Why Do You Feel Hungover After Just One Drink?
Written by: Dr. Marisol Teijeiro N.D. (Inactive)
Medically reviewed by: Victoria Williams R.H.N. & Joanna Teljeur
Est. reading time: 7 minutes
Here’s why sugar overgrowth in your gut contributes to hangover symptoms and what you can do to help restore balance in your gut microbiome.
I had one drink last night, and I woke up with a cluster headache, foggy brain and feeling like total sh*t. All from just one drink? One drink! What’s up with that?! This never used to happen to my body before. I mean come on… It was just ONE drink!!! Has this ever happened to you
Why do I get hangover symptoms without drinking?
So you go out and you don’t even drink alcohol, but you wake up the next morning feeling hungover. How can this be, right? It makes absolutely NO SENSE, agreed?
Actually, and to be honest, it makes perfect sense, because I’ve seen this so often in clinical practice, and I’ve experienced it myself as well. So, I’m going to explain to you why you get a hangover after just one drink or even without drinking at all – and what you can do about it.
We don’t often realize these little signs and what they tell us about our bodies. If you know me, you know I love educating about poop, but there are so many more clues about what our body says about us. This “alcohol-less hangover” is one of them, and it actually shows a lot about what is going on in our gut.
What does a one drink hangover tell you about your gut?
One hint? It has everything to do with your microbiome! So, read on to learn more.
Whenever you are afflicted by hangover symptoms, think of them like the drama in a Mexican telenovela. The symptoms of a hangover add turmoil, turbulence, and some painful excitement to our lives. You know, like the drama you talk about with your friends – the kind you try to figure out like a detective. You see, these hangover symptoms are the tune our basic biochemistry is singing. And for some, this singing is getting pretty loud and cacophonous which is basically an expression of our bodies in distress.
Feeling hungover after minimal amounts of alcohol or food is clearly not the norm, but when it becomes your norm, it gives us valuable information about WHY your biochemical song is out of tune.
How does sugar overgrowth affect your hangover symptoms?
Well, it all comes down to this. Any food or drink that you ingest eventually turns into one basic molecule, and that molecule is sugar.
Starches, alcohol, fruits, and vegetables all become instant forms of sugar for our bodies. Fats and proteins on the other hand, need to be modified into a different form before they can serve as an energy source, and that takes a lot longer.
Think of it like this: Alcohol, sugary pop, pastries, fruits, and certain foods like high starch breads, and basically anything that has sugar in it… is already sugar in your intestines.
And it’s important to remember that when you eat, your gut bacteria eats too!
What causes sugar fermentation and yeast overgrowth?
Your body, and especially your gut, is the home for trillions of bacteria and yeasts that all feed on the foodstuff that we ingest.
Yeast, otherwise known as Candida albicans, can overgrow quite easily. If you have a history of taking antibiotics, birth control pills, or if you have estrogen dominance, you’re already at a higher risk for Candida overgrowth. Hmm, sounds like almost every woman that I know! Is this you too?
So, these critters are all hanging around in the closed system known as your gut microbiome. Now, if you’ve ever baked bread, you know that something dramatic happens when you pour sugar into a bowl with water and yeast.
You get a mini explosion as the yeast gobbles up the sugar. And when you leave the sugar and yeast long enough, you get fermentation. You know how the dough rises because of the yeast? That’s the same thing that happens in your belly (think bloating).
But, in your gut microbiome fermentation creates alcohol and acetyl aldehydes that inhibit your body’s ability to detoxify and cleanse. In short, it creates the dreaded symptoms of a hangover!
How to stop Candida overgrowth?
When you have a big buildup of yeast in your body, you are already what I like to call your very own “personal alcohol factory”, A.K.A. Super Fermenter (insert your name here). So, if you have hangover symptoms after just one drink, you’re feeling crummy because you’re already producing your own alcohol internally, and then by drinking alcohol or consuming high sugar food/drinks, your gut microbiome quickly creates more alcohol and pushes you over the edge! Believe it or not, it’s like drinking two bottles of wine, all on your own!
Basically, we are all one big biochemical factory. So, what do you do to cleanse the Candida? Well, you can start by:
- Taking a good-quality probiotic supplement
- Eating a low sugar, low starch diet – similar to the Paleo Diet
- Avoiding alcohol until you get things under control
And now for my secret weapon when it comes to yeast overgrowth in the gut… the Castor Oil Pack.
