The Hangover and Fitness

December 21, 2020

Some may assume that the ultra-fit completely abstain from alcohol, and frown upon a glass of red or pint of beer that many of us have come to enjoy – but that is simply not the case!

Yes, when the time comes for competition, a photo shoot or impending aesthetic goal that needs to be reached, one may refrain from alcohol for a few weeks or even months. However once this is complete, they too like to celebrate and enjoy an alcoholic drink. Championship wins create parties, and let’s be honest - water will not be the only drink served!

That being said, the one universal feeling amongst us all, whether ultra-fit or not is the complete dislike of the dreaded hangover.

The pounding headache, lack of energy, dry mouth, dehydration levels off the charts, and numerous other attractive symptoms – it is not uncommon to wish the night before had never happened…

…But that hasn’t stopped the majority enjoying one too many alcoholic beverages. So, the question is how do we reduce and or (in some cases) eliminate that hangover with all its ‘glamourous’ effects?

What we know


One of the biggest, if not the biggest factor when we it comes to a hangover is dehydration.

What you can do:

1. Try to increase your water intake before you start drinking

2. Drink water between alcoholic beverages – usually not considered, however can play a vital role in combating dehydration.

3. A large quantity of water before bed has got to be one the more effective methods in combating dehydration.

4. Hydration salts such as Dioralyte can help restore fluids and body salts quicker than water alone. It could be beneficial to add this to your water before bed.

Vitamin B + C

Next on the list of hangover contributors is a deficiency in vitamins B1 and B6 resulting in that pounding headache.

Ensure you get a good source of these vitamins from the likes of eggs, fruits, and potatoes. The late-night fast food gorge is not sufficient.

You should also consider increasing your vitamin C, a glass of orange juice should suffice. The anti-inflammatory properties of vitamin C will help with those trembles.


It goes without saying, coffee is a popular choice to help with mental alertness, whether hungover or not.

I would not suggest a cup before bed, your body will be desperate need of sleep. However, a cup of coffee in the morning can temporarily subside the overwhelming feeling to sit still and / or sleep, helping jump start your day.


It is quite natural for some to reach for pharmaceutical help in the form of painkillers when nursing a hangover. Now, there is nothing wrong with the likes of Nuerofen to help with the symptoms as it helps alleviate your pain. However, it would never be my first choice.

Let’s Recap

So, we now know that there is no one magical cure for a hangover, and the best remedy is not to overindulge in the first place. However, there are ways to help you reduce and handle your symptoms:

1. Hydration – keep up your water intake.

2. Vitamins – B and C (often not thought about).

3. Coffee – for that morning boost.

4. Sleep – get as much as you can.

5. Painkillers – not recommended but has the undeniable ability to alleviate pain.

Lastly, I would like to say that the reason your body reacts in this way is because it must metabolise the ethanol in all that alcohol which you consumed.

I would advise you drink alcohol in moderation, with a well hydrated body and a full stomach.