When you’re battling a stomach flu, you might not feel like consuming much of anything. However, it’s important to know how to nourish your body in order to fully recuperate after bouts of vomiting and nauseous nights. Here’s a guide to help you learn what things to eat in order to speed up recovery, and which foods you should try to avoid.
Two Essential Tips:
1. Right after vomiting, wait and then hydrate.
Brown University Health Education advises you not to eat anything right after you throw up and to instead wait two hours until starting to hydrate. Try starting out with popsicles or ice chips, followed by sipping some clear liquids. Water is great, of course, but sports drinks can replenish minerals that were drained by vomiting. Plus, they taste good!
2. When you’re ready to eat, bland is best.
When you start to regain your appetite, opt for simple, bland foods like toast, rice and crackers. Despite their relative lack of flavor, bland foods can help keep your energy up and prevent further vomiting. Livestrong.com recommends plain pasta, rice and potatoes for when you’re nauseated in general, even when you’re not dealing with the stomach bug.
Don’t want bread? Apple sauce is another option — what better excuse to pour yourself a bowlful and relive the childhood glory days?
Or grab a banana if you’ve been vomiting. They help boost your potassium, which tends to be depleted after throwing up. What’s more, eating a banana requires no preparation or effort — a great option for when you’re too weak to leave the couch.
Four Things to Avoid:
Enough said. You know what a morning hangover feels like when you’re weren’t sick the night before, so imagine what it’ll feel like when you’re nauseated and just beginning to drink again. Alcohol also contributes to dehydration, which you certainly don’t need if you’re already throwing up.
As hard as this one may be – trust me, I cherish my regular cup of joe – caffeine won’t help you feel better. Like alcohol, it can make you more dehydrated. Instead of relying on Starbucks or Red Bull to help you stay up until 3:30 a.m., that extra sleep could be just what your body needs.
Milk might make for strong bones and teeth, but it’s not worth it when you’re nauseated. Dairy products may draw out your stomach’s agitation, according to Livestrong.com. So, once your stomach can tolerate food and you’re nibbling on saltines, leave off the cheese. Then when you’re back to normal, celebrate by heading over to Andy’s or Cold Stone for a long overdue, dairy-rich treat.
4. Spicy food
Jalapeños and chili peppers don’t exactly mesh with an uneasy tummy. Again, stay on the bland side, and you can’t go wrong.