Have you ever gotten rid of a hangover by going for a run or working out?
Pleasurable, euphoric and even disinhibiting, drinking alcohol is enjoyable for many people. Unfortunately, the next day can be rough. Do you ever remember uttering that famous sentence, “I’m never drinking again” or “I’m done with alcohol”?
And in wishing to return to your normal state, you say to yourself, “Why don’t I go for a run and get it all out?” Is this a good or bad idea?
Let’s take a look at what happens, and if it’s a good idea to exercise the day after a night out when you’re hung over.
Dehydration and exercise don’t go together
Alcohol is, in fact, dehydrating. It stimulates diuresis, which is the production of urine. The more you drink, the more you urinate, and the more you become dehydrated and deplete your water reserves. This is why you have a headache and a dry mouth the next day.
If you find yourself in this situation, the best thing to do is to gradually rehydrate (with water) and rest.
If you participate in a physical activity when you need water (and exercise typically leads to additional water loss through sweat production), you risk increasing your dehydration and the symptoms associated with it.
Alcohol dulls our reflexes
Alcohol also causes coordination problems and negatively affects your ability to pace yourself even several hours after ingesting it!
Dehydration fatigues the body, and when it becomes difficult to use the muscles correctly, to properly orient the body in space and make quick, precise movements when necessary, what’s the point?
Obviously the risk of injury is considerably higher than normal.
And as for performance, it’s obvious that it’s going to be much worse.
But…does exercise actually eliminate alcohol?
Running or exercising the day after a night of drinking may cause you more harm than good.
You’re putting your body to the test just when it needs rest. This increases the risk of muscle damage and potential injuries, including strains, tendonitis and such.
Finally, while some see it as a way to eliminate sugar, it should be noted that alcohol disrupts and decreases the release of glucose from the liver into the bloodstream, resulting in hypoglycemia. This is true even if the drinks contained sugar (such as cocktails or hard alcohol mixed with soda).
This is because the alcohol molecules interfere with the production of sugar in the liver as well as sugar reserves in the muscles.
The double mistake would be to deprive yourself of carbohydrates before a party, thinking that the drinks will provide enough. You risk getting drunk quicker and being even more hungover.
So, after exercising, can you have a beer or a glass of wine?
After a workout, your muscles need rest, rehydration and good nutrients!
I invite you check out the Nutri Coach app to learn what to eat before and after a workout in order to optimize recovery.
Drinking alcohol after exerting yourself isn’t a good idea. It’ll dehydrate your body and limit its ability to recuperate. Furthermore, drinking alcohol after exercise reduces its benefits.
After a night of drinking, it’s best to get some sleep the next day. Sleep in and don’t feel guilty. Above all, rehydrate with water! And if you really need to get some physical activity, wait till the end of the day. Then proceed slowly with a low-intensity activity. You don’t need to force anything.