Running With a Hangover: Can Running Help You Get Rid of That Hangover?

Running with a hangover is a bad idea. It causes dehydration and muscle cramps. But should you run with a hangover ANYWAY? Can you SWEAT out alcohol?

The number of hangover cures is endless.

Some try to exercise after a night out. The idea is that a hard workout will sweat out a hangover.

But according to science, it doesn’t help because the body does not release alcohol any faster when you sweat.

There’s a reason why we call it “the morning after.” It’s because alcohol messes with our bodies.

And while some people will recover from a hangover quickly, there are times when you may not feel 100% yourself. In these cases, you better skip running altogether.

Does Running Cure Hangovers?

Running can make your hangover worse if you’ve consumed too many drinks and haven’t started rehydrating.

A light workout might aid your recovery if your hangover symptoms are mild.

But there are mental benefits of running that might help you cure your hangovers or at least feel a little bit better. And movement can increase blood flow which makes you feel better.

There is controversy surrounding the theory that sweating can help eliminate toxins. Basically, you can’t speed up the breakdown of alcohol in your body by sweating.

So the mental benefits of running represent the actual way exercise cures a hangover.

How to Run After a Hangover?

There are certain aspects of sweating out the hangover that you should address and take care of when you do so.

1. Understand Dehydration

Running for less than an hour does not usually require you to worry about hydration. Basically, you should drink water when you feel thirsty.

But after the night out, things are different.

Alcohol acts as a diuretic during the night and dehydrates you. Due to the body’s reaction to alcohol, a hangover usually causes headaches.

You may have become dehydrated due to the alcohol consumed. When you wake up with a hangover and the scent of tequila on your skin, it is technically booze leaving your body.

2. Hydrate Well

When we exercise, sweat helps us stay cool. Blood circulation and sweating are part of the cooling system. Blood receives extra heat from muscles, and sweating removes some excess heat.

If you don’t drink enough water, you get dehydrated. Dehydration can cause muscle cramps in the legs and calves.

If you want to sweat out that hangover, make sure you’re hydrated. Else dehydration will cause the toxins in your sweat to become even more concentrated.

Because of the dangers of dehydration, it is not recommended to force booze out of your pores. But if you learn to hydrate yourself well, it can be advantageous.

Tips To Running With a Hangover

If you can’t miss that run, you can do a few things to avoid getting sick or dehydrated.

  • To stay well-hydrated, drink a healthy amount of water before and after workouts. This will help prevent nausea, muscle cramps, and injury.
  • For hydrating after a night out, sparkling water might work better than flat water. Sparkling water offers some anti-hangover benefits. It helps to replace lost nutrients, and the bubbles help to calm an uneasy stomach, relieving any feeling of nausea.
  • Replenish your electrolytes by having a sports drink or coconut water. You need to boost your potassium, sodium, and chloride levels and add sugar for some energy.
  • Go for an easy slow-paced run, and try not to push yourself hard. Your body cannot take in extra stress in this condition leading to damage and injuries.
  • If you feel awful, dizzy, and lightheaded – it is not advised to start or continue running. It is better to stay home or return home if you have already started running.

How Are Running And Alcohol Cravings Related?

A study published in Frontiers in Psychiatry found that runners are more likely to drink than their non-fit peers.

The potential correlation between running and alcohol cravings is explored in a recent study. Running and alcohol both pose as rewards by stimulating the brain’s mesocorticolimbic pathway.

As a result, those who may crave both of these substances are also more likely to be genetically predisposed to alcoholism.

While our endorphin levels may skyrocket after an easy jog, some of us will experience more pain and instability than relief.

Why? Because genetic and physical factors can, in effect, speed up or slow down how alcohol metabolizes in our bodies.

Alcohol may have a depressant effect, allowing for exercise to act as a remedy. So, Barnes proposes that one should abstain from drinking alcohol to maintain a doctor-approved lifestyle regarding mental health.

Why Is It Not Optimal To Run After A Hangover?

If you want to run to feel better after a hangover, it might help to a certain extent.

However, if you aim to maintain your running routine, it is better not to run after a hangover. The reasons are as below:

1. Less Protein Absorption

After drinking, your body cannot absorb as much protein as when you are not. So, your protein absorption rate decreases, and so does the other processes dependent on this macronutrient.

As you work out, the body requires more protein to function effectively and repair itself. Since the absorption is not efficient, it is not utilized properly even though you feed yourself well. Hence your body cannot make full use of the workout.

2. Poor Muscle Building

As already mentioned, protein is necessary to build muscles. If you do not provide enough for your muscle to build and put it through stress, it begins to deteriorate.

It can also result in damage as your muscles deplete if the process is repetitive.

When you utilize more than you give, it results in a deficit.

So, it will need to take protein from your muscle to provide for your immediate protein needs. Instead of repairing your muscle, your body scars your muscle when there is insufficient protein.

3. Reduces Fat Burn Capability

Another downside of drinking alcohol is that it slackens your metabolism, which means your ability to burn fat drops rapidly.

You will need to work harder to burn the same amount of fat that you can easily burn when there is no alcohol in your system.

Reaction times slow down too, meaning the risk of injury increases.

So, it is better to wait for your liver to clear out the alcohol from the system to avoid such dangers and negative effects as they hinder your fitness goals.

Staying in Shape for a Run After a Night Out

You can try to stay in running shape in a few different ways:

  • Avoid getting a hangover in the first place by keeping alcohol consumption minimal.
  • While out drinking, alternate between alcohol and a glass of water to stay hydrated.
  • Make sure you hydrate well before you hit the road the next day.
  • Drink a little more water before you lace up to keep electrolytes flowing, even adding some sports drink.
  • Instead of still water, try a can of sparkling water, like LaCroix. The bubbles help to calm your stomach, not to mention the refreshing effects of different flavors.

The Bottom Line

Overspending on tequila shots and then running the morning after may not feel amazing, but it can help your hangover!

While battling to wake up the following day, heading out the door for a run might feel daunting.

However, you can improve your hangover condition and maintain your productivity with proper precautions. Despite the benefits you get when running with a hangover, there are underlying side effects if you continue it as a habit.

So, use it as an urgent remedy to boost your productivity rather than a habit to cure your hangover.

Moreover, if you have set up goals regarding your fitness, it would be better if you kept yourself from drinking! You are less likely to achieve your fitness goals if influenced by alcohol.

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