With the holidays officially over, chances are you’ve had a fuzzy morning after a few too many festive drinks. The cure for a late night? Lots of rest, water, and food. But if you’re never one to nurse a hangover by spending quality time with your couch and Netflix, sweating out those toxins may seem like the best answer to dealing with a hangover. But will working out actually make you feel better?
While an ambitious endeavor, exercising on a hangover may not be the cure you’re looking for, says Ruth C. Engs, RN, Ed.D., a professor at Indiana University who researches the effects of drinking. You’re already dehydrated from the diuretic properties of alcohol; vigorous exercise will leave you even more so. That means that instead of feeling better, exercising may actually worsen your hangover symptoms. Even if you may feel amazing after a workout, chances are that it’s just from a temporary rush of endorphins. Add to that the irritability, stomach issues, and light and sound sensitivity that often accompany your day-after doldrums, and skipping that morning SoulCycle class for a few more minutes of much-needed shut-eye may be the best option for shaking a hangover. If you do feel up for it, opt for a light, low-impact workout, like a slow jog or an easy yoga class, to help lift your energy level and spirits. Just be sure to pack a water bottle in your gym bag.
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