With life finally returning to normal in most countries, it's almost inevitable that you will be invited to parties and get-togethers with friends and colleagues. And let's face it, you will have at least one or two (many) drinks on these occasions, which might not put you in the best position to work out the day after. If you don't want to write off a day just because you're hanging, try this quick home workout and get back on track instantly.
This hangover workout has been designed by Alex Crockford (opens in new tab), fitness model and trainer at bulk (opens in new tab), in a way that avoids too much jumping or bouncing around; better not push that head or stomach too much. Even better, all exercises included in this hangover cure workout can be done at home or in the gym, with or without weights. Hence why we think it's the best hangover workout.
Sure, you can try and do the best full-body workout or the best push-pull-leg workout when you're head is as heavy as a ball of concrete, but let's face it, it's not going to be a productive workout. Not to mention, it will require you to use gym machines, barbells, weight plates and the likes: not a great idea.
As well as providing you with a workout, the lovely peeps over at bulk also put together a little guide on what to eat and drink when you're dehydrated after a night of partying.
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How to perform the best hangover workout
The workout is broken into two circuits: a strength-based section to work the whole body and keep muscles strong and active, and a cardio-based section to increase the blood flow across the whole body and get a good sweat going. This releases toxins and distributes oxygen and nutrients across the body to speed up the hangover recovery period.
There are ways to perform a full-body exercise without too much up and down motion and without jumping. For example, the “squat down reach up” is a great full-body exercise that could replicate what a squat jump or burpee could do on a non-hungover day.
The cardio section is all about just getting moving comfortably. You’ll feel so much better for it!
The best hangover workout: warm-up
Do each exercise for 30 seconds. Don't forget; your body is probably still sore and tender, don't push it too hard initially. Easing yourself into the workout will ensure you can actually complete the workout and not give up halfway through. The warm-up exercises:
- Exercise 1 – Arm circles
- Exercise 2 – Downward dog walk
- Exercise 3 – Squats
- Exercise 4 – Backroll
- Exercise 5 – Plank
Don't rest between the warm-up exercises; it's all about smooth transitions. No need to rush, though: as long as you're not lying on the floor for five minutes between two exercises, you should be fine.
The best hangover workout: 10-minute strength circuit
The strength circuit consists of four moves done on a 40-second on, 20-second off basis. You'll need to repeat the 4-exercise circuit three times, resting for 60 seconds in between circuits. If you want to use weights, we recommend using dumbbells or kettlebells.
- Move 1 - Push-up
- Move 2 - Bent over row (8-12kg each arm)
- Move 3 - Shoulder press (8-12kg each arm)
- Move 4 - Alternate lunge (optional weight 8-12kg)
Needless to say, there is no point in trying to beat your previous PB in any of these strength exercises when you can't even stand straight properly. focus on form and don't worry about using lighter than usual weights. Remember: any exercise you do is more than not working out.
The best hangover workout: 10-minute aerobic circuit
Now that your body is ripe and ready, it's time to turn up the heat! Similarly to the strength circuit, the cardio circuit is done on a 40-second on, 20-second off basis, but instead of four exercises, this one has five. You'll need to repeat the 5-exercise circuit twice, resting for 60 seconds in between circuits.
- Move 1 – Squat reach down & up
- Move 2 – Running punches
- Move 3 – Mountain climber
- Move 4 – Ice skater
- Move 5 – Side shuffle
Play around with the intensity and chose a pace you can keep for 40 seconds each time. If the bobbing bothers you when doing mountain climbers, tone the frequency down to a more manageable level.
The best hangover workout: what to eat, drink and supplement with
The hangover is not a nice state to be in. Your head is throbbing, your skin is tender, your body is dehydrated, and your thoughts are hazy. Exercising will surely make you feel better, but as well as moving around, you also need to make sure you feed your metabolic system correctly so it can recover from the bender the night before.
Here, bulk’s expert nutritionist, Simon Jurkiw, shares his best tips on foods, drinks and supplements, which can help ease some of the most common hangover symptoms. We worked with Simon before on articles such as the keto diet explainer and another about lockdown weight loss, so we know he is an expert on anything and everything nutrition.
It's all about the holy trinity of hangover workouts: micronutrients, rehydration and relaxation.
"Taking multivitamin tablets with a nourishing breakfast can help replace those vitamins which are depleted through excessive alcohol consumption", says Simon, "Several vitamins, including vitamin C and E, help protect the body's cells against oxidative stress and damage."
Simon recommends giving coconut water a try: "Coconut Water (opens in new tab) is a natural source of key vitamins and minerals – rich in potassium, magnesium, vitamin C and electrolytes, it’s an excellent way to replenish those micronutrients lost to alcohol."
Alcohol is a diuretic, meaning people will lose water (through urination) when they drink some. This, in turn, leads to dehydration, one of the main causes of those dreaded hangover symptoms.
"Drinking water both during and after consuming alcohol will help prevent you from becoming as dehydrated", Simon explains, "Adding bulk Electrolyte Powder (opens in new tab) to water can help maintain optimum hydration levels and replenish electrolytes lost to alcohol."
Finally, let's not forget about resting. "Rest and recovery are essential after a late night of drinking – tiredness being a major contributor to hangover symptoms", says Simon, "Taking the time to catch up on sleep or even just making sure you build in time to relax will help fight tiredness."