Drugs and food
Partying can be just as intense as playing sports. When you go to a party or festival, your eating habbits deserve extra attention. Good nutrition ensures that you feel fit so that you can handle all that partying better and recover faster after a weekend of partying. But what is healthy food? And what is the best food to eat? You will find an answer to that below.
Effect of alcohol and drug use on your body
How you feel after using drugs depends on many factors. That is why the same ecstasy pill can can produce a different high for different people or at different times. It also depends what you have eaten and at what time you have eaten. This is especially true for drugs that you take orally; think of alcohol, ecstasy, GHB, a bomb of speed, magic mushrooms, space cake, etc.
On a full stomach, a drug is absorbed slowly and less effectively, and on an empty stomach the absorption goes rather quickly.
Eat enough and healthy and do not skip meals. Your body needs the extra energy and nutrients. You will feel fitter, party longer and recover a lot faster. Also remember that if you eat at 6:00 PM and you are drinking alcohol at 3 AM, the last meal has already been 9 hours ago. When you go to a festival, it is easy to forget about food and breakfast is therefor maybe your most important meal of the day. So make sure you have a good, healthy and fiber-rich breakfast.
Laying a good foundation before you drink an evening will not help against a hangover, but it will ensure that you get drunk more gradually and less quickly. Foods rich in carbohydrates, in particular, slow down absorption. But foods rich in fats and proteins can also slow down absorption. Bread, pasta, potatoes and rice are high in carbohydrates. Butter, cheese, oil and nuts are high in fats, while meat, milk and eggs are high in protein.
This foundation of food also provides a protective layer for the stomach wall and reduces the chance that you have to throw up. Alcohol can irritate the stomach mucous membranes if you drink too much. As a result the stomach wants to get rid of the irritating substance and the stomach contracts convulsively with the result that you have to vomit.
Especially when you start using stimulants, such as ecstasy or speed, you will eat little during and immediately after use, so laying a good and healthy foundation of food is a good idea. You often stay awake longer and use more energy. And you often dance for long periods or walk quite a few kilometers at a festival. So eating is important.
With GHB, the dosage between fun and too much is a narrow one. And the effect of the same dose can therefore differ if you have or have not eaten beforehand. You overdose more easily on an empty stomach and you might pass out. On the other hand, passing out in combination with vomiting is a serious risk with GHB. GHB is also absorbed more slowly on a full stomach, so you can think that you feel too little of the drug and redose too quickly. This puts you at a greater risk of passing out on a full stomach. It is therefore wise not to eat about 2 hours in advance. If you feel like you might be passing out, don’t eat!
If you eat after taking a drug, it often has a ‘sobering’ effect. You don’t really become sober in the sense that there is less active substance in your body. But you can feel that you are more sober, more in control.
Small amounts of alcohol can stimulate the appetite (by irritating the stomach) so that you feel like eating.
The hangover does not decrease by eating. The alcohol is already in your blood and your body is already breaking it down. The hangover will be there regardless of your food intake. Unless you haven’t eaten for a long time. Then it might help.
It is not entirely clear why people often feel like a fat snack. Possible explanations are that if you go to a fast food joint at 3 a.m., you haven’t eaten anything for about 9 hours, so you have less inhibitions when it comes to giving in to the need for a fatty bite, even though you know that it’s unhealthy. Moreover, you have often been rather busy, so you also consume more energy.
Larger amounts often give a feeling of fullness, but do not contribute to a healthy diet. They provide a lot of calories and hardly any important nutrients such as proteins, vitamins and minerals.
Your taste and sense of smell deteriorate.
During and after the use of ecstasy/MDMA, speed and cocaine you are usually not hungry (due to an increase in serotonin and dopamine in your brain) and in addition it is more difficult to eat due to the reduced saliva production. If you don’t eat, your body doesn’t receive any salts (sodium). MDMA also ensures that your kidneys excrete less water through the urine (it is difficult or impossible to urinate). When you drink a lot of water, your sodium level in your blood goes down. You can already prevent this sodium deficiency by eating some salty fries or, for example, to drink a cup of soup or stock. You can also drink an isotonic sports drink. These drinks contain both sugar and salt. You can also make this yourself by dissolving a bag of ORS (Oral Rehydration Salts, which you can buy at the drugstore) in your water bottle.
