Drunchies. The drunk munchies. We’ve all been there, coming home from a long night out and rediscovering how delicious Doritos, pizza, and cookies are.
And, oh goodness, do they taste better than anything on the planet ever? That’s because, according to research from the Indiana University School of Medicine’s Departments of Medicine and Neurology, alcohol sensitizes the brain’s response to food aromas and increases in calorie intake, making food taste better and you wanting more.
On the other hand, we’ve all woken up the next morning regretting our drunchies — comedian Jason Segel even admitted to finding himself covered in Taco Bell wrappers. This was the point at which he decided it was time to get in shape.
While we don’t want you to stop snacking after a boozy night (good calories and protein could help the healing process), we do suggest stocking your cabinets with healthy drunk food that swap things like genetically modified corn for clean, plant-based grains without sacrificing taste.
Test our theory that these drunk snacks taste amazing and won’t make you feel like crap the next morning — get drunk, get snacking, and let us know. Just remember, sharing is caring.
When I’m drunk, I can eat a bag of chips without knowing it happened. That includes salt and vinegar, barbecue, cheddar puffs, even popcorn — you name it. Lucky for us, Simply7 makes them allusing gluten-free ingredients; no additional preservatives, flavors or colors; and zero grams of trans fat. In your drunken stupor (and even the next day), you won’t be able to tell you’re eating kale-, lentil-, quinoa-, or veggie-based chips. Our favorite: Simply7’s Jalapeño Lentil Chips.
At an after-work soiree, a meat-eating buddy of ours knocked back a few cans of beer and went H.A.M. on the veggie tray and dip. But instead of artery-clogging ranch or blue cheese, we set out Chosen Foods’ avocado oil dressings (chipotle ranch and lemon garlic). He finished the bowl. Chosen Foods was founded by a naturopathic doctor who wanted to make real, nutrient-rich foods, so the brand’s avocado oil is high in the “good fats” that help your heart and brain.
Mac and Cheese
Sorry, Kraft, we’ve replaced you with dairy-free brand Daiya’s comfort-food Cheezy Mac made of whole grain pasta and a squeeze cheese pouch (psh, only peasants use the powder). Perhaps the most iconic drunk food of your college career, the perfect bowl of mac and cheese relies on two essentials: It must be easy to make and it must have velvety cheese. Check, and check. The only difference is you’ll wake up without the heavy, hardened-cheese block in your gut.
We don’t need to point out the health difference between grilled chicken and fried chicken. And we don’t need a polygraph machine to know you’re lying if you say your drunk snack is grilled chicken. Continue noshing on crispy chicken sammies (only 180 calories each) with Gardein’s microwave- and oven-ready Chick’n Sliders. Secret health upgrade: There’s no hormone-pumped ground chicken meat inside. Instead, these vegan imitation sliders are made dairy-free with soy protein.
If you’ve never tried Halo Top then f!@# you. (Kidding, but really, get on that.) High in protein and low in sugar with 14 unique dairy-free flavors and another 26 regular pints, Halo Top is the Michael Jordan (or LeBron James, if you’re in that camp) of healthy ice creams. There is absolutely no sacrifice in taste despite the use of organic stevia, and the total calorie count per pint is printed on the front — none of that “per serving” crap. Everyone knows you’ll eat the whole thing. Here’s a shocking side-by-side comparison of Halo Top and the other major ice cream brands you used to drunch on.
The reason a greasy breakfast of bacon and eggs helps cure your hangover isn’t because of the oil, but the protein. Before and after drinking, protein can promote quicker recovery and keep your body from breaking down. Swap your late-night Oreos for Buff Bake cookies, which are high in fiber, pack 16 grams of protein, and come in both classic and sandwich varieties. We’re doubling down on the 10-pack. (*Flexes muscles*)
Two words: Paleo. Brownies. Base Culture has done the impossible with the Almond Butter Paleo Brownies, which are hella indulgent sans guilt. You can taste the quality of the cocoa in the smallest bite. Base Culture also makes a moist pumpkin bread loaf made with real pumpkin, cashews, pecans, pumpkin spices, and natural honey.
If you’ve been drinking cocktails, you’ve probably had a heavy dose of sugar for the night. Instead of reaching for another sugary drink, we’re swapping out cans of soda with USDA-organic Dry Zero Sugar. This new category of stevia-sweetened sparkling soda was launched spring 2018 and comes from the Seattle-based craft sparkling water brand Dry. With an equal focus on health and flavor (like cola, peach tea, and berry), Dry offers a yummy alternative to soft drinks. Yes, they’re great as mixers too.
Article originally published June 15, 2017. Last updated June 19, 2018.