When you wake up after a night of drinking, exercising is probably the last thing on your mind. But as you might expect, getting a light workout is one of the healthiest choices you can make the morning after drinking. In those cases, your body naturally has more toxins to dispose of than normal and a light sweat can do a world of good to get your body back on track.
If you have alcohol still running through your system, it is more important than ever to be hydrated during a workout. If you are not intending to rehydrate before a workout the morning after drinking, then it is better to abstain from exercise. Your body will do well from sweating out toxins from alcohol consumption, but it needs to be hydrated in order to do this.
How Alcohol Consumption Affects the Body
A healthy liver is well-equipped to process a certain amount of alcohol. However, when the liver breaks down alcohol it is not able to focus on its other responsibilities as well. One of the liver’s functions is to break down glucose to create energy. When your body exercises it is obviously expending more energy than normal. This is one reason why exercising after a night of alcohol consumption is cause for special precautions.
Another important organ affected by alcohol consumption is the heart. Alcohol causes the heart to push blood through the body at a quicker pace, which elevates the heart rate. This means your heart is already working harder than normal when you get to the gym for that workout. For this reason alone, it is better to do a light cardio workout that will encourage healthy blood flow rather than an intense workout which will put a possible strain on your heart. A light cardio workout is also a great way to burn the extra calories your body took on through alcohol consumption.
Your body is also working with slower reactions and reflexes than normal after a night of drinking. Alcohol slows down the nerves that are responsible for sending messages around the body. While this may not be a big deal while you are idle, it can make a big difference when your body is going through the coordinated effort of exercise. Yet another symptom to be wary of it brain fog. This is a sluggishness of the mind that can negatively affect your reaction time and decision making while dealing with a hangover.
Workout Smart After Alcohol Consumption
Hopefully you are not completely scared away from working out after a night of drinking. A bit of sweat the morning after some drinks do your body a world of good, but the key is to be smart about it. Just important as re-hydrating before a workout is eating a good breakfast. Eggs, oatmeal, yogurt and other high protein foods get your body ready to exert energy. Bananas are also great to get some electrolytes in you. If your body is really feeling a hangover and you decide to work out anyway, one “cure” method involves lots and lots of water, Glutamine powder, and two ibuprofen to take the edge off soreness.
Whatever you do, don’t push too hard. Just a light workout the morning after a night of drinking can give your body endorphins to help you not feel so sluggish that day. A light and steady cardio session, restorative yoga, or a brisk walk outdoors are all good ways to get the blood flowing without putting too much strain on your body. If you find you just have to have that hard workout the day after a night of drinking, try to schedule it for later in the day so your body has plenty of time to rest and re-hydrate.
There is actually more attention paid to the relationship between those who drink and exercise than you might think. One study suggests that people who drink regularly are also more likely to exercise regularly as well. Now, perhaps this speaks to the fact that some people are simply more prone to hunt endorphins than others. But one thing is for sure: exercising after a night of drinking is permitted, and even advisable, so long as you take necessary precautions.