Did the wine just tumble into your glass?

Drinking and your blood sugar: some hangover tips

It’s the time of year when champagne, wine, spirits may be on your agenda. Yes we know about moderation but occasionally you overstep the mark. Here’s some handy help from a blood sugar perspective.

The Night out

Many alcohols convert to sugar so chances are, you’re going to raise your blood sugar higher than normal. You can limit the sugars in your drinks and opt for lower sugar cocktails, red wines and dry whites, but you’re still going to spike to some degree.

Did the wine just tumble into your glass?

The spike triggers an insulin release to get things back down and it’s this fall in blood sugar to a lower level that makes you crave the dreaded greasy kebab at the end of a night.

Eating something at this point before you go to bed to raise your blood sugar back up to a healthy level isn’t the worst idea because after drinking, your blood sugar remains very low whilst your liver digests the alcohol.

A McDonalds Big Mac isn’t obviously the wisest choice so opt for some wholemeal toast with cheese, or some chicken in pitta if you’re friends have dragged you to the kebab shop.

The Morning After

Depending on how much you drank, blood sugar can still be low and is often why a sugary drink like Lucozade seems like the obvious fix come the next day.

This is probably one of the rare occasions you do want some sugar in your system relatively quick, so opt for natural sugars to keep it as healthy as possible. It’s the one time when a fresh fruit juice or smoothie may do the trick, especially if you are on the go and need to grab something. A banana can also be good supplying you with quick sugar and replacing lost potassium.

The rest of the day

The hormone leptin which controls how full you feel is affected by an indulgent night out. Explains why you can eat with what feels like a bottomless pit of a stomach the next day.

A big meal in one go or sugar laden treats are going to put you back on the blood sugar roller coaster. Little and often snacking throughout the day, with a decent amount of protein, is the best way to go for two reasons:

1) It reduces your chances for overeating and

2) It helps steady the blood sugar back to normal

Some tasty pistachios might take your fancy?

Get stocked with lots of things you like to snack on – nuts, cheese, crackers etc. For some healthy low sugar suggestions click here. Also, make sure you are subscribed up to Happy Sugar Habits because you’ll be the first to hear about my new free low sugar snack ebook which has loads of great suggestions for a ‘day after’ snack fest.

Hopefully you’ll now know a little more about what you’re blood sugar is doing, you can go about getting your balance back with the right foods at the right times. Of course, drinking yourself silly with water and sleeping/not moving too much will also play part to a happy recovery.

What are you favourite snacks for a hangover? Any earth shattering cures you care to share? It would be unfair to keep them to yourself!




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4 replies
  1. Daniel Lacey
    Daniel Lacey says:

    Coke (with Ice if possible) is one of the best for me, also crisps on toast, albeit not healthy… they’re well easy to eat when your stomach can’t handle the smell of hot food and make you feel more like yourself again afterwards!

    • Laura
      Laura says:

      Crisps on toast…! That’s a new one I’ve not heard of. Not incredibly healthy no…but some readers may try in desperate times of need! Making it brown bread and adding some protein like melted cheese would be my ‘healthy’ recommendation to the crisps on toast!


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