4

votes

The Strange Absence of Hangovers

Answered on August 19, 2014
Created June 26, 2010 at 4:33 PM

I have been following the primal blueprint for over 2 months now. My diet, fitness, etc - has been very strict with one exception - The occasional drink.

While I don't particularly crave alcohol, when I am around it in social settings - I will indulge in 1 to several drinks, then walk home. This past week I have had 2 occasions where I have been under extreme duress while also finding myself in social settings with people buying me 'drinks' - mainly bourbons. In the past if I went on a binge I might find myself worshipping the porcelain goddess or at the minimum wake up with a headache, disoriented, and bubbly guts. I would then feel crappy for the most part of the day, and not want to eat anything. At 38, I would think that it would only get worse.

But something has changed.

I did a tally, 9 makers mark neat and 3 'lite' beers over 5 hours. I walked home, went to bed, and woke up in plenty of time to go to work. Ate some breakfast, and never felt the worse for it. The following nite 7 beers and 3 wines over a 4 hour time period, I polished off the nite with some organic locally grown smoked ribs from one of the local farms that does 'drunk food' and walked home. This morning, no headaches, no problems. There was a minor loose stool movement and that was it. It's off to work and sharp as a tack.

I have no plans of continuing this drinking trend and plan on drying out over the next week, however I am perplexed by the 'lack' of effect.

Is it because I more efficiently rid myself of toxins?

Is it because I have an increased metabolic rate?

Perhaps it's how my body is burning fuel?

It is not the walk, the glass of water I have before going to bed, or the late night meat. These are all things I did before and when I would have that occasional binge, I would pay for it. I'm curious if others have had the same reaction or if they have insight as to why the 'hangover' has disappeared?

34b560c8b9ce660d7839fb7e29d7be89

on January 23, 2012
at 07:37 AM

+1 for sexy digestion.

04f2eae4450112cdedce7235923c646d

(1112)

on January 23, 2012
at 01:25 AM

Grainovers, on the other hand...! One beer, and I'd be out of business for two days!

183f5c49a7a9548b6f5238d1f33cb35e

(1716)

on January 22, 2012
at 07:56 PM

Thanks for the wonderful link! I have been watching a tv series entitled "The supersizers...." where they go through each time period and eat the food and examine the eating habits of each era, from the time of the Roman empire until the 1980s. What struck me was how MUCH alcohol people used to drink daily - sure it was weaker back then, and people's bodies had become accustomed to that level of intake, but the PUFA/fructose thing may have been a factor as well. Interesting!

Ae011d9f1c8654ea66854ca2a977c397

(1165)

on June 28, 2010
at 12:22 AM

Ahh that makes sense about the liver. I though I was just getting older and got drunk more easily :-)

Df11e66ec4dd4f749eca409633b6a3fb

(595)

on June 27, 2010
at 07:01 PM

Me too! My husband finds it hilarious that I am now such a cheap date.

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9 Answers

3
26b0f1261d1a0d916825bd0deeb96a21

(5798)

on January 22, 2012
at 02:18 AM

Did you ever notice, before you started eating paleo, that nothing cured a hangover better than eating a high-protein, super-fatty breakfast? Like an English-muffin loaded with butter, eggs, and bacon or sausage (sausage and bacon, plus cheese, even)? There must be some sort of magic that tells your body "okay, listen up folks, we need to forget about trying to deal with these alcohol toxins. Screw the headache for right now, guys. Let's totally get to work on that McMuffin. Yeah, that queasiness? Forget it, mate, we've got some fat to lube it up now. Let's get to work on some sexy digestion here." The conversation may vary, depending upon accent and timezone, but I think that eating higher protein and fat on paleo, without the added rush of sugar and carbs, helps to settle poison control. Fatty meat= antidote.

34b560c8b9ce660d7839fb7e29d7be89

on January 23, 2012
at 07:37 AM

+1 for sexy digestion.

3
33b6c516904a967ef8ecb30f1dbd8cf2

(7073)

on June 27, 2010
at 07:27 PM

I find sticking to Tequila - usually as Margaritas (or at a push - a very good quality vodka) all night, taking two milk thistle supplements and three glasses of water before bed do me loads of favours ;)

p.s. I am also a cheap date.

p.p.s. your liver is functioning better, that is why you recover quicker.....!!

