Exercise: The hangover fix

Katie Leyton

After the festivities that took place the first weekend back in Kent, I’m certain I was not the only one who woke up with confusion, regret and a killer hangover. Of course, I always attempt to ward off a hangover by gulping water and popping a few Advil before I go to bed, but sometimes things get out of hand, and you wake up with what feels like a drill to your head.

My first instinct is to always to stay in bed, nursing my hangover with Netflix and an ice-cold glass of water. However, I have discovered that there is a far better remedy to cure a hangover: working out.

I know it sounds near impossible to make it all the way to the Student Recreation and Wellness Center when you’re in such a death-like state, but think about it: One of the ways alcohol leaves the body is by sweat, and what better way to rid your body of toxins than to work out? Even working out for 30 minutes can help you feel better in more ways than one. As I said before, sweating is a way the body gets rid of alcohol, but there are also three other ways: the liver, the kidneys and the lungs.

As far as the liver and kidneys are concerned, which are already busy trying to digest the alcohol by-products, there isn’t much that can be done to speed up the process other than drinking a lot of water and eating food that is light on your stomach. However, by going to the gym for a light work out, you will not only help your body sweat out toxins, your breathing rate will increase, therefore helping you breathe out some of the alcohol by-products, as well.

If that doesn’t convince you to crawl out of bed, here’s one more reason: Alcohol is a depressant, resulting in the lack of endorphins being secreted. When exercising, endorphins are released, causing you to feel less like death and more able to do something productive with your day.

The important thing to remember is to do all of this in moderation. Do not to go to the gym and have the hardest, sweatiest workout of the week. When you drink, you have a higher chance of becoming dehydrated, and if you decide to run five miles, chances are you will pass out.

So next weekend, when you wake up with a splitting headache, wondering what happened the night before, take 30 minutes out of your day to work out at the Rec, and be sure to grab a fruit re-fuel smoothie on the way out. 

Contact Katie Leyton at [email protected].