Are you an avid gymmer? Here’s how to avoid a fitness hangover

A ‘fitness hangover’ isn’t just muscle soreness but complete exhaustion, nausea and even anxiety

man doing workout in gym

At best a hangover can leave us feeling a little rough, at worst they can leave us feeling like the cold chill of the bathroom floor is all we have left to live for, but whatever stage our hangover’s at, we all accept that it’s our own fault.

But what happens when your hangover isn’t caused by your decision to have a sixth drink, absolutely necessary, pint at Wednesday night’s work drinks but, instead, is caused by your fitness habit?

According to a recent American study, 25% of fitness loves have actually missed work because they felt so rough the day after a workout. 55% have suffered a workout hangover that’s so bad it caused them to stay inside all day.

This is not the endorphin buzz that we were promised. The fitness hangover isn’t just muscle soreness – it’s more than that. It genuinely feels like a hangover. You can be exhausted, nauseous, even anxious – and it’s putting a real dent in our fitness regimes.

My Medical Mantra spoke to a few health experts to know about this health phenomenon.

A gym trainer from Sai M Fitness informed, “A few people can experience a ‘fitness hangover’ after a strenuous workout. The primary cause for this is that they have not worked out in a proper and efficient manner or they have worked out excessively and pushed themselves beyond a limit. This can result in pulled muscles and knee strain.”

He added, “Apart from this, many people avoid working out altogether. This can also cause problems.”

You’re best bet then is to make sure you’re paying proper care and attention to your rest and recovery.

While Dr Revat Kaninde stated, “A ‘fitness hangover’ can be a result of excessive exercise. Excessive exercise is not good for the body, it can result in body pain the next day. We have to examine our fitness capacity and choose types of workouts which we can handle. Begin exercise slowly, make sure that you warm up properly. Stay hydrated. Consult an expert on the type of diet you should follow while you are gymming.”

How to prevent a fitness hangover

Avoid excessively rich food before working out. Instead, eat a meal consisting mostly of carbohydrates and protein, two-three hours before starting.

You can also eat a small carbohydrate snack 30-60 minutes before-hand.

Don’t drink fizzy drinks, which could cause bloating and heartburn. Make sure you warm up gradually when exercising and also avoid stopping too abruptly.

The more regularly you exercise, the better you will be able to cope, so build up the intensity of your regime gradually, allowing your fitness to improve before pushing yourself too hard.

Don’t exercise at all if you’re already feeling unwell or fighting off a virus. Exercise diverts resources away from your immune system, so forcing yourself to exercise under these circumstances could make you ill.

With inputs from