It’s always about working on your microbiome, the bacteria and yeast balance in your body. Yeast grows in a gut environment that is hospitable to it. If you have slow moving intestines, low nutrient levels, high inflammation, stress and bad bacteria, your gut microbiome is becoming a comfy cozy home for yeast to set up shop.
But there is hope! Castor Oil Packs works on all of these factors to help make our gut an inhospitable place for yeasts to grow. Bye-bye one drink hangovers!
How do Castor Oil Packs help balance the microbiome and support a hangover?
Have you ever heard your parents or grandparents talk about using Castor Oil as a laxative? Well, it’s true! When you drink it, it works really well as a very strong stimulant laxative, which is exactly why I don’t recommend drinking it to my patients.
Castor Oil Packs may help support colon cleansing, constipation, and better bowel movements
A study was done in an old age home where the researchers compared Castor Oil Packs to conventional laxatives. Lo and behold, Castor Oil Packs were shown to be just as effective for constipation as oral laxatives but without cramping and the intense urgency to run to the bathroom1.
Better still, Castor Oil contains ricinoleic acid which has been shown to support peristalsis of the smooth muscle of the digestive tract2. In other words, Castor Oil Packs worn on your abdominal area may help support your intestines as they move waste through your system. And this is exactly what you want for better cleansing, better detox, and as a result, a more balanced microbiome.
And if that isn’t convincing enough, some recent research in periodontal medicine has shown that Castor Oil is one of the only natural substances that can break down biofilm3,4,5 – a protective layer created by bad bacteria that prevents you from killing it. What does this mean? Basically, you can only do a true Candida cleanse if you can get through the protective biofilm of the yeast… and a natural way to do this may be with Castor Oil.
In short, Castor Oil Packs may help support balance in your gut microbiome. Pretty amazing, agreed?
Castor Oil Packs may help support your gut nutrient balance
OK, so Castor Oil is a heavy hitter when it comes to nutrients. It’s a thick, rich oil replete with Omega 6 and 9, vitamin E and polyphenols6 and may also promote and preserve the antioxidants nitric oxide7 and glutathione8. So you might be wondering why this matters?
Here’s the deal – nitric oxide which has been shown to reduce Candida albicans9 while your body’s top-dog antioxidant, glutathione is essential for detoxification and cleansing.
When you wear a Castor Oil Pack with 100% pure, certified organic, extra virgin and hexane-free Castor Oil bottled in amber glass, you may help support better gut nutrient levels.
And in case I haven’t already mentioned it, Castor Oil is also an amazing carrier oil. It has the ability to penetrate the skin deeply and may carry nutrients across your skin barrier – allowing them to absorb deeper. And in this case, Castor Oil worn on your skin over your liver area in a Castor Oil Pack, may help support the absorption of these vital nutrients into your digestive tract.
Bottom line: Castor Oil Packs may help support a better balance in your gut. Brilliant, don’t you think?
Castor Oil Packs may help support inflammation balance
Remember how I said that Castor Oil contains ricinoleic acid? Well, to be more specific, Castor Oil contains 90% ricinoleic acid. This is an amazing asset, because in an animal study, ricinoleic acid has been shown to have anti-inflammatory and pain relieving properties via reduction of substance P10.
What is substance P? Well, without going into an entire biochemistry lesson, substance P is a mediator of pain. When you reduce substance P, you reduce pain. It’s that simple.
Castor Oil may also help support PGE3 (prostaglandin E3), which creates a similar result in the body that happens when you take fish oils. Basically, Castor Oil has been shown to have anti-inflammatory11 properties, and when you wear Castor Oil Packs, you may help support a better balanced environment for your gut microbiome. And a balanced gut environment is a happy place for GOOD bacteria to thrive.
Castor Oil Packs may help support stress balance
You might be wondering if you can enjoy all these benefits by just rubbing Castor Oil on your skin. Is this you?
Well, this is where the compress part of Castor Oil Packs come into play.
You see, the gentle compression of the pack on your body may help move you into a relaxed state12, and support your love and connection hormone, oxytocin13. If you’ve ever used a weighted blanket then you know exactly what I mean. The only difference is that Castor Oil Packs are like a micro version of a weighted blanket, but they may still provide that comfy, cozy, and RELAXING sensation.
Basically, oxytocin helps balance cortisol14 (the stress hormone). So when you have more oxytocin, you can naturally shift more easily into the relaxed state. But this can’t be achieved with Castor Oil alone. The pack is a must!
