One of the greatest cons ever executed was parents checking our candy for poison. Poison? Really? However, being the acquiescent son that I was, I knew better than to question my mother’s intentions when she offered to hold on to the choice pieces of chocolate from our night out trick-or-treating. But what ever happened to the candy? What ever came of the confectionery sweets that had a wrapper that was a little too loose to trust? Why was Mom always groggy the next day? Why was it always the Twix? In retrospect, many of my childhood questions went unanswered, but today I find myself able to answer a few of them.
It turns out that mom was groggy because of a sugar hangover. Not unlike a regular alcohol induced hangover, a sugar hangover is your body’s response after a spike in blood sugar from excess refined sugar. Yes, sugar hangovers are a real thing. According to Erin Schumaker in an article she wrote for the Huffington Post entitled “Yes, It’s Possible to Have a Sugar Hangover,”
“Sugar hangovers are real in that you feel lousy after consuming a hefty dose of sugar,” Kim Larson, a registered dietitian nutritionist and spokesperson for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics told The Huffington Post.”
So how do you cure a sugar hangover? As I inch my way into my late twenties the reality of any type of hangover becomes mind-smashingly more apparent. Therefore, it is not only father time that calls me to write this treatise on remedying the effects of confectionery sugar treats, but also a sense of empathy for all the adults out there that may find themselves between a Rocky Road and hard piece of candy this Halloween.
One of the best things to do following a sugar binge is to eat a large breakfast full of protein and healthy fats. Fry up some eggs, slathered some whole wheat toast with cream cheese and garnish with avocado and tomato. It may sound like a top contender for the world’s best drunchies but effect is the same. You want to bring that blood sugar level down in the most nutritious way possible
When in doubt it’s always good to sweat it out. Not only will the endorphins get you through the rest of the day, research has shown the exercise decreases diet-related urges.
Electrolytes are good; as long as there isn’t too much added sugar. Try to avoid the hair of the dog. Coconut water is naturally hydrating, whatever that means. But good-ole H2O is still king when it comes to easing oneself down that sticky, slippery, syrupy slope of a sugar hangover.
So, if you find yourself tricked into the game of “I’ll just have one piece;” treat yourself to some self care and maybe even a nice breakfast. And try not to stress over what one sugar binge will do to your CLEAN eating diet, or how do you know what’s too much sugar. Life has more important questions for us to ponder; like why was it always the Twix?