You’ve probably heard stories about how people feel after getting their COVID-19 vaccine, and some of those stories may be extremely off-putting. But there are ways to help prevent unpleasant after-effects from your shot, and that comes from what you eat and drink right after being vaccinated.
Fever, chills, headaches, nausea, and soreness at the injection site have all been reported as side effects of both the Pfizer-BioNTech and the Moderna vaccines. Smithsonian Magazine reported, however, that the percentages of significant side effects are fairly low. In the two-shot process for the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine, only 3.7% of those vaccinated experienced a fever after the first short, and only 15.8% reported a fever after the second shot. For those 55 years of age or older, the rates are even lower.
For the Moderna vaccine, less than 1% of people (no matter the age) experienced a fever after the first dose, while 17.4% of younger people and 10.2% of older people felt feverish after the second dose (via Smithsonian). The same side effects have also been reported for the one dose Johnson & Johnson vaccine, according to Medical News Today. But proper nutrition can help alleviate the after-effects for all three approved vaccines in the United States.
Water, water, and more water is essential for post-vaccination health
Hydration is key when getting any vaccine, and that includes the three vaccines approved to combat COVID-19 — Pfizer-BioNTech, Moderna, and Johnson & Johnson. To avoid dehydration, do not drink alcohol prior to getting jabbed or after, Health noted. Alcohol can interfere with your immune system and you want the best immune response possible for this important vaccine.
Of course, one of the best ways to stay hydrated is to drink water. You don’t have to get excessive about it, but do stick to the recommended 64 ounces of water a day both before and after receiving your shot (via Health). You can break down all this water consumption throughout the day in eight 8-ounce glasses, or you can use a refillable water bottle to keep hydrated. Health also noted that it’s perfectly fine to flavor your water with lemon or lime if you just don’t like the taste of plain water. Proper hydration also helps you sleep, which also boosts your immune system.
Fuel your body with healthy foods after your COVID-19 vaccine
Whole foods, rather than processed foods, can help your immune system work correctly and can also assist in warding off vaccine side effects — especially nausea. Shop before your vaccine appointment and have some bland foods on hand like bananas, apple sauce, broth-based soups, brown rice, and potatoes, as noted by Health. All of these foods can both prevent nausea and treat it.
Health also advised that you can eat takeout if you’re not feeling up to cooking soon after being vaccinated, but stick with healthier options instead of ordering fried or fatty fast food. Choose Indian curry, an Asian stir fry, or even veggie tacos (we’re getting hungry just thinking about it).
It’s also possible to lose your appetite after your shot, but you still need to eat. Try to stick to smaller meals and healthy snacks, because your body still needs nutrition no matter what (via Health). The healthier you eat, the healthier you will be, so finally getting vaccinated against COVID-19 might just be the right time to start your journey towards wellness and nutrition.
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