Ae011d9f1c8654ea66854ca2a977c397

(1165)

on June 28, 2010
at 12:22 AM

Ahh that makes sense about the liver. I though I was just getting older and got drunk more easily :-)

2
E36cb992cf0a5eba8b97a359c15f38b3

on January 22, 2012
at 02:00 PM

I know this is an old thread, but I've been browsing the PHD website a lot this week and found this: http://perfecthealthdiet.com/?p=509 It may or may not be relevant, and has probably been covered before here, but it seems that perhaps reduced intake of PUFAs/fructose and increased intake of saturated fats might allow the liver to more efficiently metabolize alcohol (with fewer deleterious effects).

*I have not looked at the studies in question, just thought it was interesting. Since going paleo your body just might be far more efficient--possibly due to those specific dietary changes.

183f5c49a7a9548b6f5238d1f33cb35e

(1716)

on January 22, 2012
at 07:56 PM

Thanks for the wonderful link! I have been watching a tv series entitled "The supersizers...." where they go through each time period and eat the food and examine the eating habits of each era, from the time of the Roman empire until the 1980s. What struck me was how MUCH alcohol people used to drink daily - sure it was weaker back then, and people's bodies had become accustomed to that level of intake, but the PUFA/fructose thing may have been a factor as well. Interesting!

2
2a132524e3288f8b7d04fe67c2f9c48d

on June 26, 2010
at 05:49 PM

I've noticed the same. Hangovers are MUCH less severe.

04f2eae4450112cdedce7235923c646d

(1112)

on January 23, 2012
at 01:25 AM

Grainovers, on the other hand...! One beer, and I'd be out of business for two days!

1
Ce0b5fd94b1034e96cf710b6f138c29d

on June 26, 2010
at 08:20 PM

On the downside, I've noticed that I'm a much easier drunk. I never used to even notice a couple of beers, but now...

Df11e66ec4dd4f749eca409633b6a3fb

(595)

on June 27, 2010
at 07:01 PM

Me too! My husband finds it hilarious that I am now such a cheap date.

0
5e6a6f5c0fd3ab048f81c0a500206f41

on January 22, 2012
at 05:28 PM

im the total opposite - since going paleo, i find that i get a hangover from the tiniest bit of alcohol. seriously, one glass of wine will not only do me in for the night, but ill wake up with a wicked hangover the next morning. kinda sucks, but im really trying hard to cut out alcohol from my lifestyle, so i guess its good in a way that i get these hangovers.

0
246ebf68e35743f62e5e187891b9cba0

(21420)

on January 22, 2012
at 05:10 PM

I find I drink a lot more water, and even force myself to order a glass between every drink out. This has helped me considerably as far as hangovers are concerned.

Hangovers were always the least of my worries though. During my heavy drinking days I used to get insane, ice-pick in the calves, leg cramps in the middle of the night if I over-indulged.

I still find that if I binge, chances are I'll end up waking up with a gnarly leg cramp if I do not take magnesium/potassium with a full pint of water, or drink 10-120z of coconut water before bed.

0
Bdf98e5a57befa6f0877f978ba09871c

on January 22, 2012
at 02:26 AM

I've always had a fast metabolism, so it would hit me hard and I bounce back fast, even sometimes be sober before sleep. Hangovers were rare for me. On paleo, any possible headache from a light hangover doesn't even happen. My best guess is that ultimately it is about metabolism. Not to mention that the sugar in the alcohol is possibly the only sugar in your day, and you do need a wee bit of sugar for some things.

0
183f5c49a7a9548b6f5238d1f33cb35e

on January 22, 2012
at 02:00 AM

I know this is old, but this has also been my experience - I have been paleo for about 2 years now. Back when I was younger, in my pre-paleo days, A couple of glasses of wine would really make me feel hungover and useless the next day. Don't even think about hard liquor....

Now I have absolutely NO symptoms whatsoever the next day after drinking. Over christmas my liver became a veritable dumping ground for the entire liquor cabinet, and we polished off so many bottles of wine with nary an effect the next day. I truly think that a healthy body can handle toxic loads like this much more efficiently. Maybe my liver became SUPERLIVER over the last couple of years.

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