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This is why you may crave fried or sugary foods after a hangover

30 March 2023

This is why you may crave fried or sugary foods after a hangover

At parties, sometimes, you may end up having one too many only to wake up dehydrated, groggy, nauseous, and with a severe headache the morning after — in short, with a hangover. While the best way to avoid the situation is to limit alcohol (rather avoid) consumption, in case remedies are what you are on the lookout for, here’s some help from Dr Uma Naidoo, a Harvard-trained nutritional psychiatrist.

“It is essential to recognise that alcohol is dehydrating and dehydration is a key player in hangovers. The basic cures for a hangover include: hydrating, sleeping, and resting. However, nourishing your body with anti-inflammatory foods that are fiber-rich and nutrient-dense can also help you get back on track,” she shared on Instagram. 

Dr Naidoo added that foods that are high in protein and solutes may help replete the body’s fluid reserves, while soothing foods like nourishing fermented yogurts, folate-rich leafy greens, and nutrient dense nuts may help the brain restore its delicate balance of neurotransmitters for our mood and cognition. “It is also important to know how much alcohol you’ve been consuming. I recommend counting your drinks and keeping in mind that alcohol can be anxiety inducing and contribute to chronic inflammation, so follow your body intelligence,” she continued. 

Ways to beat hangover

Talking to indianexpress.com, Sameena Ansari, senior dietitian and nutritionist, CARE Hospitals, Hi-Tec City, Hyderabad shared quick ways to beat hangovers. They are:

o Hydrate: Drinking plenty of water can help alleviate dehydration caused by alcohol consumption.
o Eat healthy foods: Eating healthy foods like fruits and vegetables can provide essential nutrients and help alleviate hangover symptoms.
o Get some rest: Resting can help the body recover from the effects of alcohol consumption.
o Pain relievers: Over-the-counter pain relievers like aspirin or ibuprofen can help alleviate headache and other hangover symptoms.
o Drink moderately: The best way to avoid a hangover is to drink moderately and stay within your limits. 

Why do we crave fried or sugary foods after a hangover?

Interestingly, Naidoo also pointed out that hangovers can bring about cravings for greasy/fried or sugary foods. “However, we know that these foods are drivers of inflammation in the gut and brain, which can further exacerbate the symptoms,” she said.

Elucidating, Ushakiran Sisodia, registered dietician and clinical nutritionist, Nanavati Max Super Speciality Hospital, said that the combination of alcohol’s effects on the liver, pancreas, and glucose regulation also lead to a drop in blood sugar levels. “Due to these reasons, cravings for foods that provide quick energy, such as those high in sugar and fat are common effects of hangovers,” she told this outlet. 

She added, “These foods and drinks can have a negative impact on the overall health of individuals. Trans-fats of fried foods can lead to inflammation, heart problems and obesity. Similarly, uncontrolled sugar intake can cause unnatural spikes in sugar levels, leading to insulin resistance and diabetes”. 

As such, Sisodia advised to start the day with lemon tea or cinnamon tea and fresh dates or fruits. “This helps normalise the body’s sugar levels before having a light breakfast that is freshly prepared. Throughout the day, drink water or electrolyte-rich coconut water. Eating nutrient rich foods such as bananas, leafy greens, eggs, and whole grains can replenish the loss of potassium, magnesium, and B vitamins, support liver function and detoxify the body.” 

Reference Link: https://indianexpress.com/article/lifestyle/health/sure-shot-ways-to-keep-hangover-at-bay-8498962/