What You Should Eat Before Getting Your COVID-19 Vaccine

As more Americans become eligible for the COVID-19 vaccine, you may be wondering what you should eat and drink before getting vaccinated. While there are no special dietary requirements, there are certain foods and beverages you can eat and drink ahead of time that will help to support your body and your immune system. For example, you should eat a healthy and well-balanced meal before your vaccine appointment (via Health).

Eating foods rich in protein and nutrients will help regulate your blood sugar, curbing your anxiety. If you tend to faint at the sight of needles, eating a meal full of grains, vegetables, and healthy fats may help prevent you from fainting. You should also eat foods that will help you sleep better at night, especially the night before you're scheduled to receive the vaccine. Foods that are high in fiber, like fruits, vegetables, nuts and seeds, and whole grains, will help improve your overall quality of sleep, leaving you refreshed and well-rested the following morning. 

Furthermore, it's important to drink plenty of fluids both before and after getting the COVID-19 vaccine (via EatingWell). Staying hydrated is important for your body in general, but it can also help prevent fainting and reduce post-vaccination discomfort.

What you should avoid before getting the COVID-19 vaccine

While there is no evidence that alcohol has any impact on the effectiveness of the COVID-19 vaccine, experts agree that you should try to avoid drinking alcohol the day before and after getting vaccinated. This is because alcohol can dehydrate you and suppress your immune system, which may affect your body's reaction to the vaccine. 

"Even light consumption of alcohol causes you to be relatively dehydrated, and this could make the body aches that occur after the second shot of the mRNA vaccines feel worse," Dr. William Li, the co-founder and medical director of the Angiogenesis Foundation, told EatingWell. "Just like drinking booze when you have the flu will make you feel even crappier, it's a good idea to hold off or go light on the alcohol for a day or so after getting the vaccine." 

You should also avoid eating processed foods (via Health). Studies have shown that eating foods that are high in sodium, added sugars, and total fats can increase inflammation, which may impair your immune system. Replacing processed foods with fruits and vegetables will better support your body's immune function.