What to eat at a bar when you drink!
This can't matter...right? To most people it doesn’t but for the dedicated #EarnYourBooze type of drinkers that know the value of physical health, drinking and bar food need to be discussed.
When it comes to your goals, there is a right way to do it. Alcohol can stress the hell out of your detoxing pathways (liver, intestines, gut lining, kidneys, etc). Which makes it vital to ensure that when you partake, you are making smarter choices with food to lighten the toxic load - food can be just as toxic.
We made it easy for you here with our top 5 tips on how to eat when you’re drinking at a bar.
1. Control your portions
Most bar foods are hyper palatable, high in fat, high calorie and are large in portion. The average calories in 1 bar meal is 1,500. Yes, you heard that right. Also remember, your drinks have calories too anywhere from 100-300+ each. One way to “cheat” the system here is to split a meal with a friend or significant other. This will ensure that you are not consuming your total daily caloric allotment in 1 meal. Lets just be honest, if we are drinking and at a bar, we are conditioned to finish what’s in front of us and none of us are taking leftovers so put half in front of someone else.
2. Try to avoid fried food
Fried foods are very inflammatory to the body due to the canola and vegetable oil that are used to cook them in, or shall we say… bath them in. These oils, due to their high omega 6 (not good) amount and unstable conditions in high heat, directly contribute to chronic disease (also not good).
If possible, order your entree grilled OR if you are opting into an appetizer and a entrée, at least make sure one of them is not fried in oil.
3. Dairy VS Gluten
In scanning the menu at a bar, you will find gluten or dairy in almost all the menu options. Gluten and dairy are the top 2 food sensitivities and cause direct inflammation in the gut which can lead to worse symptoms the next day post drinking. Some common symptoms include:Headaches, skin issues, bloating, fatigue, and digestive distress.
Instead of consuming both gluten and dairy in your meal, opt for 1 and not the other. For example: if you order a burger ask for it without cheese or ask for it with a gluten free bun, or even lettuce wrapped.
4. Don’t forget the Fiber
This is arguably one of the most important tricks in this list. We all know fiber is beneficial for our good gut bugs but it can also be a great add on to a bar meal. A quick way to do this is opt for a side of veggies instead of fries, carrot sticks instead of chips, you get the gist ;) Fiber is beneficial when drinking because Alcohol has an unpredictable effect on blood sugar levels, causing them to swing high and low. Extremes in either direction. This can cause you to crave foods randomly even when not truly hungry and also really disrupt your sleep!
What you eat in many cases can help combat this. Fiber, due to it's slow digestion, can help stabilize blood sugar and keep you satiated (feeling fuller longer) while you are drinking. This not only will keep you from snacking but will also help combat the blood sugar swings that alcohol can give.
5. Water Consumption
Optimal hydration pre, during, and post drinking is VITAL to hangover prevention and immunity. Drink 12-16 oz of water before each beer. This is arguably one of the greatest healthy drinking habits to have.
Remember: alcohol is a diuretic. It dehydrates you and because its a liquid, it will distort your bodies signaling pathways to remind you that you are actually thirsty. Now combine that dehydration with very calorically dense bar food….not the best scenario. What does food need to digest? Water… Without it you are making your body work 10X harder to digest and absorb food.
Briana Owen, IHP, PT, NS
Briana Owen is a Holistic Health and Nutrition Specialist for a global wellness company, Nrish. Her philosophies and teachings have been responsible for 1,000s of health based transformations and she continues to help pave the way in the natural health space. As a trusted holistic specialist, she is certified as an integrative health practitioner and runs functional lab analysis to help women and men of all ages find the root cause of health symptoms. Through her passion to help others live their happiest and healthiest version of themselves, Briana focuses heavily on sharing holistic and integrative health practices for re-balancing hormones, reducing toxicity in the body and optimizing gut health.
Will Armijo, MBA, NS
Will Armijo is an entrepreneur, speaker, and influencer in the health and wellness industry. He is the Founder and CEO of the holistic nutrition company NRÏSH, which has serviced over 7,000 people globally. He is a former NCAA baseball player, 9 time NPC bodybuilding competitor, and holds an MBA along with a certification in nutrition and strength training. Will has 20 years of experience in the health and wellness industry. He has been featured in multiple magazines, local news, global podcast, and speaks on both nutrition and business entrepreneurship.