Can Exercise help a Hangover? I am asked this a lot, and if England manage to get past the Ukrainians on Saturday night, I expect many of us will be waking up with one.
You’ve no doubt heard of the ‘sweat it out’ theory, but there is a massive problem with that. Alcohol is a diuretic, meaning it dehydrates you quite considerably, and as over 50% of the human body consists of water, dehydration is not good, so sweating is the last thing your body wants.
Gentle exercise, such a walk if fresh air, is more helpful. You want to keep that heart rate running on gentle. But before that, drink lots of fluids, eat some fresh fruit. And you will be pleased to know that coffee dehydrates you is a myth. Yes, it is a mild diuretic but the fluid in the coffee counteracts that comfortably.
The best way to alleviate a hangover is not have one at all (but is that realistic?). Eat well and wash your food down with a glass of full fat milk. The milk will line your stomach and absorb some of the alcohol.
In between every alcoholic drink, take a ten-minute break. Drink at your own pace, not at the pace of those around you.
Nibble on peanuts throughout the evening. They are full of magnesium and protein, both which diminish when drinking alcohol. And drink water. At any opportunity.
Once the game is over, you will be either elated or crushed. Both excuses for another drink or two. Then chucked out of the pub, you will be hungry. Fatty food is good to prevent a hangover, right? Fried chicken, Kebab, Pizza, a Burger. It is what your body feels it needs. But it is tricking you. Alcohol intake encourages the brain to release galanin, the neurochemical that promotes a need for fatty foods. But it could make your hangover worse.
Instead, go home, have some lightly buttered toast and drink a pint, ideally two, of water
When you wake you may still have the effects of dehydration, so a large glass of orange juice, or any drink high in Vitamin C will help.
Go for that walk before lunch and by the time you are back, you will be feeling good as new and looking forward to lunch, after which you will be ready for me to put you through the workout of your life the following day.
So come on England, make our nation proud, and let those lions ROAR – just not too loudly, please.