What to Expect When You’re Going to the Gym with a Hangover

What happens when your fitness goals and social life collide? Well, sometimes the answer is a hangover at the gym.

We’ve all been there, and it’s never fun.

But if this is your first time around this particular block, you may not know what to expect. Well, don’t worry. We’ve got you covered.

In this post, we’re going to cover exactly what to expect when you’re going to the gym with a hangover.


Let’s get started with the elephant in the room: Dehydration. If you drank enough to feel bad the next day, you’re going to be dehydrated. Drinking water can help, but we’re talking about a deep level of dehydration that’s going to take more than a few chugs to correct.

So you can expect that your body won’t function was well as it does normally because your muscles aren’t well-hydrated. And when you’re working out dehydrated, you’re more likely to experience sprains and strains. So be sure to take it easy if you do work out with a hangover and try out some hydrating foods to help you recovery quicker.


If you’re planning a cardio day with a hangover, you may want to think again. You’re not going to have the endurance you normally would, and this happens for a few reasons. First, you’re probably going to be dealing with some level of headache and/or nausea. And all the jostling from running or cycling isn’t going to sit well with your body. Second, your dehydrated muscles simply won’t take you as far as they would if they were fully charged.

Aches and pains

Hangovers have a way of making everything worse. If you already have aches and pains, they’re going to feel worse when you work out with a hangover. And since you’re already popping Advil for that throbbing headache, you may run the risk of overdoing it.

If you find yourself in this position often, it’s definitely better to skip the gym when you have a hangover. Otherwise, you run the risk of developing a painkiller addiction. When you have aches and pains already, be sure you’re working out in optimal condition.

Stretch and hydrate

If you insist on attempting your regular workout, be sure to put in some extra stretches before and after. Stretching can help reduce your risk of straining your muscles, which is extremely important when you’re dehydrated.

Pay attention to what your body is telling you, and if you’re struggling to get through stretch, it may be a good idea to stop there. It’s better to be cautious than to get injured because an injury will prevent you from working out in the future.

Workout of choice

If you do feel the need to work out with a mild hangover, consider a mild exercise like yoga, barre or low-intensity aerobics. Your workout will still be compromised, but if you can get through it and stay as hydrated as possible, it may be better than skipping the workout altogether.

The important part of going to the gym with a hangover is to pay attention to your body. This isn’t a time to push yourself to your limits. It’s a time to take it easy and pay attention to the cues your body is giving you. Remember that you’ll be more prone to strains and sprains when you’re dehydrated, so don’t plan anything too strenuous. Keep it short and easy.