All that Guinness on St. Patrick's Day seems like such a good idea at the time.
Sadly, few of us think of the next morning's hangover, when a joyous rendition of "Danny Boy" is replaced by a ringing headache and several trips to the bathroom. So why do we feel so bad after a night of revelry?
The liver breaks alcohol down into a substance called acetaldehyde, which is more toxic than the booze, and responsible for the uncomfortable side effects of drinking, ABC News reports.
Hangovers are also influenced by factors such as "dehydration, electrolyte and hormonal abnormalities, low blood sugar and direct toxic effects," Dr. Andrew Yacht, vice-chairman of the department of medicine at Maimonides Medical Centre in Brooklyn, N.Y., told the network.
Other factors that determine the effects of a hangover include age (yes, it gets worse as you get older), weight, gender, diet and immune systems.
And why the craving for fatty foods?
Scientists say that alcohol-weakened inhibitions may be to blame, reports the International Business Times.
A 2001 study out of Scotland invited 26 male subjects to visit a lab three times. Each time, they were given either a glass of nonalcoholic lager or nonalcoholic beer spiked with some booze, then treated to a buffet lunch. Researchers found that their subjects ate 30 per cent more calories of food when they drank alcohol.
A brain chemical called "galanin" may also be responsible for those cravings. Galanin increases appetite for fats and consuming them causes more of the substance to be produced, William Gruchow of the University of North Carolina at Greensboro told Popular Science in 2012.
"Alcohol intake also results in increased galanin production," he said.
So that may explain why so many of us crave McDonald's or pizza after a night of drinking. Here are the most popular hangover foods in Canada, according to national order numbers from Just-Eat.ca.
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RiceFlickr: Asian Lifestyle Design
ChickenFlickr:terren in Virginia
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