If you’ve wolfed down too many M&Ms, you might find there’s a high price to pay for those few sweet moments. Candy hangovers can zap your energy and increase food cravings.
The average American eats about 24 pounds of candy a year, which is the equivalent of 2 bowling balls. The scariest thing about Halloween may be how much candy is consumed in a single day. Studies show that October 31 accounts for 4% of that annual total.
What happens to your body when you eat more than a few fun-size candy bars? Many experts believe your blood sugar surges, and then crashes. Other think the effects are in your mind, but just as powerful when you’re left feeling tired, nauseous, and bloated.
There is a solution whether you’re recovering from a holiday binge or trying to resist the office vending machine. Put down your Skittles, and take a look at these suggestions for preventing and recovering from sugar hangovers.
Recovering from a Candy Hangover
1. Move around. Exercise will boost your mood when you’re starting to crash. You’ll even burn up some of those excess calories. Head to the gym or take a walk.
2. Drink water. Large amount of sugar can trigger dehydration. Carry around a water bottle to sip from or make a cup of herbal tea.
3. Eat protein. Consuming more sugar will aggravate your symptoms even though the idea sounds tempting. Protein and a little fat are healthier choices that will stabilize your blood sugar and fill you up without more empty calories.
4. Make up lost sleep. A sugar rush can make you feel too nervous to sleep, especially if you’ve been eating chocolate with caffeine. If possible, take a nap to catch up.
5. Chew gum. Pop a stick of gum into your mouth. The chewing action will increase saliva and stomach acids that speed up digestion. It will also make it easier to wait out the sugar cravings you may be experiencing.
6. Be patient. Remember that it’s just a matter of time until you feel like your old self. The symptoms usually pass in just a matter of hours.
Preventing a Candy Hangover
1. Learn more about sugar. Excess sugar is easier to resist when you stay up to date on all its toxic effects, including links to premature aging, obesity, diabetes, and heart conditions.
2. Manage stress. The dopamine in sugar makes us feel good, but there are more constructive ways to deal with romantic breakups or job pressures. Call a friend or meditate each day.
3. Satisfy your sweet tooth. If it’s the taste of candy that attracts you, find substitutes you’ll like just as much. Treat yourself to exotic fruits or a little brown sugar on your oatmeal.
4. Reconsider diet soda. Think twice before assuming that artificial sweeteners are the answer. Studies show that they have their own toxic effects and tend to make dieters want more.
5. Control portions. How much sugar is okay? The American Heart Association recommends no more than 5 teaspoons a day for women, 9 for men, and 3 for children. You can usually continue enjoying the foods you love if you practice moderation.
6. Eliminate sugar. Then again, congratulations if you have the willpower to live sugar-free. Advocates say it’s easy if you can make it through the first 2 or 3 days.
7. See your doctor. While sugar hangovers are usually relatively harmless, talk with your doctor if you have more serious concerns. Your health care team can help with individual needs like detecting pre-diabetes or losing weight safely.
Keep candy hangovers under control. Cutting down on sugar will help you to manage your weight, think clearly, and feel more energetic.