href="https://www.eia.gov/environment/emissions/ghg_report/ghg_overview.php" target="_blank">potent greenhouse gas</a> that contributes to climate change. Any methane that is manufactured intentionally, whether from biogenic or other sources, will contribute to climate change if it enters the atmosphere.</p><p>And <a href="http://doi.org/10.1126/science.aar7204" target="_blank">releases</a> <a href="https://doi.org/10.1016/j.wasman.2019.07.029" target="_blank">will happen</a>, from newly built production systems and <a href="https://theconversation.com/why-methane-emissions-matter-to-climate-change-5-questions-answered-122684" target="_blank">existing, leaky transportation and user infrastructure</a>. For example, the moment you smell gas before the pilot light on a stove lights the ring? That's methane leakage, and it contributes to climate change.</p><p>To be clear, RNG is almost certainly better for the climate than fossil natural gas because byproducts of burning RNG won't contribute to climate change. But doing somewhat better than existing systems is no longer enough to respond to the <a href="https://doi.org/10.1038/nclimate2923" target="_blank">urgency</a> of climate change. The world's <a href="https://www.ipcc.ch/sr15/chapter/spm/" target="_blank">primary international body on climate change</a> suggests we need to decarbonize by 2030 to mitigate the worst effects of climate change.</p>
Scant Climate Benefits<p><a href="https://iopscience.iop.org/article/10.1088/1748-9326/ab9335/meta" target="_blank">My recent research</a> suggests that for a system large enough to displace a lot of fossil natural gas, RNG is probably not as good for the climate as <a href="https://investor.southerncompany.com/information-for-investors/latest-news/latest-news-releases/press-release-details/2020/Southern-Company-Gas-grows-leadership-team-to-focus-on-climate-action-innovation-and-renewable-natural-gas-strategy/default.aspx" target="_blank">is publicly claimed</a>. Although RNG has lower climate impact than its fossil counterpart, likely high demand and methane leakage mean that it probably will contribute to climate change. In contrast, renewable sources such as wind and solar energy do not <a href="https://www.eia.gov/environment/emissions/carbon/" target="_blank">emit climate pollution directly</a>.</p><p>What's more, creating a large RNG system would require building mostly new production infrastructure, since RNG comes from different sources than fossil natural gas. Such investments are both long-term commitments and opportunity costs. They would devote money, political will and infrastructure investments to RNG instead of alternatives that could achieve a zero greenhouse gas emission goal.</p><p>When climate change first <a href="https://www.nytimes.com/1988/06/24/us/global-warming-has-begun-expert-tells-senate.html" target="_blank">broke into the political conversation</a> in the late 1980s, investing in long-lived systems with low but non-zero greenhouse gas emissions was still compatible with aggressive climate goals. Now, zero greenhouse gas emissions is the target, and my research suggests that large deployments of RNG likely won't meet that goal.</p>
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By Charli Shield
When an elephant dies in the wild, it's not uncommon to later find its bones scattered throughout the surrounding landscape.
Elephant Burial Grounds<p>Highly social creatures that form deep familial bonds, elephants have long been observed gathering at the site where a peer or family member has died — often spending hours, even days, quietly investigating the bodies or the bones of other dead elephants.</p><p>Although the popular idea that dying elephants are instinctively drawn to special communal graves — so-called "elephant graveyards" — is a myth, their tendency to go out of their way to visit the bones and tusks of the deceased isn't unlike human rituals at graveyards, says animal psychologist Karen McComb.</p><p>"They spend a lot of time touching and smelling skulls and ivory, placing the soles of their feet gently on top of them, and also lifting them up with their trunks," McComb, who's been studying African elephants for 25 years in Kenya's Amboseli National Park, told DW.</p><p>The most striking part of watching an elephant experience loss, Poole recalls, is the quietude. She still remembers one of the first elephant deaths she witnessed; a mother who birthed a stillborn calf. That elephant stayed with its baby for two days, trying to lift it and defending it from vultures and hyenas.</p><p>"I was so struck by the expression on her face and her body. She looked so dejected. It was really like, 'Oh God, these animals grieve…'. It was just so different," Poole told DW. </p>
Witnessing Emotions in Animals<p>Not all scientists are comfortable concluding that elephants grieve. Among the more than 30 reports of elephant reactions to death that Wittemyer co-reviewed in <a href="https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s10329-019-00766-5" target="_blank">a study published in November 2019</a> were accounts of "enormous variation and nuance" he says. "It can be incredibly involved and intricate for extended periods or can be relatively cursory checks."</p><p>In Wittemyer's own experience, it can be difficult not to attribute some kind of emotional experience to the more involved interactions between elephants and their dead.</p><p>He shares the story of an "extraordinary event" involving the death of a 55 year-old matriarch in Kenya in a protected area that happened to be near his place of work. She was visited by multiple unrelated families while she was dying, including another matriarch that exerted such enormous effort attempting to lift her to her feet that she broke her tusk, which Wittemyer says, is "like breaking a tooth." </p><p><span></span>"It was a remarkable example of this heightened emotional state, it was very clearly a very stressful interaction," he says.</p>
A Different Sensory World<p>One factor that limits our ability to fully grasp the way elephants process and respond to loss is our markedly different sensory experiences of the world.</p><p>An elephant's world is fundamentally olfactory — based on smell. Ours is visual. Previous <a href="https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/25053675/" target="_blank">research</a> has shown elephants possess the most scent receptors of any mammal, and can <a href="https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/17949977/" target="_blank">use smell</a> to discern the difference between different human tribes from the same local area.</p><p>That could explain why elephants exhibit such interest in sniffing the bones and tusks of others, as a <a href="https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1617198/" target="_blank">2005 study</a> from McCombs highlighted. When presented with the skulls and ivory of long-dead elephants and those from other large herbivores, including rhino and buffalo, McCombs and her team found elephants approached and were specifically attracted to the remains of their own species. </p><p>Without access to the smells an elephant picks up on, Wittemyer says "an enormous amount of stuff" could be missed by humans when studying these behaviors.</p>
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