I'm a nutritionist and here's how to get over a sugar hangover

THE festive period is a time to indulge and enjoy yourself, especially after the past few years.

But it's not only the booze and rich food that can leave you feeling a bit off the next day – sugar is also a huge culprit.

You can end up with a "sugar hangover", which can be nastier than a traditional hangover.

It can make you feel awful, quite frankly, and can include a headache, fatigue, foggy thinking and thirst.

This is because you've had enough sugar to cause hyperglycaemia, when your blood sugar levels rocket.

Nutition expert Yinka Thomas, from Middlesex University, has revealed why your body reacts this way, and how to try and avoid any bad reactions.

She also shared a number of tips on how to shift the horrible after effects you might wake up with after enjoying some sweet treats.

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Why do you experience a ‘sugar hangover’?

When you consume a sugary food, it is quickly broken down into glucose, which is then absorbed into the bloodstream causing a blood sugar spike.

Sugary drinks can cause an even faster spike because there is no digestion involved.

A ‘sugar hangover’ occurs when so much sugar is consumed that blood glucose reaches high enough levels to cause hyperglycaemia, symptoms of which include fatigue, foggy thinking, headache, and thirst.

Low blood sugar can also result as the body reacts to the blood sugar spike by increased insulin.

These spikes and lows can lead to insulin-resistance and other health conditions that can have long-term consequences.

What you can do to try and get rid of it?

Drink lots of water to stay hydrated.

Eat vitamin C–rich foods such as citrus fruits, peppers and broccoli. Vitamin C is an antioxidant which can enhance the immune system.

Try and do some exercise, which can boost mood, strength and feelings of wellness.

What you can do before to try and dodge any after effects?

Choose creamy puddings like a crème brulee or tiramisu, and fruit-based puddings like a strawberry tart, instead of cakes and cookies, which contain a lot more sugar.

Or, have a sweet pudding just after or close to a balanced meal, and not in isolation.

This will limit the spike in blood sugar because of the protein, fibre and fat from the meal.

Drink lots of water and limit sweet alcoholic drinks such as cocktails, and where possible choose sugar-free mixers.

Choose a pudding containing cinnamon, or sprinkle some in a drink or over your ice cream. Cinnamon has been shown to stabilise blood sugar after consuming carbohydrates (sugar is a carbohydrate).

If the sweet is a packaged food, read the nutrition label – anything more than 22.5g sugar per 100g is in the high sugar category, so try to stay as close to this figure as possible.

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