If you have difficulty eating during or just after the experience, sit down and do nothing else for 10 minutes besides eating. Focus on the food and take little bites. Eventually you’ll have finished your meal and your mind and body will thank you for it later.
Cannabis and the eating kick
Many smokers get ‘the munchies’ from smoking weed. That’s because THC stimulates the hunger center in the brain. THC is one of the active ingredients of cannabis. In addition, your metabolism is faster, which also makes you more hungry.
Because of the cannabis the senses (seeing, hearing, smelling, feeling, tasting) are more intense. So what you eat also tastes much better, making you want to eat more.
Binge cravings become less and less common if you use cannabis regularly for a longer period of time. That’s because your brain gets used to the effect of THC.
Whether or not you get hungry after using psychedelics differs per substance and per person and situation. Usually mushrooms inhibit the feeling of hunger. The taste experience becomes more intense, making it very tasty to eat. There are many different psychedelics and with some psychedelics, such as LSD, the trip can last a long time. With these long lasting psychedelics, it is good to eat something healthy every now and then to have enough energy for the trip. If you are low on energy it can become quite heavy. Your body really needs that energy.
You also ‘ground’ again psychologically if you eat something during a trip. So if it is all a bit too intense, it is good to eat something.
After a weekend of partying and drug use, you may suffer from a hangover. Alcohol and other drugs contain toxic substances that need to be broken down by your body and that takes time. Sleep deprivation, fluid loss due to alcohol use, for example, the ecstasy blues or loss of appetite all contribute to that hungover feeling. By using drugs, you deplete your body’s energy supply so your body has to work hard to process those toxic substances. You can help your body recover by drinking enough water, getting enough sleep and eating certain nutrients.
Substances helping your body with the recovery
Antioxidants help neutralize certain harmful substances (so-called ‘free radicals’) in your body. Animal research shows that antioxidants can reduce oxidative stress and possible brain damage caused by ecstasy, speed and excessive alcohol consumption. Vitamins C and E are well-known examples of antioxidants. Fruit and vegetables contain vitamin C. Nuts and vegetable oil contain vitamin E. These may have a life-prolonging effect and prevent aging of your body.
In general, you can recognize antioxidants in food by their bright color. For example, different types of berries, such as blueberries and raspberries, and green vegetables such as broccoli are full of antioxidants. What also works well are green tea or turmeric (turmeric or Indian turmeric, found in curry).
Omega-3 fatty acids
In addition, omega-3 fatty acids can also protect your cells against oxidative stress. Omega-3 fatty acids are polyunsaturated fatty acids that your body does not make itself. In addition, they are the raw material for certain hormones and are an important component of the walls of all cells in your body. This makes them important for the development and keeping your brain healthy. Omega-3 has a protective effect on your immune system and against cardiovascular diseases. There are indications that it also has a protective effect against depression. Omega-3 fatty acids can be found in fish such as salmon and herring, pecan nuts, walnuts and vegetable oils such as olive oil and linseed oil (make sure you never heat linseed oil).
It is especially important that you ingest all these substances before taking your ecstasy pill. Those free radicals have done their job long before you eat a sandwich with omega-3 fatty acids. It is important that you prevent damage by having exactly those radical scavengers (antioxidants and the like) at the right level when the radicals are formed. Otherwise it is really too late!
Vitamin B1 and alcohol
Too much alcohol and a unhealthy diet can cause a deficiency of vitamin B1. The body needs a lot of vitamin B1 to be able to break down the alcohol. In addition, alcohol hinders the absorption of vitamin B1. This deficiency can then have consequences for memory, critical and analytical thinking and concentration. Vitamin B1 is found in whole grains, bread, potatoes, pork, meat products, vegetables, legumes, brown rice, EverGreen and FruitKick.
