What is a Chocolate Hangover?

Oh no… Never again… Yes, the morning after… The morning after I ate a lot of chocolate.

I have a chocolate hangover… headache… queasy stomach… etc..

Never heard of it? Not many have. Maybe many people get them and don’t recognize the cause. It is what can happen from eating too much chocolate. Usually I get them the following day of a binge, though it may not really start till the afternoon.

“What?”, you may ask. “Does such a thing exist?”. Goodness you are asking a lot of questions and me with a sore head. Anyway will do my best to answer.

Think about it. Does chocolate give a buzz? Yes. Well, everything which causes a chemical buzz has a down side. What is the down side of the chocolate buzz? Why its the chocolate hangover.

This may be surprising since the Choco Industry is forever ‘feeding’ the media with ‘sweet’ stories about how chocolate is good for us. Yeah right…

“But there are scientific studies to back this up”, you may say. Fair enough, but what did those studies – so often quoted in the media – use for the definition of “chocolate”. Was is pure cocoa, or the heavy-duty mix of fat and sugar which becomes the good ol’ standard choccie bar?

Also how much chocolate is good and how much is not good? Is an infinite amount of chocolate good? Obviously not. How come these oft quoted “scientific” studies don’t tell us how much is too much?

A lot depends on the form the chocolate is in. Chocolate cake bring on especially strong chocolate hangovers – at least in me and some other members of my family. I notice that if I pour milk over a small chocolate brownie my head does not hurt the next day. Or if I have overindulged already and I drink milk shortly after that seems to help too. Not sure why.

Here are some possible cures the chocolate hangover?

For headache and queasy stomach a lemon drink can help a lot. Also black tea with some dry toast. Oddly enough Coca Cola can help (after all it was originally developed as a hangover cure) sipped while very slowly eating some dry crackers. Maybe other colas too (they I have not risk trying them in case they don’t). When the stomache settles then drinking lots of water is good.

Of course prevention is better than cure. Tricky though as more and more things seem to have chocolate in them. It seems to be considered cute for someone to describe themselves as a “chocolate addict”. Yet how much of the raging obesity in the Western world, and associated diseases, is caused by so much chocolate in our diet? I don’t know, but most chocolate bars are mostly sugar and fat.

Anyway, I am off to get something for my sore head.

Never again…

Well, maybe just a little bit… but not for a few days at least…

**Update:** I ate some chocolate made from “raw chocolate” and was fine the next day. However, I was careful to eat it slowly, chew well and not overindulge.

The “chew well” part has to do with helping the body break down the fat (a process which starts with the saliva in the mouth) rather than just chucking it down my throat after a quick chomp or two. This allows the flavour to be savoured – which is supposed to be the whole point of eating the stuff anyway. This in turn makes the “I have had enough” trigger from the body kick in and be triggered earlier than otherwise, so less urge to eat so much.

I also recently had some chocolate cake (usually something I avoid owing to headache inducing misery to follow) made with raw chocolate, which I ate with cream, and I was fine the next day with that too. Somehow milky or creamy things, help. Yet too much cream on its own can give me a dull headache the next day. I guess it is all a matter of not overindulging.

Maybe the cream acts as a buffer to slow down my body’s absorption of something in the chocolate which causes the headaches. I wonder if this slow-down stops the headache being triggered. Maybe the fat in say a chocolate bar, does not do the buffering so well (as usually it is heavily processed goop of some kind) and maybe it adds to the problem.