T Nation

Carb-up hangover?

I was told to direct this question to Kelly Baggett. My diet is low carb all week long and then on Saturday or Sunday I’ll do a refeed: oatmeal, whole grain breads, mixed berries, and sometimes even a cheat meal. The following morning, however, I usually wake up with a pounding headache. Does anyone else have this problem when carbing up, or understand what may be causing this? Thanks.

I’m not Kelly, and I’m sure he could do a better job with this than I but here’s my take. I experience similar effects as to what you describe. With high insulin surges what you may be experiencing is a loss of certain vitamins.The high levels of insulin also lower your blood sugar. Finally dehydration tends to occur with the very high carbohydrate intake. It would make sense that you couple these factors together and they would resemble “the morning after”. leaving you with a pounding headache… I didn’t get very scientific…but I hope it helped…Mike

This ain’t an answer Chris, but a “me, too.” I notice crankiness to go along with the headache after I’ve taken in a lot more carbs than usual.

What I do is after I finish my carb up, I go comatose on the first cushion I fall into. Onec I wake up, I’m fine. Try sleeping directly after your carb-up.

Try drinking a lot of extra water when you carb up.

If I were to guess i’d say it’s probably just a mild reaction by your body to the grains, wheat, and other carbs you’re consuming. If you’re sensitive to a food and abstain from it for an entire week that is long enough for your body to become very sensitive to it’s effects once added back in. If you were to eat these high carb foods everyday you probably wouldn’t notice anything as dramatic as what you describe but you would probably notice that you feel better eating low carbs as many people do. Also, a couple of other possibilities were already mentioned having to do with dehydration due to all the extra carbs (the carbs take a lot of water with them when being stored) and higher insulin levels.

Kelly and Mike M: your theories really helped to clear things up. I know my H20 intake is adequate (I drain a plastic gallon jug daily) so it makes sense that the “morning after” headaches may be due to an adaptive carb sensitivity. Instead of carbing up once on the weekend, I wonder if I could decrease the “hangover” effect with smaller carb-ups on a more frequent basis? I’ll give it a try and keep you posted. Thanks alot!!!

personally i fart a lot during the carb up, but wakeup feeliing fine

Some people will convert some of the carbs to alcohol. This can make you feel tried and give you a headache. Diabetics do this and are often mistaken for being drunk. You might want to check out a book called Licking the Sugar Habit and one called The Sugar Blues. I hope this explainion helps. Best of Luck.