But that’s not the only benefit. Castor Oil Packs are made with soft organic cotton flannel, and that luxurious feeling combined with the warm oil on the skin may activate the pleasure centers in your brain15,16, and help support dopamine production – a feel-good hormone that helps you feel satisfied.
Castor Oil Packs may help to get rid of bad bacteria
So, now we know that hangover symptoms are a reflection of gut health and Candida (or yeast) overgrowth, let’s break down how Castor Oil Packs affect the bad bacteria in your gut.
When bad bacteria is present and flourishing in your gut, yeast sneaks in and has a blow-out party. And that party, my friends, is Candida overgrowth. So when this happens, the bad bacteria create this mucus-like film around themselves called biofilm for protection.
Not many substances are able to break down this yucky layer, but fortunately, Castor Oil is one of them3, 4, 5! And if you want to balance your gut microbiome, stop yeast overgrowth, and subsequently mitigate hangover symptoms, you’ve got to break through that biofilm as the first order of business!
So, in a nutshell, balance can be achieved in your microbiome. And when you achieve this balance, you will stop having one-drink-hangovers AND the factors that caused the yeast in the first place, like loss of good bacteria from antibiotics or estrogen dominance, may also improve! Fantastic, right?
So what’s the best thing for hangover symptoms?
Well my friends, if you’re feeling hungover with any of these symptoms…
- A cluster or migraine headache that feels like you spent all night banging your head against a wall
- Lethargy so bad it feels you’re carrying the world on your shoulders and can barely move
- Dark circles under your eyes that would win in the raccoon category at your local beastly pageant
- An extra foggy brain after only one drink (or none!)
…don’t be dismayed
There really is a natural biological cause. Truly! It’s not your fault, and there really is something that you can do about it!
Get started with your very own super easy, less-mess Queen of the Thrones® Castor Oil Pack.
It’s time to support your biology so you can feel better, live your best life, feel freer, and have fun! So there you go, with regular practice, over time, it is POSSIBLE to reset your gut!
Natural recipe for a hangover
While you’re working towards better microbiome balance, you might find some hangover relief with this very easy recipe that can help replenish your electrolytes – hangover or not! One of the benefits of this recipe is that you’ll be able to support your fluid balance after drinking alcohol, after exercising, or even after being sick!
You see, electrolytes are essential minerals that your body needs to function properly. When you replenish your electrolytes, your gut, muscles, and nerve function will all be on the receiving end of something wonderful! Besides that, it’s just delicious and refreshing!
A Natural Electrolyte Remedy
Prep time: 2 minutes
- 1.5 cups sparkling water
- Juice of ½ lemon
- Pinch of Himalayan salt
- Dash of cayenne pepper (optional)
- Pour 1.5 cups of sparkling water into a glass.
2. Then add the juice of ½ a lemon.
3. Add Himalayan salt, and the cayenne pepper (optional). Stir and enjoy!
So, the next time you feel those dreaded hangover symptoms after having only one drink, remember that your discomfort is actually your body telling you it’s a little off balance and that your gut microbiome is in need of a little TLC.
In the meantime, you can start working towards better microbiome balance today by wearing your Castor Oil Pack regularly.
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Click here for references
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- Sorin Tunaru,a Till F. Althoff,a Rolf M. Nüsing,b Martin Diener,c and Stefan Offermannsa,d,1 Castor oil induces laxation and uterus contraction via ricinoleic acid activating prostaglandin EP3 receptors. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2012 Jun 5; 109(23): 9179–9184. Published online 2012 May 21. doi: 10.1073/pnas.1201627109 PMID: 22615395 https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22615395
- Andrade IM1, Andrade KM2, Pisani MX1, Silva-Lovato CH1, de Souza RF1, Paranhos Hde F1.Trial of an experimental castor oil solution for cleaning dentures. Braz Dent J. 2014 Jan-Feb;25(1):43-7.
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- Marcela Moreira Salles, Maurício Malheiros Badaró, Carolina Noronha Ferraz de Arruda, Vanessa Maria Fagundes Leite, Cláudia Helena Lovato da Silva, Evandro Watanabe, Viviane de Cássia Oliveira, Helena de Freitas Oliveira Paranhos, Antimicrobial activity of complete denture cleanser solutions based on sodium hypochlorite and Ricinus communis – a randomized clinical study.
- Marwat SK, Rehman F, Khan EA, Baloch MS, Sadiq M, Ullah I, Javaria S, Shaheen S. Review – Ricinus cmmunis – Ethnomedicinal uses and pharmacological activities.Pak J Pharm Sci. 2017 Sep;30(5):1815-1827.
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