Welcome to the fitness hangover – similar to a normal hangover you could feel tired, anxious and even feel sick the next morning, but without the fun memories from the night before. A recent American study shows that over half (55 percent) of gym goers have suffered from a fitness hangover – so bad that it has made us not want to even venture outside.

According to a doctor it happens because glucose levels are used up when exercising, while salt it also lost via sweating. Rest and fluids, along with a good diet, before and after a workout, are good way to avoid the ‘hangover’.

Why It Always Happen.

With up up to a quarter (25 per cent) actually missing work due to a fitness hangover Dr. Clare Morrison, GP and medical advisor at Medexpress reveals why we may get them.

She told the Metro: ‘Firstly, strenuous exercise causes blood to be diverted away from the digestive system, to the muscles, heart and lungs. If you eat a rich meal shortly before exercise, it won’t be digested properly, potentially causing nausea, vomiting and diarrhoea.

‘In addition, exercise uses up glucose, and glycogen stores, leading to nausea, headaches and shakiness.’ She also went on to reveal that fluid and salt is lost via sweat – so its not uncommon to feel a little faint, especially if you’ve really hit the gym hard.

How Avoid hangover.

Sore muscles are common after a workout, especially if you have over trained, but you don’t necessarily have to be left wobbling around the next day, Bupa Health advisor Jake Williams, told Red online.

Most of us avoid a warm up, but he said making sure you warm up for a few minutes, and a low intensity cardio cool down, is the key to decreased muscle soreness the next day.

To avoid feeling sick after a workout he said: ‘As a rule, aim for a light meal or snack before working out, and try and give it between one and three hours to let your food digest. ‘Eating a sensible amount and giving yourself enough time before working out will help prevent nausea.’

Jake revealed that hydration and replacing salts is key to not feeling ‘hungover’ the next day: ‘Just like a real hangover, a workout hangover will require plenty of rest and fluids to help you recover.  He also said that alcohol should be avoided as it will strip your salt levels further and dehydrate you.

Types Of Foods To Eat Before And After Workout.

Before: Complex carbs like oats, wholegrain bread or pasta, and lean proteins like white fish, chicken or Greek yogurt – but around three hours before your workout

After: Protein such as chicken salads, good fats including nuts and avocados, and good carbs will also help to replace your body’s glycogen levels.


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