How to go to the gym when you’re hungover

How to go to the gym when you’re hungover
How to go to the gym when you’re hungover

Here begins the sermon. “When you drink alcohol, you poison yourself,” says Pate. Alcohol also disrupts sleep and, ironically, after drinking you are dehydrated. Safety should be at the forefront of your mind.

“If you’re half-cut, wait until you’re sober before doing anything that could put you at risk,” Pate says. A morning session is over. Once your head is sore but clear, however, you have the green light. The benefits are greater than burning off your four pints: the rush of endorphins you get from exercise will help rebalance your brain chemicals to fight the depressive effect of alcohol, making it a better ointment than any bacon sandwich (you can have it after).

Pate recommends something with “a little aerobic intensity, to remind your body that it still needs to work.” Steady-state cardio is your agenda. “Drink enough water: your urine should be clear,” says Matt Gardner, performance nutritionist and show host Great Supply HQ podcast. This will lubricate your joints and delay fatigue.

As for your pre-gym fuel, alcohol irritates your stomach lining, so resist the temptation to pack on fat (which isn’t good for weight loss goals either) and stick to your normal breakfast. But consider some, uh, “gastric emptying time.” Rich in protein and fiber
a meal such as eggs on toast is great if you have the time, but takes a few hours to absorb. If you have an hour or less until your workout, eat something that absorbs quickly, like a banana.

The good news is that the University of Boulder has linked even light aerobic training to the reversal of alcohol-induced brain damage. Self-flagellation is not healthy. But escaping from your dark living room is guaranteed to make you feel better: physically, mentally and spiritually.

How to Start a Workout When You’re Hungover

  1. Cancel your morning session and wage an aquatic war against dehydration instead.
  2. Return to your normal diet if and when you can bear it. Otherwise, eat a banana.
  3. Aerobic exercise will protect your brain and make you feel human again.


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