How to Recover from a Sugar Hangover

When you hear the word ‘hangover’, you probably think of alcohol, but you can get a hangover without ingesting even a drop of booze. How? By eating too much sugar.

An alcohol hangover and a sugar hangover have a lot in common. Alcohol is a form of sugar, after all. That’s why, after a night of cookie and candy binging, you might wake up to the wonderful sensations of nausea, upset stomach, headache, sugar cravings, fatigue and a sour mood—good morning!

Sugar Hangover Recovery Plan

Instead of pacifying your grumpy, ravenous self with a big stack of pancakes and crawling back into bed, try these four easy steps to recovery—and actually enjoy the rest of your day.

Woman eating a sweet driving a car

Step 1: Drink a big glass of ACV water.

Apple cider vinegar (ACV) is a pro at balancing blood sugar levels. Drink a tablespoon or two in a very large glass of room temperature water immediately upon waking. Not only will this hydrate your body (it’s probably a bit dehydrated after the great sugar binge), but it can help restore balance in your bloodstream.

Studies have shown that ACV improves insulin sensitivity both during and after high-carb meals and can directly reduce blood sugar levels after consumption. It’s your best friend the day after you enjoyed a wee bit too much cake.

Step 2: Do some light exercise.

Get your heart pumping for just 20 minutes. Maybe it’s a moderate yoga flow. Maybe it’s a quick walk or jog around the block. Whatever you choose, just do something.

Exercise immediately helps to increase insulin sensitivity, so you’ll be able to better handle any sugar that is floating around in your system. Also, exercising means your muscles are using up their stores of glucose, which means you can start making a dent in the massive stores you accumulated from the night before. It literally helps to get that excess sugar out of your body.

Step 3: Eat a breakfast rich in fats and proteins.

Try to avoid eating too many sugars or carbs at breakfast. Yes, you will probably be craving them, but it’s best to focus on greens, proteins, and fats on this particular morning, all of which promote regulated sugar levels.

Do yourself a favor and enjoy a tofu scramble loaded with steamed greens (baby spinach contains loads of magnesium, which is an important mineral for restoring balance to sugar levels), sautéed in some restorative coconut oil. Maybe enjoy it with some fermented food like yogurt or kraut on the side to soothe your upset microbiome—all that sugar probably has those little critters going wild.

The point is to eat something wholesome, healthy, and low in sugar and refined carbs. A bagel isn’t going to cut it this morning.

Step 4: Drink lots of herbal tea throughout the day.

Throughout the rest of the day, it might be tough to ignore the siren call of sweetness. To help you make it through and feel great, stock up on plenty of herbal tea. Think rooibos, cleansing nettle, spearmint, and more.

Not only are these hydrating and delicious, but they can miraculously stop a sugar craving in its tracks, especially cinnamon. This spice can be a great blood sugar stabilizer—highly recommended to those with Type II diabetes—and actually quenches cravings for sweetness. A good herbal chai might be all you need to get you through to the other side of your sugar hangover.

Don’t feel guilty about eating so much sugar. It happens to all of us—especially around the holidays. As long as you aren’t binging on sugar every day, you’ll be just fine. Enjoy the celebrations, enjoy the experiences, enjoy life. As long as you’re mindful and practice moderation most of the time, one sugar hangover isn’t going to do you in. Release yourself from the guilt and get back to your healthy, happy life.

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Photos via Getty Images


hELEN hEARFIELD1 months ago


Val P
Val P2 months ago


Jan K
Jan S3 months ago

Thank you for sharing

Alexandra Richards
Alexandra Richards3 months ago

Thank you.

Sophie A
Sophie A3 months ago

Thank you for sharing

bob P
bob P4 months ago

Good ideas thanks.

Kathy K
Kathy K4 months ago


Monica Collier
Monica Collier4 months ago

Very helpful

Shirley S
Shirley S4 months ago

Thank you

Glennis W
Glennis W4 months ago

Great info Thank you for caring and sharing