The 2AM Takeaway Rules That Will Actually Help Your Hangover

Group of friends eating pizza together.
Todor Tsvetkov/Getty Images
Group of friends eating pizza together.

We’ve all experienced the pure joy of those golden arches shining in the distance on the way home from a night of drinking.

It’s after midnight and you haven’t eaten in hours (unless you count the few crackers with hummus you scoffed down that afternoon) so a large Big Mac meal makes total sense.

After all, the carbs will soak of the alcohol! Which means it’ll ease the hangover! Right?


Tucking into a greasy meal in the early hours of the morning actually does little to help you the next day. But that doesn’t mean you should skip eating altogether.

“Forget the whole pizza and go for something light -- split a kebab, a snack wrap or a small burger,” dietitian Susie Burrell told The Huffington Post Australia.

“The biggest causes of hangover symptoms are dehydration and low blood glucose levels, so your best bet is to eat something before bed and drink as much fluid as you can -- even better is an electrolyte drink and some Vegemite toast,” Burrell said.

While the quick, fast food options that are high in fat and calories are what we tend to reach for first, nutritionist Dr Joanna McMillan warns it will make you feel worse.

“Fatty meals take longer to leave your stomach and may make you nauseous or give you heartburn when you go to bed,” McMillan said.

McMillan said instead, we should be eating a proper dinner earlier in the evening before heading out to avoid being hungry on the way home.

“Choose a good source of protein such as fish, chicken or duck and low GI carbs such as pasta or brown rice,” McMillan said.

Eating beforehand will also help with alcohol absorption.

“Eating earlier in the night is important to nourish your body and slow the absorption of the alcohol from your gut,” McMillan said.

And the closest thing to a get out of jail free card? Staying hydrated throughout the night and when you get home.

“Rehydrating is the most important aspect of avoiding a hangover,” McMillan said.

“Concentrate on controlling how much alcohol you have through the evening and maintaining your hydration by drinking plenty of water at the same time,” McMillan said.

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