Too alcohol, the cause of and ...ooh bacon!
May 25, 2007 9:29 AM   Subscribe

Why do I crave greasy food when I am hungover?

Googling for hangover remedies, I find that I am to avoid greasy food. Please tell me why I feel like eating a pound of bacon right now.
posted by fiTs to Food & Drink (23 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
According to this article:

"These foods "grease" the lining of your intestines, which slows down the rate at which your body absorbs alcohol."
posted by mand0 at 9:36 AM on May 25, 2007

I think the OP is already hung over, yes? Which means it's a bit too late, and the salt in the bacon (mm, bacon) would be bad, bad, bad.

I think you crave bacon because bacon is just one of those yummy foods that cause intense cravings. Have you ever noticed yourself craving such things when not hung over? (Man, I know I sure do...uh, brb....)
posted by anaelith at 9:43 AM on May 25, 2007

Um, why would salt be bad? Your body is probably short of minerals after drinking enough alcohol to induce a hangover, so salt might be good.

I suspect the craving for bacon is due to a slight salt deficiency combined with the need for energy. Energy comes from calories, and fatty foods have a lot of calories. Fatty food + salt = bacon.
posted by cerebus19 at 9:46 AM on May 25, 2007

I don't think that makes a lot of sense though because by the time you're hungover all the alcohol has been absorbed.

I don't have a scientific answer, fiTs, but I crave greasy food when I am mildly hungover too. Especially some eggs & homefries or if it's later in the day a burger & fries. Or pizza.

I have noticed that I only crave greasy things that combine fat/protein/carbs when I am hungover. Like, I wouldn't want to have a big steak or something. I just think that it's partially a comfort food issue and partially that these foods taste really good without having any weird spices that might upset your stomach while it might already be a little sensitive.

The one time I was severely hungover though, the only thing I was willing and able to eat was plain rice and plain toast. And I didn't even wanted to do that - I just wanted to cut my own head off so it would stop hurting.
posted by tastybrains at 9:47 AM on May 25, 2007

Everyone I know, nearly, craves salty foods when they are hung over.

I don't know why - probably a misguided attempt to get electrolytes back in balance - but they do. While bacon might not be good for you, PediaLyte will make you feel better, in my experience. Much better/faster than Gatorade or Powerade.
posted by Medieval Maven at 9:47 AM on May 25, 2007

When I'm hungover (doesn't happen often these days), I really like a big, juicy burger with cheese. And bacon. No idea why, but afterwards, I feel better.
posted by rtha at 9:48 AM on May 25, 2007

cerebus - a little salt might be good, but alcohol is very dehydrating and dehydration is the main cause of the hangover in the first place. So, the moral of the story is drink a lot of water with your bacon. And maybe swallow a couple of aspirins and a vitamin while you're at it to compensate for your boozefest. 8-)
posted by tastybrains at 9:49 AM on May 25, 2007 [1 favorite]

Googling for hangover remedies, I find that I am to avoid greasy food.

What???? I find that a good, greasy breakfast burrito or equally greasy breakfast makes me feel tip top on the rare occasions I'm hung over. I would say don't knock it until you try it.
posted by hodyoaten at 9:50 AM on May 25, 2007

You're hungover because you're dehydrated. The saltiness of the bacon is inducing saliva production and release. (Thinking about bacon can also induce the mouth-watering response). Drink some (a lot) of water and you'll find you aren't as hungry.

You can also completely avoid a hangover in the first place by drinking a lot of water as you drink or shortly after your drink (like at the end of the night). A lot = one-third to one-half gallon.
posted by Pastabagel at 10:17 AM on May 25, 2007

Yeah, from personal experience, your Google search results are dead wrong. The best hangover cures are a cheeseburger and some greasy fries or vigorous exercise (miserable at first, but you'll feel better afterwards). Oh, and next time, take the Aspirins (and drink plenty of water) before you go to sleep.
posted by SBMike at 10:18 AM on May 25, 2007

Or what tastybrains said.
posted by Pastabagel at 10:18 AM on May 25, 2007

dood alka seltzer is the best thing available
posted by Salvatorparadise at 10:31 AM on May 25, 2007

Pizza is definitely my craving 'the morning after.' Usually fairly bland, greasy pizza, too; Sbarro in particular.

I have friends that crave milky+fatty foods, in particular milkshakes or chocolate milk, and while I have to admit they always sound good when I'm hung over, they don't make me feel as good as a slice of pizza or an order of McDonalds fries.

