Sorry But Sweating Out a Hangover Doesn’t Really Work

After a boozy night, many will attempt to remedy their hangovers with a sweat sesh.

Sweating out the alcohol and toxins consumed the night before seems like a great idea, and in theory, helps move your dreadful hangover along its course. Unfortunately, this isn’t really the case. In fact, working out while hungover is actually counter-productive.

“Sweat is not a vehicle by which toxins leave the body. This is the liver’s job,” Dr Sunitha D. Posina, M.D. told Bustle, adding: “It is your liver that is doing the heavy lifting to detoxify your system.”

While exercise will make you feel better thanks to the boost of endorphins, this is a short-lived approach and doesn’t fix a hangover. According to Dr Posina, staying hydrated, eating something nourishing and resting is the best hangover fix as your liver needs to do the rest.

“Almost all the alcohol that you consume will be metabolised and absorbed mainly by the liver, but the brain, stomach, and pancreas also metabolise some of it,” Dr Posina said. “The alcohol that remains, which is between 2 and 10%, is discharged from the body by sweating, urinating, vomiting, or bowel movement.”

So, while it might smell like you’re sweating out last night’s wine, beer or gin, it’s actually the byproducts of the alcohol that is being processed by your body and according to Bustle, is evidence your system is working hard internally.

Instead of putting your body through a punishing workout as it attempts to process last night’s drinks, increase your water intake and simply rest. Oh, and skip the sauna session too — it won’t help “detox” your hangover.

“Hangovers really come down to dehydration, so sweating or making yourself sweat with physical activity or layers of clothes is not going to help you get over the effects of the alcohol,” Dr Posina said.

In fact, working out while severely dehydrated, which you often are after drinking copious amounts of alcohol, can be dangerous for your health in general.

“Exercising while being severely dehydrated can cause an increase in heart rate (tachycardia) which can impair blood flow to the rest of the body, resulting in mental and muscular fatigue,” trainer and nurse Kristi Nickless, R.N. told Bustle.

If you do want to experience a little endorphin high without putting your body through a brutal workout, opt for a gentle yoga practice or simply head out for a walk to get your body moving, all while prioritising your water intake.

Read more stories from The Latch and follow us on Facebook.