Booze Myths Uncovered, No.4: Sweating out a hangover
JOE is here again to debunk yet another booze myth. If you think you can overcome a hangover by working up a good sweat... think again.
Did you know that your body can’t store alcohol? No, you probably didn’t and that’s why you’re here. Well, as we were saying, your body can’t store alcohol like it does vital vitamins (and don’t call alcohol a vital vitamin), so it has to get rid of it no matter what.
Roughly 90 per cent of the alcohol found in your system eventually makes its way down to your liver where it is then broken up into water and other by-products. So your liver ends up being overworked, which could seriously affect your health down the line.
Okay, so you might be thinking: “What happens to the other 10 per cent of alcohol that isn’t broken down by the liver?” Well around 5-10 per cent of the alcohol not metabolised by the overworked liver escapes through your urine, breath and sweat. (That's only 5-10 per cent, mind, so that should put what you're asking of your liver into some perspective.)
Now, to get to the popular belief: sweating out a hangover. It's as old as the hills and Methuselah put together - but it doesn't work.
Don’t go thinking that you can wrap up in a rake of layers and jog a mile to sweat out your hangover. The tiny bit of alcohol that escapes through your urine, breath and sweat will do little more than make you smell like the morning after a night before – we all know that distinct stale stench... some of us too well.
So here’s a handy hint from the good people over at drinkaware.ie: Rehydrating yourself with plenty of water and some mild exercise can help ease the morning after effects.
But don't overdo it, as a sweaty work out will make you feel ten times worse than you already do. Think of a short walk down to the shops as opposed to a trek through the Wicklow mountains.
So gentlemen, hydration before works much better than perspiration after. After all, prevention is better than cure...
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