(It goes almost without saying that I'm generally pounding water at this point, too, so I always assumed the salt craving was my body's way of keeping me from washing my electrolytes out.)

Pedialyte sounds like a good idea, though, for a really bad hangover (the kind where you can't tolerate solid food).

I always assumed, somewhat unscientifically, that the "fat" or "grease" craving had something to do with its ability to settle your stomach...sort of coat it, along with some starch to make you feel full. I'm much more likely to get sick (dry heave) if I'm on a basically empty stomach, with nothing but a lot of acid in it. Maybe the grease sort of protects your stomach and intestines?
posted by Kadin2048 at 10:43 AM on May 25, 2007

I thought salt was good for a hangover as it increased your blood pressure, thereby speeding up the blood filtering process, thereby removing the alcohol more quickly? Coupled with copious amounts of water.

For me - McDonald's egg and cheese mcmuffin (with a hash brown added) if I have to go work, otherwise toast and Vegemite (with lots of butter - grease, natch!) and Berocca with ice if I'm at home.
posted by goo at 10:45 AM on May 25, 2007

There's nothing better than Waffle House to cure a hangover. Because the other people eating there almost certainly look worse than you feel. (NOT WAFFLEHOUSE-IST)
posted by chiababe at 10:50 AM on May 25, 2007 [1 favorite]

When I'm hungover I have a kind of sour taste in my mouth and I think the greasy/salty food cancels out this sour taste. Kind of like how wine is nice with fatty food, (red wine + steak) but in reverse.

As for remedies I think the best thing is kudzu-yu which because of the salt in the plums probably works like oral rehydration solution.
posted by JulianDay at 10:55 AM on May 25, 2007

Most reasonable hypothesis: greasy food is very dense in energy. Your body is in a "I am feeling poisoned" state when hung over, and therefore would like some extra fuel for the repair job.

Best hangover meal:
One double bacon cheeseburger
One pile of fries
One small bottle of V-8
One small cup of coffee, extra sugar, extra cream
One chocolate donut
posted by rxrfrx at 10:57 AM on May 25, 2007

I've noticed that I crave greasy foods, too, after a heavy night of drinking. Here is my hypotheses on why:

After a night of binge drinking your body is short on many resources it needs, like water, charbohydrates, and vitamins and minerals (what do you think your pissing down the toilet?). Naturally, your body is hungry and you want to eat. Since you are still lacking some control of judgement you naturally have a propensity to eat what tastes good, not what's good for you, in the name of trying to replenish your body with the fuel it needs. So greasy food tastes good (to some people) and they use their lack of judgment as an opportunity to consume more than you normally would, or should.

Just my two cents.
posted by blueplasticfish at 11:13 AM on May 25, 2007

Eating fatty foods helps BEFORE you start drinking (French fries + beer = best combo evar!) because the fat reduces the absorption of the alcohol. The problem there is the alcohol isnt leaving your system, it just takes longer to process, so you can actually be affected (ie hung over, dehydrated) for a longer period.

My forty-something year old bod cant handle hangovers any more, so I always hydrate between drinks. Glass of water for every two drinks = no hangover.

That being said, plain oatmeal, juice (or something like PediaLyte or Vitamin Water), ibruprofen and sleep is about the only thing that revives me after a nights debauchery.
posted by elendil71 at 11:30 AM on May 25, 2007

When I was in college, and thus doing a large amount of binge drinking, my roommate swore she cured her hangovers by drinking pickle juice. (*shudder*) I never could force myself to try brined vinegar, thankfully I was in a land where breakfast burritos were cheap and plentiful. Eggs, potatoes, cheese, flour tortilla...these are the things upon which religions are founded.
posted by dejah420 at 11:34 AM on May 25, 2007

The Straight Dope on hangovers.
posted by autojack at 11:57 AM on May 25, 2007

I'm note sure about the greasy cravings, but drinking a lot definitely depletes your body of sodium because you're peeing so much. Alcoholics commonly crave salty food because of this.

And for my money, ramen is by far the best stomach settler for the day after a drinking binge.
posted by TungstenChef at 1:04 PM on May 25, 2007

I'm late to the party on this one, but I CRAVE salt when hungover. I also recall reading about people who add salt to their beer while drinking it... so there might be something in that.. god knows.
Hangovers are one of those things which never fail to interst me.. hence my my constant ability to provide source material for my ponderings.
posted by Frasermoo at 8:31 PM on May 25, 2007

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