Sugar & Hangovers


Many of us know that the main cause of that groggy hangover feeling is down to dehydration- however, it’s not only due to the alcohol in the beverages you may be sipping.

The combination of alcohol and sugar results in further dehydration, with both of these being processed through the liver- when combined, sugar and alcohol cause a more severe (and painful!) hangover than just drinking alcohol alone. This dehydration can result in your body losing vital nutrients and minerals, and since the sugar does not provide much nutritional value at all, it can result in your body being a little…well, depleted. 



The spritz is a classic, summer drink. They look pretty, taste delicious and are perfectly refreshing after a long day. However, if any of the ingredients in your Aperol Spritz are low-quality, this could downgrade both your cocktail and your hangover the next morning too.

Choose your liquor AND your mixer carefully, and if you’re out for the night, try opting for a lower alcohol content option so you can drink more, without experiencing the nasty hangover. 

If you enjoy mixed drinks such as a spritz, try skipping the many mixers and fizzy drinks that are packed with sugar and artificial sweeteners, and try an all natural flavoured soda or sparkling water with fresh fruit added for natural sweetness.

Ensure to always check the ingredients on mixers pre diving in, as before you know it, you may have consumed an alcoholic sugar bomb which will make you feel far from fresh the next morning. 



Try to enjoy your drink of choice with food to maintain balanced blood sugar levels, and to help save your liver from working overtime. 

Eating food with your drink will help decrease the rate of which the alcohol is absorbed into the bloodstream, helping to slow down the effects of the booze. Try to incorporate a balanced meal or snack that contains protein, carbs and fats. 

Veggie sticks and hummus or some nuts, olives, and anything with avocado are all good options. Margaritas with a side of guac any one?



Stay hydrated when consuming alcohol and potential sugars, either as a mixer or in addition to your drink. 

Try opting for a spacer in between drinks. A ‘spacer’ is a non-alcoholic beverage that you consume between drinks that does not contain alcohol. Ideally, this would be water, to help with the dehydrating effects of alcohol. The idea is that you stay hydrated and you slow yourself down so that you don’t become intoxicated and thus have to deal with the consequences the morning after, as nobody likes a booming headache the next morning. 



Clear spirits Vodka, gin, tequila and other pure alcohols contain no carbs or sugar. However, adding tonic to your gin can equal 16 grams of carbs and 10g of sugar per serving! Consider ordering spirits ‘on the rocks’, with sparkling water or fresh lime and soda water.


Wine- One glass of wine (150ml) is unlikely to have a significant effect on your blood sugar levels and is lower in alcohol than spirits . But be mindful that sweet wines have more sugar and grams of carbs per glass.


Champagne- The bubbles in champagne can leave you feeling fuller and turning down the second drink as a result of the carbonation, saving you the hangover the following morning! 

Please note, Clarissa Lenherr Nutrition Limited uses affiliate links. If you buy something using these links, we may earn an affiliate commission, at no additional cost to you.

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Hi there

London Nutritionist Clarissa Lenherr

I’m Clarissa, a registered nutritionist (mBANT) and workplace wellness expert. In my practice, I have helped hundreds of clients reach optimal health through creating sustainable, effective habits and dietary adjustments. My aim is to empower people with the skills, tools and knowledge to take their health into their own hands and feel the happiest, healthiest versions of themselves. Featured in The Daily Mail, Women’s Health, The Telegraph, and more.




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