The University of Toronto’s Student Newspaper Since 1880

Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on email

How to get the hang of a hangover

Best ways to recover based on your drink of choice
Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on email
ISABELLA TAN/THE VARSITY
ISABELLA TAN/THE VARSITY

Although your nights at outdoor patios are over in light of Toronto’s newest lockdown measures, parties with your roommates in the exclusivity and privacy of your own home are still on. Hangovers are just as bad from a night in as a night out, and the day after is always a doozy. 

Want to know how to feel your best the next day? Here are some workouts or recovery methods to help you feel your best the next morning, based on how you chose to indulge the night before. 

Too many beers?

Beer is low in alcohol content but can be high in carbohydrates and calories. For the day after a lot of beers, I would recommend a more intense, cardio-centric workout. Most often, the stuff in alcohol that is the culprit for a rough morning after are congeners, which are the byproducts of fermentation besides ethanol. These complex organic molecules are responsible for tannins, for example, but also for your hangover.

Because beer fermentation does not produce a lot of congeners, you should take advantage of your more mild hangover the next day by pushing yourself! 

Too many mixed drinks?

Some mixed drinks don’t have as many carbohydrates as non-light varieties of beer, but they have even more sugar. This means that a splitting headache is coming your way. Sugar does not spike blood alcohol level, but just in the same way that eating a whole cake would upset your stomach, drinking equally sugary drinks may do the same. 

If your stomach is feeling queasy after a night of margaritas, maybe consider being gentle with yourself the next day. Low intensity yoga could prevent too much nauseating jostling and help you to get back in tune with your body after sending it through the ringer. 

Too many shots?

Shots, being hard alcohol, are low in sugars and starches but high in alcohol percentage, so you’re likely to experience a stronger hangover after a night of too many shots. Poorly distilled alcohols are especially good at giving you a hangover because they have a higher amount of congeners.

If you want to get back on your feet and feel strong again, I would recommend a longer, lower intensity workout. More reps, less weight, or more time on the treadmill at lower speeds will help you get back into your workout routine without too much strain. 

A common myth about hangovers is that they can be sweat out: in fact, if you really over-indulged, sweating it out could make the hangover worse. Getting back on the health horse is admirable after a wild night out, but at the end of the day, don’t push yourself if you’re hungover. Chances are your symptoms will pass in a few hours, and you’ll be able to finish your regular workout with less of a struggle.