Why You Should Eat Before Getting A Tattoo

Getting a tattoo can be a celebratory and momentous occasion. It can be a permanent reminder of a good night or a highly thought out and meticulous design planned out years in advance. No matter if you're looking to get a small butterfly on your ankle or planning to spend hours in the chair for an elaborate back piece, getting a tattoo is definitely something you'll put thought into.

Things like the tattoo shop you visit, the artist you select, and the design you decide on are obvious steps to your plans for a tattoo. In fact, several websites have lists of things to consider before getting your tattoo. But many people fail to consider their meal planning before going under the needle.

The day of your tattoo can be highly important in terms of what you're ingesting. Factors like how hydrated you are and your blood sugar or caffeine levels actually play a vital role in how your tattoo experience will be overall (per Spoon University). Some tattoo shops offer a list of do's and don'ts for how to properly prepare for your tattoo appointment. According to Tattoo By Design, a popular tattoo shop in Oregon, ensuring to have a proper meal before your appointment is one of their top tips!

Stay hydrated

Eating foods provides some level of added hydration. Depending on age and gender, the human body is said to be made up of around 50% and perhaps up to 60% water, according to Discovery. It's no secret that maintaining proper body hydration is important for certain body functions like digestion and internal cooling.

There are a number of issues that can occur when you aren't properly hydrated, but did you know that your level of hydration plays a direct role in not only how your tattoo takes initially, but also how the tattoo heals? According to Bang Bang Body Arts, being properly hydrated prior to your appointment helps your tattoo artist as the ink more easily flows into the skin when it is hydrated. With a smoother process, you may be less likely to experience pain during the tattoo process itself.

It is a good idea to regularly apply moisture, such as a lotion or ointment, during the healing process. A tattoo that is left to dry out, or one that isn't properly hydrated, can result in dried and cracking skin and affect the final appearance of the tattoo, according to Healthline. 

What should you eat before your tattoo?

Believe it or not, getting a tattoo on an empty stomach isn't recommended. Your pain tolerance is lower when you're hungry, warns Tattoo By Design. Not to mention the mood effects that come (hangry, anyone?) when you've not been properly nourished throughout the day. Here are a few do's and don'ts for your pre-ink meal plan.

Don't consume alcohol! Alcohol can affect your bleeding and clotting process, warns Insider. Ensure that you've arrived to your appointment sober!

Don't consume too much caffeine or sugar! The last thing your tattoo artist needs is for you to be jittery or shaky during your tattoo (per Inkeeze). 

Don't consume too much dairy. Dairy can cause bloating, according to Inkeeze, which can alter the way that your tattoo turns out.

Do eat a balanced meal high in protein and carbs! Protein helps your body in the healing process, which can aid in better results for your skin art. Inkeeze suggests going for beef, chicken, or seafood. Tattoo By Design recommends adding in some vitamin K to thicken your blood. Broccoli, yogurt, bananas, oats, blueberries, and dark leafy greens are all good options.

Do ask your tattoo artist about their snack policy. Some artists won't mind you bringing individually wrapped, non-messy snacks like protein bars.