That 7am box­ing class seemed like a great idea, be­fore last night hap­pened. So, what’s re­ally go­ing on when you fol­low a gin with the gym?

Women's Health (UK) - - CONTENTS -

...you do HIIT on a hang­over


Feel­ing drowsy? That’ll teach you. Even if your car­riage (read: Uber) de­liv­ered you to your bed be­fore mid­night, your sleep qual­ity will have suf­fered. A study pub­lished in JMIR Men­tal

Health found that even a ses­sion of mod­er­ate drink­ing low­ers restora­tive sleep qual­ity. ‘Work­ing out when tired can in­crease your risk of in­jury – ham­string in­juries of­ten oc­cur when a tired per­son tries to sprint,’ says Dr Leon Cre­aney, con­sul­tant in sport and ex­er­cise medicine at the Manch­ester In­sti­tute of Health & Per­for­mance. ‘Fa­tigued mus­cles can’t re­act as quickly ei­ther, so your co­or­di­na­tion and agility are com­pro­mised, too.’ So, be sure to watch your step on the tread­mill.


As in the day after

Wine Wed­nes­day. In fact, for ev­ery 1ml of al­co­hol drunk, urine ex­cre­tion in­creases by 8ml*, so, un­less you were reach­ing for H2O as of­ten as you were your debit card, you’ll be de­hy­drated be­fore you’ve even thought about get­ting a sweat on. ‘While mod­er­ate de­hy­dra­tion hasn’t been found to im­pair per­for­mance dur­ing ex­er­cise, se­vere de­hy­dra­tion has been linked with poor con­cen­tra­tion and fa­tigue, which can lead to cramps, strains and in­jury,’ says Dr Cre­aney. Drink up.


It’s a real thing. Around 10% of the al­co­hol that isn’t metabolised is ex­pelled via sweat, urine and your breath. But don’t rely on it. ‘De­hy­drated kid­neys work ex­tra hard to pre­serve wa­ter – and your body will re­duce the amount you sweat to aid this,’ says Dr Cre­aney. So go too hard in the gym and you risk be­com­ing even more de­hy­drated.


Your goals last night in­cluded the Golden Arches, but if you’re in the mar­ket for mus­cle the next day, take note. ‘Mus­cle de­vel­op­ment is di­rectly im­pacted by al­co­hol, and fast-twitch mus­cle fi­bres – most re­spon­sive to re­sis­tance train­ing – are es­pe­cially af­fected,’ warns Vir­gin Ac­tive PT Ja­son Jack­son. ‘Fat-burn­ing takes a dive, too. Drink­ing just two units of al­co­hol sup­presses it by 73% for sev­eral hours.’


Nope, not a dance move, but a re­ac­tion to low blood-sugar lev­els. ‘Al­co­hol in­ter­feres with the liver’s abil­ity to keep blood-sugar lev­els steady,’ says Jack­son. Bal­ance your blood sugar by eat­ing a piece of fruit 30 min­utes be­fore you work out. Feel­ing sick?

Opt for a low-im­pact class and drink some hot wa­ter with 3g grated gin­ger root be­fore­hand, which has been found to re­duce nau­sea symp­toms*.

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