What to Eat Before Getting a Tattoo

Shmulik Dorinbaum
Tattoo artist working with his client at art studio

Table of Contents

Tattoos are a modern way of representing various personalities and beliefs. Many people get tattoos of different natures to show respect or loyalty to certain people, things, or clubs but do they know what to eat before getting a tattoo?

Tattoos mark a long time commitment of ink on your skin, and the outcome can be affected by the diet you follow. Before getting a tattoo, you should select what you like carefully and ensure you eat right.

Most people do not pay much attention to the diet they should observe before getting a tattoo, mainly due to a lack of awareness. But that should not be a problem anymore.

We will focus on the foods that will prepare your skin for a tattoo session and the ones you should avoid before. Take a look below.

Selective Focus Photography of Man Wearing Blue Shirt

What to Eat Before Getting a Tattoo 

Tattooing is not as easy as you may think. Why? It involves a machine with ink needles that repeatedly pokes the skin, following a particular pattern to achieve a unique form.

Most of the time, to most people, it is a painful ordeal that may cause minor damage to the skin. Since it is a needle poking the skin, it may leave behind minor openings that may lead to skin infections if not taken care of.

Before getting a tattoo, it is advised that you arrive prepared stomach-wise. You should consume essential food containing enough minerals and vitamins to make your skin stronger and less susceptible to injuries.

Below are examples of foods that will help you take your tattoo without problems. Stay with me.

Beautiful alternative woman with tatoos


Proteins are well known as body-building foods. This means they have bodybuilding nutrients that majorly repair torn skin and muscle tissues.

The needle cuts through your skin deeply while adding ink color when you are being tattooed. The cutting action leads to torn skin and muscles that will require adequate time to heal fully.

To speed up the healing process, you need to have a reasonable protein. Proteins will assist your skin in recovering from the stress caused by the action of tattoo drawing with the needle.

Proteins are necessary to repair every body part of the human body. Proteins also raise your body’s energy levels hence giving your body enough energy to recover from the trauma caused by tattoo drawing.

Therefore, before heading for a tattoo session, grab protein-rich foods such as chicken, beef, fish, and many others to help your body recover.

Raw Meat on Beige Wooden Surface

Vitamin C Foods

Vitamin C plays a huge role in enhancing skin’s radiance and brightness. Vitamin C helps your skin appear smooth and flawless hence it is responsible for giving your skin a healthy appearance.

During the tattoo drawing process, your skin may fall victim to wounds; however, vitamin C is here to aid the healing process. It has exceptional antioxidant qualities that help enhance the firmness of your skin.

Vitamin C is dermatologically proven to aid in the skin healing process; therefore, you can be sure to receive results in the long term even after drawing the tattoo.

Before drawing a tattoo, it is wise to have vitamins as a part of your diet if you want your wounds to heal well. You can get Vitamin C from kale, citrus fruits, broccoli, or vitamin supplements.

Close-up Photo of Sliced Orange and Grapefruit Fruits

Zinc Supplements

Zinc is an important mineral in the body as it reduces skin swelling. Your skin may swell during the drawing session due to pressure and stress leading to skin inflammation.

But suppose you have adequate zinc components in your body. In that case, you will have less to worry about because the minerals will deal with swelling and inflammation, eventually suppressing the swells caused by tattoo piercings.

Zinc also helps your tattoo get to shape in no time. You can try various zinc supplements such as nuts, beans, and whole-grain breakfast to help your body heal and get back in shape faster.

Red Seed Lot


Before booking a tattoo session, water should be your close friend. Why? Water generally helps to keep your body and skin hydrated throughout.

Keeping your fluid levels high benefits your skin and your tattoo artist. Water makes your skin firmer hence your tattoo artist will have an easy time working on your skin.

Also, if you are well hydrated, your skin will bleed less, making the whole process less stressful. Water will also help keep your energy levels high throughout the process.

Before your tattoo session, you should drink plenty of water from normal water sources. You can also carry water in a bottle to keep sipping during the tattoo drawing process to keep your skin hydrated throughout.

Apart from natural water, you can still use other sources that have some water in their ingredients, such as lemonade, lime water, and fruit juice.  

Foods you should avoid before Getting a Tattoo

In as much as food is good before getting a tattoo, there are some which you should avoid at all costs to prevent complications while drawing. You should avoid meals that have high sugar and fat content since they can cause bleeding, scarring, and skin irritation.

There are also various practices that you should keep off before getting a tattoo. Keep reading to save yourself big time.

Caffeine, Alcohol, and Energy Drinks

In the morning before your tattoo appointment, it is recommendable to avoid taking energy drinks and fluids with high caffeine content. Also, during the night before your appointment, avoid taking alcohol.

The drinks mentioned above increase your heart rate and anxiety, making you feel restless. Once your heart rate has gone up, your level of blood flow will increase, making skin bleeding worse.

During your tattoo sessions, you ought to be relaxed to have a smooth time during the session. These drinks also leave you feeling agitated and shaky due to the rapid surging and crashing of adrenaline hormones stimulated by sugary foods. 

So to be on the safer side, abstain from such drinks at all costs a day before the tattoo session.

Dairy Products

Dairy products cause skin bloating hence making your skin appear plumper. However, after the tattoo session, when bloating goes away, your tattoo outcome may not look the same as when the skin was plump.

Avoid taking milk and any other meal containing dairy products to avoid skin bloating.

Sun Exposure

Too much sun exposure before the tattoo session can make the skin extremely sensitive, and you might not like the experience of getting inked on sensitive skin.

The sun’s rays have high UV rays that cause high skin sensitivity and inflammation. Therefore if you spend time basking in the sun, your skin will no longer be in good condition to get inked.

If you have to walk outside on a sunny day, ensure you wear sunscreen to avoid skin exposure.

Man Wearing Silver Skull Ring

Wrap Up

The article above is intended to show you what to eat and avoid before heading to a tattoo session. If you follow the tips above to the latter, you will fully enjoy your tattoo experience, and they will heal faster.

Tattooing does not always have to be an unpleasantly painful ordeal. Let your experience be different from others by following the above food tips, and all will be fine.

At least you now know what food to take and what to abstain from before a tattoo session. All the best in your session.

Shmulik Dorinbaum

Shmulik Dorinbaum

A musician, a father, a former cancer person, not a tattoo artist, but a tattooed person indeed.