You need fat: it gives you energy, keeps you warm and is an important building block in your body. But there is an important difference between healthy fat and unhealthy fat.
Unsaturated fats are the healthy fats, as they can lower the cholesterol level in the blood. Low cholesterol lowers the risk of cardiovascular disease. Unsaturated fat can be found in olive oil, nuts, linseeds and avocados.
Saturated fats are the unhealthy fats because they raise the cholesterol level in the blood. High cholesterol increases the risk of cardiovascular disease. Saturated fat can be found in fatty meat, whole milk products, butter, frying fat, cheese, biscuits, ice cream, chocolate and snacks.
It is of course best to get nutrients from fresh food. Usually that is not difficult at all! But in some cases, it may be easier to get them from dietary supplements. If you do not like or eat fish, you can also get it from certain nuts and seeds. Otherwise, it is also possible to use an omega-3 dietary supplement. With the latter, note that there are NO omega-6 or omega-9 fatty acids in it! You can also take vitamins C and E as supplements. Vitamin E, in particular, is best obtained from food. If you do want to take a supplement, make sure you choose a supplement that contains several forms of vitamin E and not just a few. If you ingest too much in one form, this ensures that the other forms are less well absorbed into your body.
Other suitable supplements with antioxidants are coenzyme Q10 (100 mg), alpha-lipoic acid (R-alpha-lipoic acid specific; this is the biologically active form) and milk thistle (in addition to being an antioxidant also a protector of the liver).
Melatonin can also be taken as a supplement to help you sleep better. But beware: melatonin is a hormone that determines the biorhythm. It is therefore important to only take it in the evening! An hour or two before you go to sleep. Preferably keep your sleeping pattern as regular as possible.
L-tryptophan can maintain the serotonin balance and helps you to make your ecstasy hangover a little easier. Take 1 or 2 capsules (depending on the dose) in the days after use. Make sure that you do not take L-tryptophan during ecstasy use because it can trigger serotonin syndrome. This can be very dangerous! Do you want to know more about L-tryptophan and 5-HTP and reducing the Tuesday dip? Read our extensive article on this topic here.
If you have planned a party, it is advisable to take a dietary supplement before, during and after the party. Taking high-dose supplements on a daily basis is not recommended. If you are also taking other medications, it is wise to discuss this with your doctor before taking certain supplements.
Food rich in antioxidants and/or omega-3 fatty acids
- Black berries
- Cabbage types
- Linseed (oil)
- Chia seeds
- Red pepper
- Chili pepper
- Cayenne pepper
- Green tea
- Black tea
Here’s a small selection of recipes that are labeled as prepair & repair food by unity
Shakes & smoothies
You can vary endlessly with shakes and smoothies. You can mix different fruits and vegetables, add nuts, yogurt or milk, juice, spices; you name it. This way you always discover a new tasty drink! You can use juice from a carton, squeeze fresh, or use frozen fruits or vegetables. Everything is possible, but remember: the fresher, the better! Some tasty suggestions that you can add to almost all your smoothies to make them even healthier:
- Flax seeds and chia seeds are full of fiber and omega-3 fatty acids.
- Peanut butter or another nut butter is a good way to get extra healthy fats and proteins. A good idea for when you come home after a long day or night of dancing!
- Raw zucchini. This may sound crazy, but you won’t taste it, it even makes the smoothie a bit creamier and it’s a good way to add extra vitamins (unnoticed).
- Oatmeal is high in fiber and l-tryptophan. It is ideal for making your smoothie even healthier and more filling.
Below are some examples for inspiration. Share your perfect shake with us via firstname.lastname@example.org and our facebook fanpage!
Blueberry smoothie with yogurt and honey
- A bowl of blueberries
- Yogurt or vanilla yogurt
- 1 teaspoon honey
Prepare: Everything in the blender, shake it!
Tropical shake with fresh orange juice
(mainly drink these before and after using substances)
- 2 to 3 oranges
- 1 banana
- 1 passion fruit or a dash of tropical juice
- 1 teaspoon honey
- 1 heaping tablespoon of coconut milk
Preparation: Juice the oranges and put them in the blender. Add the other ingredients. Mix them well and you’re done!
