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Why am I hungover? Is it REALLY the sulfites?


It's Saturday morning. Did you have a big night out drinking wine? If so, you awoke one of two ways: with a headache or without one. I hope you had the latter, but I wanted to clarify a wine misnomer.


Let it first be said, if you have a headache from wine, it is most likely caused by overindulgence, plain and simple. 


When drinking wine, it is easy to forget to hydrate, so unless you are drinking a glass of water between each glass of wine (who does this, really?), you are likely to feel the effects of the wine the next day.

None of this is a news flash.

This is not your first rodeo. Moving on.


However, I wanted to address sulfites in wine. When people say, "Oh, no, I cannot drink red wine. The sulfites give me a headache." Well, this is actually probably not the reason.

Yes, wine has sulfites. They are naturally found in the skins of the grapes and actually, white wine has far more sulfites than red wine. It is also documented that only about 1% of the population has an allergy to sulfites. If you are one of this 1%, then you likely cannot eat things like deli meat and dried fruits, products which contains far more sulfites than wine.


In reality, people confuse sulfites giving them a headache with histamines. Histamines are found in the skins of grapes too, and give a lot of people headaches if they are sensitive to them. Red wine will affect a histamine-sensitive wine drinker more than white wine because red wine spends more time in contact with grape skins. Lastly, those people who suffer from motion sickness and migraines are much more likely to have a poor reaction to the histamines in wine (red wine most especially).


So if you are reaching for aspirin this morning, remember....If you did not overindulge, it is likely that histamines are the culprit. You could even try taking a non-drowsy allergy medicine about 45 minutes before you enjoy wine to see if that can curb the effects. Just to reiterate, make sure those meds are NON-drowsy.


P.S.- My Wine Savvy peeps- In my opinion, the best cure for a hangover (other than a Bloody Mary (hair of the dog) is this: Lots of Water, Aspirin, Tomato Juice, DRY wheat toast, and DRY scrambled eggs.

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