What To Eat And Drink Before Getting A Tattoo - And What To Avoid!

Written by: Pete

Like everything else related to tattooing, in order to have the best experience during and after your session, what you eat is also important. You should never go into a tattoo session on an empty stomach, and there are a few dos and don’ts when it comes to what you eat and drink. We’ve put together an ultimate guide on what you should and shouldn’t eat before a tattoo.


Why What You Eat Before a Tattoo is Important

Getting a tattoo is essentially a medical procedure, and for some people, the trauma done to your skin can cause a pretty severe immune response. This immune response can sometimes result in something called tattoo flu which causes a general sense of malaise.

Like all weaknesses, illnesses, and immune discomforts, negative symptoms can often be combated through healthier food choices that boost your system. These are foods that contain:

  • Vitamins
  • Protein
  • Zinc Supplements
  • H2O

Getting a tattoo on an empty stomach will not only amplify your symptoms but may make you feel weak, dizzy, or cause you to faint.

Good Things to Eat Before a Tattoo


If you’re looking to head into your session with the best immune system ever to tackle this tattoo, make sure you get your fill of vitamins - particularly vitamin C. It not only assists with wound healing, but it helps minimize negative immune responses to the trauma. Eating foods that are full of iron, such as broccoli, sweet potato, or soy is also great for blood regeneration and wound healing.


Drinking water not only helps your artist out by making your skin more moisturized and easier to tattoo but also keeps away any dizzy or light-headed feelings that you may encounter during your tattoo session.


Protein helps raise your energy levels which is great for keeping your adrenaline going. Adrenaline helps you manage the pain of the tattooing experience, so stock up on some peanut butter, nuts, eggs, and tofu before your tattoo.

Zinc Supplements

Zinc is known to help reduce swelling and that will not only allow you to sit for longer sessions but will amplify the healing time of your tattoo by combating inflammation. Zinc supplements are also a great way to reduce any excess bloating or salt intake you may have had from the night before a tattoo session.

Food and Drink to Avoid Before a Tattoo


Not only is this extremely dehydrating to your skin, making it a challenge for your artist, but it will also thin out your blood and cause excessive bleeding during your session. In addition, should you be combating a hangover, you may be denied service upon entry to your tattoo shop. It’s not worth the risk, so avoid it for at least 24 hours before your session.

Caffeine and Energy Drinks

Caffeine is a stimulant that will give you the jitters which is the exact opposite state you want to be in during a tattoo. With an increased heart rate that causes an increase in your blood flow, but reduced hydration and subsequent energy crashes, caffeine is something you’ll want to avoid before getting your tattoo.

Salt and Sugar

Whether you like things sweet or prefer things salty, both should be avoided before your tattoo. Salt causes bloating and this may add to the inflammation of your wound trauma. Sugar, on the other hand, can slow down wound healing so it shouldn’t be your go-to before a session.

The In-Between: Dairy and Tattoos

While most websites may tell you to avoid dairy before a tattoo, here at Tattify we are a little torn on the subject. While dairy can make you feel bloated and may add to the discomfort of a tattoo session, research shows that milk has cells that assist in wound healing and can even have nutritional elements that benefit fighting against illness - a great way to boost your vulnerable immune system. So whether you want to drink that yogurt before your session or not is up to you!

Our Final Thoughts

Often, your first consultation with your artist will come with an information sheet that will give you tips and tricks on setting yourself up for the most successful tattoo session. These will often include what you should and shouldn’t eat before a session. Stick to things that pack your body full of vitamins, minerals, and hydration, and avoid the stuff that will cause additional discomfort as you get inked. If you’re ever unsure, you can ask your artist for their recommendations. And remember that your adrenaline peaks in the morning, so book your session first thing if possible.

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The information contained on Tattify is intended for informational and educational purposes only. None of the statements made on this website are intended to diagnose, cure, treat or prevent any disease, infection or illness. Please consult a healthcare practitioner before using tattoo/skincare products that may interfere with medications or known conditions. This article is provided with the understanding that it does not constitute medical or professional advice or services. If you are looking for help with your condition, please seek out a qualified medical practitioner.

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