Smoothie with banana and chocolate
- 1 banana
- ¾ glass of milk or a combination of yogurt and milk
- 1 tablespoon cocoa powder or raw chocolate powder
- 1 tablespoon coconut
Preparation: Put the banana and the milk (and yogurt) in the blender. Turn on the blender. While mixing, add the cocoa powder, cocoa powder and coconut.
Smoothie with mango, pumpkin, banana and cinnamon
- Half a mango
- Piece of pumpkin the same size as half a mango. You can briefly boil or steam these in advance, but well blended raw (for example from the freezer) is also fine.
- 1 banana
- Pinch of cinnamon
- (Vegetable) milk and/or orange juice
- Preparation method: put everything in the blender and blend
Green super smoothie
- 1 banana
- Handful of (frozen) mango and/or pineapple
- Big handful of spinach and/or kale
- Half avocado
- Orange juice
Preparation method: everything is in the blender and just blend.
Bright pink smoothie
- 1 boiled beetroot
- 2 handfuls of (frozen) raspberries or strawberries
Preparation: everything in the blender, add some water and blend until it is nice and pink and smooth.
Broccoli soup (2 pers)
- 1 stock cube
- 1 broccoli
- 2 onions
- 2 cloves of garlic
- 125 ml crème frache
Preparation: bring the broccoli to the boil with the stock cube. Pour off some water. Saute the onion and garlic in the pan with olive oil and add to the pan with the broccoli together with the crème frache. Remove the pan from the heat and blend! Tip: garnish with pieces of smoked salmon.
Carrot lentil soup (4 pers)
- 2 tablespoons oil
- 2 onions, chopped
- 300 grams carrots, sliced
- 1 400 g can lentils (or 250 g dried red lentils)
- 1 can of coconut milk
- 1 teaspoon red curry paste
- 1 teaspoon ground turmeric
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1 teaspoon ground coriander (or fresh coriander)
- 1 vegetable stock cube
Preparation: heat the oil. Fry the onion and carrot. Stir in the spices, curry paste and lentils. Add a liter of water and the stock cube and cook for 15 to 20 minutes. Add the coconut milk and heat for a while. Optional: take part of the soup (about a third) and grind it in the blender. Then add back to the rest of the soup. Tip: Delicious with naan bread!
Pasta and salad
Penne with salmon and broccoli (2 pers)
- 200 g penne (100 g penne per person)
- Little olive oil
- 1 clove of garlic
- 300 gr broccoli in small florets
- Smoked salmon (100-150g) in shreds
Preparation: cook the penne according to the instructions. Cook the broccoli florets for about 5 minutes until they are al dente (not too soft). Heat the oil and fry the garlic gently. Place the broccoli, cooked pasta and sour cream in this pan and toss to combine. Season with salt and pepper. Spoon the penne into plates and divide the salmon chips over it.
Tip: Bake other vegetables with the garlic, such as onion, bell pepper or mushrooms.
Couscous salad (2 pers)
- 150 g couscous
- Small onion, chopped
- 1 bell pepper in small pieces
- 250 g cherry tomatoes cut into quarters
- 100 to 150 g lettuce, such as lamb’s lettuce or oak leaf lettuce
- Sprigs of fresh mint or coriander
- 1 can chickpeas, 400 grams, drained
- 1 can lentils, 400 grams, drained
- A handful of raisins, possibly violence in water to make them softer
- Spices: pepper, salt, ground cumin, ground coriander, possibly some sesame seeds or sesame oil
Preparation method: make the couscous according to the instructions. Let cool. Then add the rest of the ingredients and mix everything well.
- Letting someone eat on their own, never forcing someone to eat or stuffing something into someone’s mouth.
- Get groceries in advance.
- Think in advance what you want to eat and how you can best take it with you.
- Prepare food at home in advance, so you don’t have to cook after a party.
- Eat slowly.
Do you have any nice tips that can be put on the site? Then email us with your suggestions! For other questions about healthy nutrition and substance use, you can send an email to email@example.com.