What Is A Fitness Hangover And How Can You Cure It?

When you think of a hangover, your favorite cocktails may come to mind, or the last time you went for drinks with friends. A hangover is often defined as a set of uncomfortable symptoms that occur after one too many alcoholic beverages. As many of us have learned, the more drinks you have, the more likely you are to experience a hangover the next morning. The excessive sweating, constant dry mouth, nausea, and shakes are hardly in our thoughts as we clink our glasses in cheer the day before. Alas, the dreaded hangover can happen to the best of us.

As often as we associate the uncomfortable slew of hangover symptoms with alcohol, it may be surprising to know that you can also achieve this agonizing combo through exercise. That's right — the fitness hangover is real. That being said, here's how you can avoid it and relieve its symptoms if you happen to develop one.

Some people miss work due to a fitness hangover

If you've ever worked out so hard that the common post-training feel-good endorphins never arrive, you're not the only one. In fact, 29% of Americans have missed work the next day because they felt so bad after a workout. Furthermore, 55% of exhausted individuals have locked themselves indoors in an effort to recover from a fitness hangover. "If I over-exercise or workout when mentally I'm not feeling it, I find myself exhausted the next day. I often feel mentally drained as a result," junior doctor Aishah Muhammad told Metro UK.

Before you reenact your traditional hangover cures of indulging in fried food or "the hair of the dog," there are better ways to help cure the fitness version. Static stretching, taking a relaxing bath, or treating yourself to a massage after a particularly strenuous workout can potentially help. To avoid returning to the dark physical and mental space of a hangover, be mindful of how hard to push yourself in future workouts. Make sure you stretch and eat soon after training to refuel your depleted energy and sore muscles. 

Let's hold our glasses — or kettlebells — high to this new information. Hopefully, future sweat sessions won't leave you seeking refuge.