Yesterday I proclaimed to the internet that I would never, ever, ever allow myself to feel sore after a night of too many tasty carbs and fruity, alcoholic drinks. Further, I announced that I would set forth to to research the cause of my past woes. I now see that it is completely unnecessary to look into these ailments because I promised to never make this digression again. So, why would I care? Well, I promised. So, I looked into it….a little.
I thought that the bruised feeling that I get after excessive drinking or carbing was unique to me. After a little rummaging on Google, I found two separate types of people with the same symptoms, bulimics and alcoholics. Oh, the company I keep. Oddly enough, I couldn’t find information that blended the two. I can’t be the only one whose festivities blend both.
In any case, the consensus on the binge and purge side was that the onslaught of carbs causes the body to retain a ton of excess of water. The sudden addition of all that water in the system causes one’s cells to expand. It is the suddenness and abundance of the carbs that causes that unpleasant bruising sensation. (This was not reviewed by a doctor. Do not quote it in your school essay. You will deserve an F).
Every carb binds three grams of water. Let’s say a rando person mindlessly ate two shortbread cookies, handful-after-handful of those cheesy balls that coat the roof of your mouth in the most addictive way, and a spattering of M&Ms, then she cut that orange film with a personal pitcher of “low cal” margaritas and almond sparkling wine. That’s about 80 carbs for the cheesy puffs, 10 carbs for the shortbread (I should have had more!), 30 carbs for the M&Ms, 10 carbs of almond wine, and 70 carbs in the margaritas. Let’s round up a little. 200 carbs brings 600 grams of water with it. This can’t be pleasant to immediately take on in one’s body.
The alcoholics have a different and more thoroughly researched take on the same topic. In May 2014, PLOS ONE reveals that the overconsumption of alcohol causes gut permeability, the leakage of gut gunk (medical term) into the bloodstream. In their study of 25 individuals, serum endotoxin counts increased by about 75% shortly after the binge drinking began. 24 hours after the cessation of the binge, blood levels of these endotoxins reduced in half, but had not gone all the way down to normal levels. This would explain why the pain lasts well into the next day. Further, this effect is even more pronounced in women. Could this explain why every person that I encountered with the same bruising effect was a woman?
That all seems logical, but I still feel that this may have something to do with the carbs. After all, this is N Equals One. The study about the release of endotoxins does not mention that the subjects felt bruised all over their bodies; though, I was able to find other sites about pain mentioning endotoxins causing pain. Further, on other occasions when I drink to some excess (never a stupor), it is pure whisky or white wine. On these occasions, I have no symptoms of any kind the next day. The instances where I feel bruised occur after having way too many carbs and some alcohol. Sometimes it is just way too much fruity alcohol…which has a ton of carbs. From my own experience, it seems as though sweet, tequila drinks double the painful effects.
I like the endotoxin explanation and I’m sure that over-drinking isn’t good for anybody. For now, I’m going to stick to a couple of glasses of Chardonnay or TX Whiskey on Friday night with a little bacon on the side.