What to Eat after Vomiting 

Vomiting or feeling nauseated is unpleasant, regardless of its cause. Whether you are pregnant, suffering from a stomach illness, experiencing side effects from a medication, or your vomiting is caused by emotional distress you need to take care of your body. The desire to eat after vomiting usually returns slowly. However, it is important to provide your body with nourishment and hydration, even if you are not feeling up to eating a complete meal.

Vomiting can trigger unhealthy weight loss, dehydration, and even extend the symptoms of an illness. The sooner you eat after vomiting the better for your health, provided you have identified the cause of the problem. Nourishing your body can help you find your way back to health. What to eat when vomiting can be a difficult choice for you.

1. Beginning

You might not feel like eating after vomiting, or you have no idea of what to eat when vomiting, but even if you are famished you should still eat light and slow. Begin with clear liquids. Try to drink at least 8 to 10 glasses of water. You should drink this much water every day, but it is especially important after vomiting because of the excessive water loss.

Once you know water will not trigger another bout of vomiting, try a few other liquids. Diluted sports drinks or Kool-aid with reduced sugar allow you to drink something flavored. Weak, decaffeinated tea is another option. Some varieties of tea are even believed to speed the healing process. If you are successful with liquids, you might try Jello, popsicles, or a bit of broth or bouillon.

2. Convalescent Diet

In addition to the options listed above, you might also try a convalescent diet. These options help you nourish your body without overdoing it. The food options are light and aid recovery.

  • Soup is an excellent option for a post-vomiting diet. If made properly, it can calm your stomach. Broth helps you determine if your body is ready for the next step: solid food. Add a few bland ingredients to the broth to see if it eases your nausea and prevents any additional vomiting. Chicken soup can also be an effective transition food after a bout of vomiting.
  • The BRAT diet is another plan that helps you recover after vomiting. This diet can also ease diarrhea. Foods on the BRAT diet are very bland. The letters stand for bananas, rice, applesauce, and toast. The latter three keep your stomach full, while the former restores nutrients, such as potassium. Most people follow the brat diet for about 24 to 48 hours after vomiting has subsided.
  • Eating bland foods in general is a good idea after vomiting. If the BRAT diet is a little too restrictive, jazz it up with saltine crackers, noodles, or English muffins. If your body is craving protein, try a bit of plain turkey or chicken. Avoid spices and seasonings because you want to keep the food as mild as possible.

3. Medication

This can be a common answer to the question: what to eat when vomiting. In cases of severe or chronic nausea or vomiting, your doctor might suggest medication. There are two prescription medications available to control vomiting. Phenergan is an antihistamine that also prevents vomiting. Zofran is a drug developed to treat the vomiting and nausea associated with chemotherapy. It has fewer side effects than Phenergan and is more frequently prescribed.

If your symptoms are not serious enough to warrant a prescription medication, there are several over the counter medications to treat vomiting. Most of them are marketed for treating stomach upset. You might recognize some by their brand names, such as Kaopectate, Immodium, or Pepto-Bismol. In each case, the lining of the stomach is coated by thick syrup. Though these medications can be helpful for easing vomiting caused by emotional distress, they are unlikely to do much good if your vomiting is a symptom of a stomach virus. These medications have restrictions, so read the label carefully before taking them or giving them to anyone in your family.

4. Things to Avoid

Besides what to eat when vomiting, you also need to take care of things to avoid eating. These could trigger additional bouts of vomiting or leave you feeling queasy and bloated.

  • Foods with a pungent odor can trigger feelings of nausea. Even if you typically find the smells pleasant, they might have the opposite effect when you are feeling ill.
  • Foods that are greasy or salty should also be avoided. Most of these are never good for you, but your body will react immediately if exposed during a bout of vomiting. Some of the foods on the no-go list include baked goods, white bread, sausage, burgers, chips, pizza, deep-fried foods, and canned items. If you experience any cravings once you are feeling better, ease back into eating these foods slowly. You might even look for a healthier option that satisfies the craving you experience.
  • Dairy products, caffeine, alcohol, and carbonated drinks can also trigger problems when you are feeling ill. They can make you feel bloated, irritate the lining of your stomach, or dehydrate you.
  • Spicy foods should be avoided until you are feeling better. Though many spices offer healing properties, they are not helpful when your stomach is experiencing tumult.
  • Uncooked fruits and vegetables. Do not eat uncooked fruits and vegetables until you are back to normal. These are very healthy foods, but they contain a lot of fiber and can be hard on the stomach and intestines.
  • Pain killers. You will want to avoid pain medications such as ibuprofen, aspirin, and naproxen. These upset the stomach, so if vomiting is accompanied by aches and pains, look for other remedies that will not worsen the problem.

When to See a Doctor

Vomiting can occur at any time and it is often not a serious problem. However, if you experience any of the following, you will want to contact your doctor immediately:

  • Unable to keep any food or liquid down at all
  • Feeling nauseated for more than 48 hours
  • Vomiting more than three times in one day
  • Running a fever
  • Feeling weak
  • Suffering stomach pain
  • Unable to urinate for more than eight hours