Does Working Out Kill a Hangover?

Does working out kill a hangover? The short answer is no, but there are a few things you can do to speed up the process.


When you wake up with an unpleasant headache, dry mouth, sensitivity to light and sound, and what can only be described as a disjointed feeling in your very bones — you can be sure that you’ve had a bit too much to drink the night before. Unfortunately, most hangover cures involve things like greasy foods, ibuprofen or just more drinking — all of which are less than ideal. An often overlooked treatment for those times when you accidentally go overboard on your imbibing is exercise. Let’s take a look at how working out can help reduce the severity of a hangover.

How Exercise Affects Hangovers

Exercise has the potential to improve hangover symptoms, from headaches to general fatigue. Working out can help the body to expel toxins by speeding up the circulation of blood and allowing for more efficient removal of toxins from the body. It can also help to combat dehydration, which is a key part of the hangover experience. Now let’s take a closer look at how exercise can affect a hangover.


Dehydration has been linked to the development of hangovers. When people drink alcoholic beverages, they not only become dehydrated, but they also lose significant amounts of electrolytes like sodium and potassium which are essential for a healthy body. Exercise, especially vigorous exercise, can further exacerbate dehydration since you’re losing more water through sweat and breathing faster. In spite of this, exercise may help in some cases.

Exercising after drinking alcohol can cause you to sweat out toxins quicker, which may result in feeling better more quickly. It also causes you to become more alert and reduce feelings of nausea or headache that come with hangovers. However, it is important to stay hydrated while exercising and ensure that your electrolyte levels remain balanced by drinking an electrolyte replenishing drink or sports beverage. Additionally, eating healthy foods following exercise will help restore lost electrolytes and energy levels quicker than if you just drank water alone.

Therefore, physical activity can have both positive or negative effects on a hangover depending on how well hydrated you are before and after working out. when deciding whether or not to exercise while hungover take into consideration how intense the activity is—strenuous activities should be avoided if severely dehydrated—and make sure to keep proper hydration levels before and after working out.

Alcohol Metabolism

Alcohol is absorbed into the bloodstream through the stomach and small intestine and then, it makes its way to the liver for metabolism. A normal liver takes about one hour to process one standard drink. The liver metabolizes alcohol in several ways; some of which are harmless and others that can be toxic. Alcohol is broken down by enzymes in the lining of the stomach and intestine and later converted to acetaldehyde, which is an intermediate product for breaking down alcohol into chemical components. Acetaldehyde itself is highly toxic; however, once it has been further broken down into acetic acid, it can be used by cells throughout the body as an energy source.

Exercise speeds up this process of metabolism by increasing blood flow and oxygen supply to muscles, enabling them to work harder – even without physical strain! This also leads to increased respiration (breathing) rate during exercise which helps reduce hangover symptoms caused by alcohol metabolism. Additionally, exercising releases endorphins that can help boost your mood after a night of drinking. Therefore, regular exercise may be beneficial for those who drink heavily or frequently as it will help minimize both short-term and long-term ill effects of drinking on health.


Exercise has been shown to reduce stress, produce endorphins, and boost overall mood. Interestingly, all of these can have a beneficial effect on your hangover. Endorphins are hormones that trigger natural feel-good chemicals that reduce the symptoms of withdrawal from alcohol and can help ease tension, anxiety and depression. Exercise helps relax the body by reducing stress hormones like cortisol and adrenaline, often referred to as fight or flight hormones. This relaxed response can lead to a faster recovery from a hangover symptoms such as nausea, headaches and fatigue. Additionally, researchers have found that engaging in physical activity increases metabolic processes in the body which can improve digestion, leading to an increased rate of break down of alcohol byproducts like acetaldehyde which contribute to hangovers. Therefore, it is possible to tell that exercise may be one way to combat hangovers if used consistently over time.

Benefits of Working Out with a Hangover

Working out while you have a hangover is likely to help reduce the symptoms of a hangover. The physical activity can help you clear your head and help you recover faster. Additionally, research suggests that physical activity may help to reduce the inflammation that can happen when drinking alcohol. Let’s explore the potential benefits of working out with a hangover.

Improved Mood

When suffering from a hangover, the last thing you might expect is that working out can actually help improve your mood. Surprisingly though, exercise has been found to improve your frame of mind and relieve the post-party blues.

According to research, moderate physical activity such as walking or running can significantly reduce fatigue and physical impairment following a hangover. Additionally, exercising just after the drinking session has been reported to help alleviate the feeling of dehydration and dizziness associated with alcohol consumption. Moving around seems to also reduce nausea and depressive feelings that occur during a hangover.

Not only will you feel an immediate improvement in your mood due to the release of endorphins when hitting the gym but by engaging in aerobic activity it will also reduce residual alcohol body levels, meaning you’ll break down the toxins faster. This helps us move out of our low places faster and get back on track!

Increased Energy

Working out when you are hungover can be an effective way to improve your energy levels and make you feel better. When we are suffering from a hangover our bodies have become dehydrated and low on electrolytes. This has caused our energy levels to be significantly reduced, leaving us feeling drained and exhausted. Fortunately, exercising is a great way to naturally boost your energy levels throughout the day as it helps to replenish the essential electrolytes that were lost. It also increases your heart rate which will circulate more oxygen-rich blood throughout the body, helping you to feel energized and alert again that much faster.

Improved Metabolism

For those feeling fatigued and stressed due to a hangover, working out can provide some much needed relief. Exercise increases the body’s metabolism, meaning that it more efficiently breaks down the toxic byproducts of alcohol in the body. This increased metabolic rate will help to rid your body of toxins and reduce the severity of your symptoms. Working out may also help reduce the amount of time needed to recover from a hangover, as your body is able to process alcohol more quickly. It is important to note that even though exercise can be beneficial for breaking down alcohol in your system, it does not reverse any of the long-term damage caused by consuming excessive amounts of alcohol.

