What Should You Eat Before Getting Tattooed?

  • Written By Dan Hunter on August 17, 2019
    Last Updated: November 27, 2020

Did you know that what you eat before getting a tattoo can improve your whole tattooing experience? When the body is nourished, it can cope with trauma more easily.

Unfortunately, we’re not saying that you should eat the biggest McDonald’s breakfast of your life before your sitting. Instead, think about filling yourself up with strategic foods that we’ll be recommending throughout this article.

Before getting a tattoo, try to eat foods containing:

  • Protein
  • Vitamin C
  • Zinc Supplements
  • A high water content

Why What You Eat Before a Tattoo is Important

Be careful what you ingest even from the day before you walk into the parlor to get inked. A few things that you should undoubtedly avoid are:

  • Alcohol
  • Caffeine
  • Salt and dairy


If you’re someone that drinks frequently, you’re going to have to lay off the alcohol before your tattoo. Take a day or two out before your appointment, and avoid alcohol entirely.

Alcohol will dehydrate you and thin out your blood in the process. Keep in mind that getting a tattoo involves going under a needle that will pierce your skin multiple times. Bleeding a little is normal when you get a tattoo, but if your blood is thinned, you’ll bleed more than is necessary.


Coffee is something that is an unshakeable part of many of our lives. However, caffeine is a stimulant and can make you jumpy.

Caffeine increases your heart rate and, thus, increases your blood flow. This can cause you to feel sudden rushes and crashes of energy, which can leave you unsettled and shaky. 

Such spells aren’t something you want to have while someone attempts to use needles to on your skin. Not only could this ruin the work, but it could also leave you with an injury. For this reason, try to lay off the caffeine on the day of getting your tattoo.

Salt and Dairy

Dairy products and salty foods can cause bloating. Bloating changes how your skin looks and feels, making it much plumper than usual as you retain fluids.

If you get a tattoo in a highly bloated state, the tattoo has a small chance of looking distorted when your skin shrinks back to normal. It might end up looking swollen or looking like it’s stretched, and nobody wants that from their new artwork.

Good Things to Eat Before a Tattoo


Proteins are body-building food and play a massive part in helping your body heal. They’re vital for the formation and repair of every part of your body, including your skin. Eat a lot of protein in the days before — and even after — getting a tattoo. This will help your skin bounce back easily from the mild trauma of the tattoo needle.

Vitamin C

Vitamin C is excellent for the skin. It helps to improve firmness and has remarkable healing and antioxidant properties.

It’s a good idea to eat a lot of fruits like oranges and take vitamin C supplements before you get your tattoo.


When you plan to get a tattoo, water should be your best friend. Get as much of it into your system as you can. Keeping your skin hydrated will make the tattoo process a lot easier. Your skin will be firmer and less likely to bleed.

Water will also keep your energy up, so you should bring a bottle or two to your appointment to chug.

Zinc Supplements

If you find that you’re already bloated and your appointment is soon, there’s no need to panic. All you need is a zinc supplement. Zinc is great at reducing swelling, so it will deal with the bloating and get you in tattoo-shape, quickly.

You can also try zinc supplements even if you aren’t bloated since it can reduce any bloating post-tattoo, facilitating the healing process.


Although a lot of people consider it trivial, what you eat is very important when getting a tattoo. Avoid alcohol and caffeine as much as you can, and ensure you’re absorbing zinc and vitamin C from your diet. Keeping watch over what you eat will help you get the best results and experience.

Remember to keep your skin hydrated by drinking lots of water and eat high-quality protein-filled meals to ensure your body heals as fast as possible afterward.

It’s also extremely important to speak to a doctor before your tattoo appointment if you have certain issues such as diabetes so you know exactly what you should or shouldn’t be eating on the day of the procedure.

When you eventually go ahead with getting your dream tattoo, it’s imperative that you always follow your tattoo artist’s aftercare advice closely, and be sure to invest in a high-quality tattoo healing lotion to aid recovery.

The best tattoo lotion I’ve ever personally used is a vegan-friendly aftercare product called After Inked Tattoo Aftercare Lotion. This stuff works amazingly well during the healing process; not only by keeping your tattoo really well hydrated, but also by soothing any annoying itching and irritation. When using it from the very start of the healing process, this lotion will help to decrease tattoo healing times, and work towards eliminating any lingering dryness and scabbing.​

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