Does Running Help Hangovers

As a dedicated runner and someone who has experienced their fair share of hangovers, I’ve often wondered if going for a run can actually help alleviate the dreaded symptoms of a hangover. It’s a common belief that exercising, including running, can help sweat out the toxins and make you feel better. But is there any scientific evidence to support this belief?

The Science Behind Hangovers and Exercise

When we consume alcohol, our bodies metabolize it into acetaldehyde, a toxic compound that contributes to the unpleasant symptoms of a hangover. Dehydration and electrolyte imbalances also play a role in how we feel the morning after drinking. On the other hand, exercise, such as running, can increase circulation, promote sweating, and release endorphins – all of which have the potential to make us feel better.

However, it’s essential to understand that while exercise may help alleviate certain symptoms, it does not speed up the process of metabolizing alcohol or eliminate it from your system any faster. Only time can do that.

My Personal Experience

On several occasions, I’ve laced up my running shoes and hit the pavement after a night of indulgence. Surprisingly, I’ve found that going for a run can indeed provide some relief. The fresh air, increased heart rate, and the distraction from focusing on my discomfort have all contributed to a feeling of improvement. Additionally, the post-run endorphin rush has often left me feeling more positive and energized, despite the lingering effects of the hangover.

Expert Opinions

According to experts, light to moderate exercise can help increase metabolism, promote better circulation, and release feel-good hormones. However, intense exercise may not be advisable as it can further dehydrate the body and add stress to an already taxed system.


While the idea of running to cure a hangover may not be backed by concrete scientific evidence, there is anecdotal support and a plausible physiological basis for why it might help. In my personal experience, I have found that a light run can indeed provide some relief from the symptoms of a hangover. However, it’s crucial to listen to your body and not push yourself too hard, especially when you’re already feeling depleted. Ultimately, the best way to deal with a hangover is prevention – moderation in drinking and staying adequately hydrated. And if you do choose to exercise, including running, do so sensibly and in consideration of your body’s condition.