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Can Working Out Cure a Hangover?

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The head-pounding sensation that results from the capillaries in your brain constricting is often an indicator that you had too much to drink the night before. The hangover is essentially just that: the body's natural method of responding to a night of overindulgence in alcohol. The can't-get-out-of-bed feeling that ensues the next morning depletes your ability to function both mentally and physically, specifically because your body becomes dehydrated. The mythical belief that exercise can cure a hangover is dangerous and can lead to injury.

The 10 Percent Factor

Common sense isn't always a good thing, especially when it comes to making the headache-stricken trek to the gym after a night of drinking. Some people think that "sweating it out" is an effective method of hangover relief, but the body only secretes approximately 10 percent of alcohol absorption through the pores, breath and urine. Ninety percent of alcohol consumption is eliminated through the process of metabolizing, which naturally occurs as your blood alcohol level descends to zero. The most painful segment of a hangover actually occurs when your BAC reaches complete sobriety, which means a so-called hangover relief workout only results in further dehydration.

Natural Hangover Relief

The best method of hangover relief is to drink healthy portions of water throughout the day. Although some people prefer the "hair of the dog," additional alcohol consumption merely postpones the inevitable. Drink an 8-ounce glass of water every 20 to 30 minutes to help your body naturally rehydrate. It's important to realize that your muscles need to be sufficiently hydrated in order to function at a high level, which is why attempting a rigorous workout while hungover can result in clumsiness and injury.

Vitamin Consumption

In addition to regularly drinking water the morning after, it's also important to consume foods and juices rich in vitamins and amino acids. A healthy combination of all natural orange juice and eggs will help give your body the energy boost it needs to function at a near-normal level. Orange juice contains vitamin C, which helps your liver break down alcohol and harmful toxins. Eggs are a healthy source of protein, which helps to revitalize dehydrated muscles. They also contain an amino acid known as cysteine that increases liver function.

Healthy Exercise

Although it's not wise to push yourself to total exhaustion at the gym while feeling the effects of overindulgence in alcohol, low-intensity modes of exercise, such as gentle stretching and walking, can help ease the pain. High-intensity exercise, like running and circuit training, can cause spells of dizziness and increased nausea, which is why it's not often a good idea to exercise at normal exertion rates while hungover. Stretching, in combination with healthy consumption of vitamins and water, can decrease body aches that may result as an outcome of severe dehydration. Walking, as opposed to running, is a low-intensity strategy for burning calories and increasing heart rate. Even though you won't be able to burn gobs of empty calories from less intense modes of exercise, your well-being is more important than your waistline the day after a night of drinking.

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John Shea is a team sports fanatic and fitness aficionado. His work has been published across a wide platform of online audiences in the realm of health and fitness. His passion for fitness is exemplified in his writing, as he aims to help readers improve their overall well-being.


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