Processed Food Hangover, Written by: Kayte Corrigan

A couple weeks ago I was caught without my trusty snack bag, completely unprepared at a friend’s house. It was a food emergency. I didn’t want to turn my nose at what I was offered since I was in starvation mode, so I agreed to sharing her frozen bagged Trader Joes stir fry. I realized it was flashed frozen and the sauce was probably loaded with sugar, but beggars can’t be choosers. I did see carrots and broccoli and resolved that it wasn’t like I was choking down a Happy Meal.

Truth be told, I felt like I was choking it down. It tasted awful. The carrots didn’t taste like carrots, the broccoli didn’t taste like anything, chicken was dry and tasteless. What I did taste was all the sugar in the sauce. After eating almost zero refined sugars (you might note that I had a slice of chocolate cake earlier this month) I could really tell there was sugar in there. I was astonished at how my pallet had adapted to eating and enjoying real food.

The next day I woke up and felt pretty okay. I mean, I totally felt guilty I had ate processed food and didn’t even enjoy it, but physically I felt fine. As the day went on I pushed water and ate clean, but I slowly felt sick. The following morning and into the night was not great. I was bloated, cramping, tired, nauseous, basically I felt like I had a hangover. Also not worth it, because I didn’t drink the night before. No pleasure, all pain.

I did have a hangover. Candida floods your body with a toxic by-product called acetaldehyde. Acetaldehyde produces similar symptoms to an alcohol hangover. I would rather have had 3 goblets of wine and just dealt with my justified headache.

I found this great article on the effects of a sugar hangover. Even the occasional refined sugar and processed food can yield the hangover effect.


Kayte Walsh

HIP Trainer