T Nation

Working Out with a Hangover


Do guys even bother working out when you have a bad hangover? I wonder if its better to push through it or just take the day off and let the body recover. It doesn't happen very often but but sometimes the night just gets out of control.


Sometimes if it isn't too terrible, you can try to eat up, take an afternoon nap, let the body recover, and still get a productive workout later in the evening. It also depends when you did your last workout. Was it the day of binging or the day before? And the severity of the hangover matters quite a bit. All depends on the situation.
Just try your best not to let nights get out of control. Think about all that work you did previously that past day(s), and your diet for not when you are tempted to drink just one more.


I worked out yesterday and drank last night. So I pushed myself and just came back from the gym. 185 felt like 225. I was weaker and less focused on my lifts. I think next time I'll just take the day off. I'm sore but still don't feel like I had a productive workout.


Yeah, I normally take the day off myself if I drink too much.


I am not sure about the physical effects of working out with a hangover, but personally, I suffer through the session should I go overboard the night before. Same intensity.

This keeps me in check when the next night of drinking arises. Well... sometimes.

No excuses, right?

Decisions I make that end up with me missing a scheduled day in the gym are bad decisions. I like to think the occasional schlockering is good for you, but it just can't interfere with physical goals. I'd rather plan these nights on the eve of an off-day.


What I have found is that I am still able to workout however for example when trying to squat say 120kg which I can do pretty easily normally felt like someone was sitting on the bar as well. In these circumstances I tend to hit it with volume so instead of super heavy 3x5x135 (2025) maybe I do 3x5x120 then maybe 2x8x100(3400) then grind it out. I use that rule if ever I am tired or my legs refuse to lift. Although I do not get the effects so much with my chest, might be because of all the dancing that goes with drunkenness.


I find it's better to just do it. My lifts are never as heavy, but I always feel much much much better afterward. The only downside is that I end up sweating that whiskey stench out of my pores and the entire gym clears out because I smell so bad.

Pre-workout nutrition: pepto bismol.

Of course, not drinking one's ass off in the first place is ideal.


I had set my program up for a while to have an arm day on saturday. that way if i'm hung over from friday night my squat or deadlift training doesnt suffer. Also arm days are less nuerologically draining.


if you want to take this seriously getting piss drunk isnt a smart move to begin with. you need to control you alcohol intake. i think a lot of the alcohol stuff on this board is overblown but everything with in moderation is what i say.

you drink 5 nights a week and have a hangover on 2 of em then you aint gonna do shit in the weightroom. learn to handle your shit.


Hydration is key. I think that accounts for a lot of the performance hit. Hammer the water all day until you're pissing clear at least twice.


For me, back or legs are completely out of the question with a hangover. Just the thought of that makes me want to puke.

When I was in college I worked out with a hangover more times than I could count and still made progress. I had days where I sweated out so much bourbon that my buddies could smell beam from across the room.

There's no doubt I could have made more progress if I had lived sober, but wheres the fun in that? Since I graduated I rarely slam booze and have made the best gains since i started lifting, so there is absolutely a correlation between alcohol consumption and gains.

To answer your question, I think its better to plow through the workout than take the day off when your hungover. Completing a workout when training is the absolute last thing that you want to do is what separates us from everyone else.

Physically, the hungover workout is most likely not as effective as a normal workout, but the mental achievement and pride that comes with remaining dedicated and working towards your goals no matter the cost is more beneficial than taking the day off to lick your wounds.


I workout saturday mornings and almost always have a hangover of varying degrees.

I find that for me, the gym is the best thing for it.

I have a coffee and a bagel about an hour before, then sip a full serving of Surge throughout and by the end I'm right as rain.


I almost never do it if I can avoid it. I purposefully plan my weekend workouts so i'm not doing it the day after I know i'll be drinking heavily. My gym closes early on weekends so I generally don't have the ability to recover all day and hit the weights at night.

That being said, lifting while being hungover is probably better than not lifting at all (unless you're so hungover you're gonna hurt yourself). It'd probably be best to stick to things like arms, shoulders, and chest because those tend to require less energy (at least for me).


CARDIO CARDIO CARDIO. Even if it's 10-15 minutes; I'm telling you... it works! Just get on a piece of cardio equipment and use that to flush out some toxins. It has helped me.


irellevant but awesome



All your asking is should you workout in a highly mentally fatigued and dehydrated stated.

And the answer is NO absolutely not.



When I used to encounter this problem, Id did heavily insulated, weighted cardio for an hour or more. I never touched a weight! It worked for me. I felt almost normal after it.


I would suggest just skipping or limiting the weights and hitting the cardio harder than usual with insulation to increase sweating. Also add in a lot of water. I base that on work experience more than working out. My job is very physical and what I found through boss punishment for being hungover...is the cardio will work out the chemicals causing the hang over very fast.

Past bosses would always pushed me harder hungover and mysteriously the hangover would be gone in about an hour..it always worked and when I have employees who are hung over...I push them and they report the same results. From there I would hit the weights focusing on smaller muscle groups. The end ideal is that you don't drink so much that a hang over is the end result, but sometimes stuff happens.