Felix sits against the living room wall, his head spinning. The mushroom trip started well, but an uncomfortable nausea sets in shortly after ingesting the fungi. His stomach feels bloated and distended after the heavy pancake breakfast he ate that morning.
As the trip intensifies, Felix can’t focus on his original intentions around self-reflection. The physical discomfort is too distracting. He shifts positions, willing his upset stomach to relax.
Felix’s trusted trip sitter brings him ginger tea to settle his stomach. “Maybe stick to something lighter before the main event next time,” he suggests kindly.
Felix sighs, disappointed in himself. An experienced psychonaut, he knows proper food fueling is crucial before an intense trip. But his breakfast choice this morning is now preventing him from journeying deeper. Lesson learned.
After that experience, Felix resolved to be more thoughtful, curating his pre-trip meals. Nourishing his body mindfully ensured he could fully immerse in future psychedelic voyages without distraction.
Experience of Dialing in Pre-Trip Meals
Felix considers himself an experienced psychonaut, having safely navigated dozens of mushroom, LSD, and 2C-B trips over the past decade. He prepares diligently, both physically and mentally, for his journeys.
However, dialling in the optimal pre-trip diet has been an ongoing process of experimentation for Felix. He’s had positive and negative experiences trying different food regimens before embarking on psychedelic trips.
Felix didn’t pay much attention to his pre-trip meals in his earlier days. He once ate a massive burrito before taking mushrooms, which made for an uncomfortably bloated journey. Another time, he fasted for 24 hours pre-trip but felt depleted and distracted by hunger during the trip.
Over time and through trial and error, Felix learned the foods that best fuel his body and mind before a psychedelic voyage. He now shares his wisdom so others can optimise their pre-trip nourishment and avoid discomfort.
While there’s no perfect regimen, some nutrition principles can help you begin the trip feeling physically energised and mentally focused. Let’s walk through do’s and don’ts.
Overeating Pre-Trip Causes Discomfort
Loading up on dense, heavy foods right before tripping is unwise.
One of Felix’s most significant lessons was overeating before a psychedelic session. He would have a huge meal beforehand in his early days, thinking he was “loading up” on fuel. But this often backfired.
Felix recalls one truffle (mushrooms) trip where he ate a full pancake (the fluffy kind) an hour before ingesting them. As the effects came on, his stomach felt painfully bloated and distended.
Rather than journeying inward, Felix spent much of the trip willing his churning stomach to relax. The physical discomfort was extraordinarily distracting and upsetting.
He knows loading up on dense, heavy foods right before tripping is unwise. Digestion diverts blood flow and energy away from the brain/body effects. You want to avoid feeling sluggish or sick when the experience begins.
Sticking to light, clean meals instead allows you to immerse in the psychedelic headspace without distraction fully. Overeating may satisfy you temporarily but will lead to discomfort later.
Fasting Can Also Distract
All Felix heard was his stomach growling loudly.
On the flip side, Felix has also learned that entering a trip in a completely fasted state can be equally distracting. Psychedelics demand much energy and stamina from the body and mind.
Felix recalls one LSD trip where he ate nothing all day beforehand. As the trip began, he could only focus on the gnawing hunger in his belly.
Rather than soothing instrumental music guiding him inward, all Felix heard was his stomach growling loudly. He felt depleted and slightly irritable throughout the experience.
Now, this isn’t to say fasting is always unwise. Some intentionally fast for 1-3 days before psychedelics to intensify and accelerate the effects. An empty stomach provides no resistance.
But for most psychedelic journeys, having some nourishing fuel in your system helps ensure you have energy reserves to draw on. Fasting can make the trip more jarring and draining.
Small Meal Provides Sustenance
Eat a small, clean meal 2-3 hours before a trip.
Through experimentation, Felix has found eating a small, clean meal 2-3 hours before tripping provides optimal nourishment without weigh-down.
His go-to pre-trip meal is (soy) yoghurt, topped with fruit, pumpkin seeds, and granola. The yoghurt helps fill his stomach, fruits provide antioxidants, nuts deliver protein, and granola gives steady energy.
This simple combo gives Felix’s body the nutrients and sustenance it needs without overburdening his digestive system. He feels satiated yet light.
Foods like smoothies, oatmeal, or toast with nut butter also work well. Avoid dense fatty foods like burgers or pizza that linger heavily in the stomach. Keep it light but substantial.
Eating a modest, nourishing meal prevents hunger pangs from distracting Felix once the trip begins. He heads into the experience feeling fueled and ready to journey within.
Hydration Pre-Trip is Crucial
Avoid water-draining substances like alcohol and caffeine.
Proper hydration is also crucial before a psychedelic voyage. The substances cause fluid loss through digestion, body temperature changes, and breathing. Having optimal hydration going in prevents headaches, cramps or distraction later.
Starting the day before, Felix drinks plenty of water and electrolyte beverages like coconut water. He avoids diuretics like caffeine and alcohol that will dehydrate him.
On the morning of the trip, Felix drinks a large glass of electrolyte water to ensure his cells are adequately hydrated. He continues sipping more until the journey begins.
Hydrating well minimizes physical discomfort arising during the trip itself.
[this story is a combination of experiences of our coaching clients (and ourselves in this case), told through the eyes of Felix, one of the characters who help explain psychedelics through stories]
3 Light Meals Examples
These are three example meals that you can eat before a psychedelic trip. Alternatively, eat what you are most comfortable with, and keep the tips we just discussed in mind.
1. Yoghurt Delight
- 1 cup of plain or Greek yoghurt (or vegan alternative)
- A handful of mixed berries (like blueberries, strawberries, and raspberries)
- 1 tablespoon of pumpkin seeds
- 2-3 tablespoons of granola (preferably without added sugars)
- Optional: A drizzle of honey or maple syrup for added sweetness
- Start with the yoghurt in a bowl.
- Top with the mixed berries evenly.
- Sprinkle the pumpkin seeds and granola over the top.
- Finish with a drizzle of honey or maple syrup if desired.
2. Energising Banana Smoothie
- 1 ripe banana
- 1 cup of almond milk (or any other (non-)dairy milk)
- 1 tablespoon of chia seeds
- 1 tablespoon of almond or peanut butter
- A handful of spinach (for a green boost and added minerals)
- 1/2 teaspoon of vanilla extract
- A pinch of cinnamon
- Ice cubes (optional)
- Combine all ingredients in a blender.
- Blend until smooth and creamy.
- Pour into a glass and enjoy immediately.
3. Wholesome Oatmeal Bowl
- 1/2 cup of rolled oats
- 1 cup of water or milk (dairy or non-dairy)
- 1 tablespoon of flaxseeds or chia seeds
- A handful of dried fruits (like raisins, apricots, or dates)
- 1/2 an apple, diced
- A sprinkle of cinnamon and nutmeg
- Optional toppings: Nuts (like walnuts or almonds), a drizzle of honey or maple syrup, and/or a dollop of almond or peanut butter
- In a saucepan, bring the water or milk to a boil.
- Add the rolled oats and reduce the heat to medium-low. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the oats have absorbed most of the liquid and are creamy.
- Stir in the flaxseeds or chia seeds, dried fruits, and diced apple.
- Once cooked, transfer to a bowl and sprinkle with cinnamon and nutmeg.
- Add any of the optional toppings as desired and enjoy.