Is Training With A Hangover A Good Idea?

How to train with a hangover

Most of us have asked ourselves this question - to train or not to train the day after drinking alcohol? Not being able to keep up with your fitness routine because you might have enjoyed a couple of good glasses of wine the day before can be very frustrating. As for working out when sick, there is a lot of rumours and different theories about whether exercising with a hangover is a good idea or rather not. But what’s the truth - should you work out hungover?

In fact, it is the motoric skills, this means precision, coordination and balance, that are most affected by alcohol. Therefore, dancing or team sport where you are exposed to many different impressions at the same time are not recommendable because of the increased risk of injury.

But in general the question to the answer if you should exercise with a hangover is YES. It’s actually very good to move the day after drinking alcohol. If you are in a good general condition and have the feeling that your body can easily stand your training, there is no risk in working out. Here are some tips on activities for “the day after”. But keep in mind:

Everyone reacts differently to alcohol, so always listen to your body and decide if you should train with a hangover!

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Endurance sports

Because of the increased risk of injury you should avoid group training activities and team sports. Partly to avoid hurting yourself and others, and partly because one easily overexerts oneself playing in a team. Therefore, it is better to adhere to endurance sports, such as running, walking, spinning or swimming, where you can determine intensity, pace and length of the workout. Anyways, endurance sports like running and biking have a lot of advantages!

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Yin Yoga

This type of yoga is a calmer yoga style. The Yin Yoga exercises are made sitting or lying and carried out for 5 to 20 minutes which is a great exercise with a hangover. Yin Yoga supports the body’s recovering process as the exercises calm the nervous system and increase blood circulation. In addition, Yin Yoga reduces the production of the stress hormone cortisol - which intensifies the effect of alcohol in the brain - while releasing the positive hormones dopamine, serotonin and oxytocin. This form of yoga can also counteract migraine, insomnia, IBS and depression.

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Weight training

Strength training on the day after drinking alcohol is in general a good idea. But what one should keep in mind is that the ability to build muscle is negatively affected. Strength training is definitely worth a try but the results will not be the same as without a hangover because the hormone levels needed to build muscle - testosterone and growth hormone - are lowered. But if you don’t have high expectations and just want to have a good workout the day after drinking, strength training is a good idea as long as you adjust the intensity and pace according to how you feel. One tip is to use machines instead of free weights to minimize the risk of injury.

To summarize:
Yes, you can actually exercise with a hangover. It's just about your general condition and if you think your body can do it. Working out is all about keeping routines, so it is better to run a less intense workout than not to exercise at all.

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