Risks of Working Out with a Hangover

Working out while hungover carries some risks and you should be aware of them before you decide to hit the gym. Your body is already in a weakened state after a night of drinking, and over-exerting yourself while hungover can cause you to become dehydrated and increase your risk of injury. On the flip side, exercise can also help you feel better and can help your body to process the alcohol out faster. Let’s take a look at the risks and potential benefits of working out with a hangover.


Physical activity when dehydrated may do more harm than good and therefore, it is important to understand the risks of working out with a hangover. Dehydration is one of the most common side effects of drinkingalcohol and an important factor in hangover recovery. The alcohol that you consume can quickly pass through your body and result in dehydration due to its diuretic properties. When you are dehydrated, it can impair your ability to perform physical activity as well as potentially cause serious issues like heat-related illnesses such as muscle cramps. Therefore, it is recommended to stay hydrated with plenty of fluids before and after exercising if you are feeling hungover. Water is the best choice for replenishing your fluids, but if you’re looking for a sports drink that contains electrolytes, be sure to steer clear from added sugars or artificial ingredients which can hinder recovery even more. Remember that exercise will not diminish the effects of a hangover but rather make them worse! So, avoid working out until your symptoms lessen and ensure adequate hydration levels are maintained throughout any physical activity.

Muscle Cramps

Muscle cramps are one of the most common risks associated with working out with a hangover. Dehydration is a major factor in developing muscle cramps, and it’s a common side effect of drinking alcohol and having a hangover. When you work out while dehydrated, your muscles produce lactic acid more quickly than usual, leading to greater fatigue and more intense muscle cramping. In addition, you may be more prone to injury if your coordination and reaction time are affected by dehydration.

It’s not uncommon to experience nausea while working out on empty stomach — especially when hungover — which can make physical activity more difficult. Drinking plenty of water before, during, and after your workout is essential for reducing your risk of developing muscle cramps or other complications related to dehydration. Make sure that you don’t over-exert yourself during exercise; take frequent breaks if necessary and stop immediately if nausea sets in or if sweating becomes excessive.


Exercising with a hangover can lead to increased feelings of nausea. The feeling of queasiness is caused by the dehydration and electrolyte imbalances your hangover has already created. Combine it with the physical motions and stress that come with exercising, and it can contribute to an increase in nausea levels. Exercising causes you to sweat more, reducing even more hydration levels in your body, making the feeling worse. If you are feeling nauseous from a hangover and embark on a work out session, it is important that you stop as soon as you feel any increased levels of nausea and reach for water instead.

Best Types of Workouts for Hangovers

Many people look to exercise as a way to cure their hangovers. Working out releases endorphins, which can provide relief from headaches, nausea, and fatigue associated with a hangover. But it’s important to pick the right type of workout in order to get the most out of it. Let’s explore the best types of workouts for hangovers.

Low-Intensity Cardio

Low-intensity cardio is the best type of workout for a hangover. Cardio workouts are designed to boost your body’s oxygen levels and help flush out toxins, making you feel better. Low-intensity cardio also increases your heart rate without overly taxing your energy stores. A few examples of low-impact activities that provide a good workout are walking, jogging, rowing and swimming. Additionally, incorporating some light stretching in the morning might help relieve built-up shoulder and neck tension from the alcohol consumption the night before. Be sure not to overdo it – if you find yourself feeling lightheaded or dizzy during exercise, take necessary precautions to drink plenty of water and slow down as needed.

Gentle Stretching

In general, gentle stretching or yoga can be very beneficial for a hangover because it helps release endorphins and improves circulation. This can help reduce pain and make you feel more relaxed. Plus, stretching gives your body a chance to reset, so your muscles won’t be sore the next day. The movements involved in stretching also help to boost digestion and aid in better sleep.

Some good examples of gentle stretching are neck rolls, arm circles, shoulder shrugs and hip thrusts. If you’re already feeling dehydrated, the last thing you want is strenuous exercises like running or jumping. Save those activities for when you’re feeling better! Instead, try something that is low impact but still gets some blood flowing like yoga or pilates classes that focus on slow movement and deep stretches.


Yoga is the perfect form of exercise for those dealing with a hangover. It can provide an effective workout without taxing your muscles too much or raising your heart rate too quickly. Practicing yoga can improve balance, flexibility and joint mobility along with overall strength and wellbeing. There are several different types of yoga that range from slow and gentle to active and challenging.

Gentle or beginner-level yoga classes typically focus on stretching, breathing, mindfulness, relaxation and restorative postures meant to restore energy levels in a manner that won’t leave you feeling worse off than before. This type of yoga works especially well for simpler headaches related to dehydration or sugar imbalance caused by overindulging the night before. The low impact form of yoga also helps to ease muscle tension as it relaxes the body while also restoring mental clarity by using meditation-like techniques such as deep breathing, visualization and simple mantras.


In conclusion, it seems that moderate to light exercise can help reduce hangover symptoms. Just as drinking fluids and resting can temporarily alleviate an ailing head, working out for a short duration may also help you feel better. However, more research is needed in order to make definitive conclusions about how exercising can help students, athletes and adults of all ages reduce hangover symptoms.

Additionally, many athletes use supplements such as electrolytes or nutrition bars as they exercise. Although these products may help replenish lost energy and hydration caused by alcohol consumption and physical activity, it is important to remember that no supplement can replace the need for a balanced diet and adequate hydration. Exercising after drinking should remain a responsible action that does not replace important behaviors such as drinking plenty of water before bed or avoiding mixers with alcohol when at parties or bars.

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