The morning of a hangover, you probably won’t feel much like working out. If you have fitness goals to keep and a workout plan to stick to, then you might be inclined to try to work out any way. You may not feel up to it, but those excess pounds won’t fall off by themselves. Those muscles won’t get any bigger if you’re taking the day off.
Is working out with a hangover bad? You may be wondering if there are any health risks to be concerned about and if maybe a doctor might recommend that you take it easy and wait for the hangover to wear off instead.
Let’s talk about the logistics of working out with a hangover and how that might work. We’ll discuss the health risks associated with hangover workouts, if there are any, so that you can make an informed decision.
The Dehydration Risk
You probably already know that it can be unsafe to work out when you aren’t getting enough fluids. If you get dehydrated when you are exerting yourself, you can put your body at risk.
You may start to lose motor control and be clumsier as your body is starved of fluids. You could end up with stomach pains as food is being passed through your small intestine but cannot pass properly when you are lacking fluids. You could also lose concentration and generally feel unwell due to dehydration.
All for this is exacerbated by a hangover. You can feel extra dehydrated, since alcohol robs your body of water. Add a throbbing headache to that and feelings of nausea that often come with a hangover and you will have a miserable workout.
Your risk of dehydration is higher when you have a hangover, and the symptoms associated with dehydration are going be worse as well. In other words, if you are dead set on working out when hungover, you definitely want to stay hydrated. You should drink more water than usual if you are going to be attempting a workout in this state.
Poor Motor Control
A hangover can come with a loss of proper motor functions, and you may feel quite clumsy in this state. That is going to make it tough to do a proper workout. You will have difficulty in focusing, and your workout probably won’t be very effective. It may be better to wait until you recover fully to even bother doing a workout. It doesn’t make a lot of sense to force yourself to get through a workout that won’t be doing you much good.
How effective do you think you will really be if you will struggle to maintain your balance on the elliptical or have trouble focusing on your stretches? You can have a far more effective workout that will really be worth your while if you wait until the hangover passes.
Use a Cure
There are lots of home remedies for hangovers that you may be tempted to try. Some of them might even work, and you can always find people who will swear by a variety of hangover cures of questionable value.
If you really want to try to work out when you are hungover, why not use a cure that works and that will get you feeling great in about half an hour? The treatment that hospitals use for this is called a banana bag.
The banana bag doesn’t contain any bananas in it, but it doesn’t have a lot of nutrients that help your body to recover from a hangover. This concoction is made using magnesium sulfate, thiamine, folate, and multivitamins, all combined in a saline solution. In about 30 minutes after having the IV bag attached, you will feel great. It gives your body the electrolytes it needs and vitamins necessary to get you back on your feet and over the hangover. You don’t have to go to the hospital to get it. Some retailers, like Rocky Mountain IV Medics sell this to customers online.
A Serious Headache
Most people experience a major headache when they are feeling the effects of a hangover. Working out with a hangover headache can be really miserable. How can you jump rope or do sit-ups when your head is throbbing? These kinds of actions can make the headache worse, and you probably won’t be able to do a workout for very long in this condition.
It will probably seem like your head wants to explode when you have a hangover. Adding exercise to that will feel like absolute torture. Why would you want to do that to yourself? The headache alone is reason enough for most people to stay away from the gym when they have a hangover.
You might be tempted to take some Advil for the headache, but that isn’t advisable. Medical professionals will tell you that taking Advil to treat a hangover headache is a very bad idea. You might get rid of the headache, but you could also cause severe stomach bleeding. So, instead of dealing with just a hangover and some nausea at home, you would have to be taken to a hospital for internal bleeding.
Taking It Easy Might Be the Best Option
So, you decided that you need to work out, even if it isn’t medically advisable. How are you going to go about it? When working out with a hangover, bodybuilding or aerobic exercises are going to be tough. A lot of the exercises you normally do will be very difficult, and you will need to ramp things down quite a bit.
You might be able to do some exercises, but you need to ease into them. Be gentle with your body and listen to cues that you are going too fast, too hard, and too intense. Don’t try to go at your normal speed or lift the same amount of weight that you normally do.
If you take it easy, you may be able to do some exercises. You can at least attempt a mild workout, but you want to take things slowly.
Some people actually feel better after working out when hungover. They like being able to get off the bed or the couch for a bit and getting to the gym for a training session. It helps to get them out of the low mood they may feel while being hungover, and it gives them something to do rather than just stay in bed all day.
You may notice some psychological benefits to working out while hungover, even if your body doesn’t much care for the experience. If you feel up to it, you can try to get in some exercise and see if it actually improves your mood.
A hangover can affect your body in some interesting and unfortunate ways. It can hurt your metabolism, temporarily setting it back a bit. This can make it difficult to burn as much fat as you might get rid of normally.
It can also affect your body’s ability to develop and repair muscle. That’s due to how it blocks some protein absorption. You can struggle to have a decent workout and get any gains at all when you are hungover. It may not make much sense to try working out until you recover.
You could also hurt yourself by straining your muscles too much. You may find that after a workout session while hungover, you don’t feel very good. You could have some serious muscle soreness that is worse than usual because your body is having trouble repairing the muscle. You will not be able to recover like you normally would from your workout, and that can be detrimental to the next day’s workout and the workouts you do for the next few days as well.
Should you work out when you are hungover? It’s probably best not to, but there are ways to make it work, if you must.