We have all been there, heading down to the pub after works for happy hour in order to have a drink or two and unwind. Before you know it you have had a few too many and you are waking up the next day dehydrated and a killer headache. Should you still head out for your run or should you stay indoors and take some painkiller tablets?
According to Dr. Robert Ziltzer, you should go ahead with your run and there is no reason not to.
You can’t expect to be at your physical peak so don’t expect to be running any PRs, the effects of alcohol will still be in your system and it will slow you down. It has been shown the consuming five or more alcoholic beverages in one night can affect your body and mind for up to three days afterwards. This is going to depend quite a bit on your own individual tolerances but you get the idea.
Other studies have shown that consuming large amounts of alcohol has the ability to reduce your performance by up to 11.4%.
A solid running session where you sweat could be the best thing for getting over that hangover. Having the blood pumping through your system could help remove the toxins from your body faster. Before you do so it is important to make sure that you are sufficiently hydrated. If you attempt to run before you have sufficiently replenished your electrolytes which are sapped by alcohol could just end up making you feel even worse than before.
A great alternative to water in this situation is a sports drink or coconut water. They are both excellent ways to replenish lost electrolytes. Make sure your urine is clear or a light yellow color before starting your run. This will ensure you are adequately hydrated.
Getting in a solid breakfast can do a whole world of good and can make you feel a lot better. You can try some fruit, oatmeal and other healthy type foods to provide long lasting energy. It may not be advisable to drink coffee due to caffeine’s dehydrating effects. Whilst a fry up does taste good it doesn’t cure your hangover so if you eat one do so because you want to and not because of a myth.
Whilst we have already established it’s ok to go for a run it doesn’t mean it’s the right time to be pushing yourself hard. We already know that we are not in the best of shape and our performance will suffer so trying to push yourself harder may make your hangover even worse. This is a time for an easier, slower paced run. If you did have a hard paced run planned originally you are just going to have to reschedule it for next time.