Friday, November 25, 2011

Sugar hangover.

I woke up this morning with a huge headache, dry mouth and upset stomach.  All the symptoms of a night of heavy alcohol consumption.  Problem is, we didn’t drink any alcohol at all last night, not even a glass of wine with dinner. 

What I woke up with was a sugar hangover.  Because my A1c was just below the diabetic level a few years ago, I’ve almost completely cut out sugar and drastically reduced carbs in my diet.  I’ve brought my A1c level down to just a skitch above normal.  This gives me the leeway to indulge when relatives bring some incredible home made cheesecake and pumpkin, pecan and lemon meringue pies to Thanksgiving dinner.

Except that this leaves me with a sugar hangover the next day.

Well, at least I don’t make a fool of myself when I’m on a sugar high.


Lisa Shafer said...

Sugar hangover? Really? I always thought that was something we made up to explain kids' behavior. Huh. Go figure.
I do get weird reactions to MSG, though -- tingling in my arms and legs. So I guess I get "bad trips" on sodium, which might be comparable to your sugar hangover.
Oh well. Drink lots of water today. That should help. And I hope the pie was worth it.

Max said...

Yeah, the pie and cheesecake was well worth it. Got some awesome bakers in the family. :)

Chris said...

Sugar can be fermented by an anaerobic process in muscles known as fermentation. Essentially sugar (glucose) undergoes the same reaction that converts it to ethanol in yeast and bacterial cells, when fermenting spirits.

You mostly see this while doing physical exercises while out of shape. Since your body is not used to using muscles in that capacity, the amount of oxygen that can be delivered to carry out the normal breakdown of glucose in glycolysis to pyruvate and then following the citric acid cycle to make oxaloacetate, which is further processed using oxidative phosphorylation. In that process some 30 to 38 molecules of ATP are formed.

However, that process requires a lot of oxygen, and when the cells cannot get enough oxygen to carry out the required reactions, they are relegated to breaking down pyruvate in a process known as fermentation. In animal cells, the process creates lactic acid, which creates the soreness in your muscles after a strenuous workout the next morning.

I'm guessing the inability to process sugar normally in your body led to an overcreation of lactic acid, resulting in the symptoms.

Then again, I got a C in biochemistry, so everything I just said could be complete baloney. :)

Max said...

Chris - Whether complete, partial or no baloney at all, thanks for the input.

Karen S. said...

Oh I don't know, I've seen some pretty silly things during a sugar high moment....! I hope you had a great celebration before the not so pleasant stuff arrived! Did you share with your boys...or do they not care for people food?!

Max said...

Nah, I didn't get to share. I was over at my brother's house and pets weren't invited. (The nerve of them!)
Hope you had a great celebration also, mine was fantastic. The ill effects didn't hit me until I woke up the next morning.