I’m sure we’ve all had our nights where we had one too many drinks and maybe even attempted a midnight run through the streets. For some reason any time I took that dash it felt like I could run forever however there is also a lot of other things I thought I could do while under the influence. They didn’t work out well….
So while you might think you can run better while buzzed or drunk what does the science say? Let’s take a look…
Can You Run While Buzzed?
In short, yes however it may not be the best idea. Alcohol dehydrates the body which could potentially lead to injury and slower recovery times if you do not hydrate correctly. Although if performance was your worry, a paper was published in the Journal of Cardiovascular medicine which found that performance was only slightly hindered by drinking alcohol. The participants took three shots of whiskey before a treadmill session which pushed them to their max heart rate. After they had recovered they then did the same treadmill session with no alcohol. Any difference in their performance was so minimal it was discarded.
If you have only had one or two drinks as a man or one drink as a woman then you should be okay to run two hours from drinking. If you can you should wait as long as possible.
The Effects Of Alcohol On Your Body While Running
While you can run after drinking the alcohol will have a negative effect on your body. Things such as a slowed reaction time, se-hydration and impaired judgement can make it dangerous for you to be out on the roads. Below is a list of some of the negative side effects alcohol cause on the body.
- Poor co-ordination
- Impaired Judgement
- Faster Heart Rate
- Slower Reaction Times
How To Be Safe If You Plan On Running After Drinking
While there really is no reason to drink before running, if you do find yourself in the situation where you have to there is some safety precautions you should take on board.
- Wear a reflective vest
- Carry a cell phone or pepper spray
- Run in well-lit areas and avoid running alone at night
- Stay hydrated by drinking water before, during, and after the run
- If you plan on running with alcohol, drink no more than one glass of wine an hour for women and two glasses for men to prevent intoxication from happening too quickly
- Stop running if you feel dizzy or lightheaded – these are signs that your blood sugar is low due to dehydration
Should You Run With A Hangover?
Some people tend to think there’s no better way to “Sweat out” hangover than getting out for a good run, I’m not one of them people. The saying “sweating out a hangover” is actually counter intuitive as being hungover is partially caused by being de-hydrated. Running only causes you to sweat more and get even more de-hydrated.
Running with a hangover puts you at “higher risk of Muscle strains, cramps, muscle pulls, and electrolyte imbalances” – says Damion Martins, M.D., a sports medicine physician and the Director of Executive Health, Orthopedics and Sports Medicine at Atlantic Health System in New Jersey
If you’re still not put off your morning hangover run then here’s a few tips that will help make your run more safe:
Drink Less The Night Before
This one is obvious. If you want to be less hungover in the morning drink less alcohol the night before. The less you drink the less de-hydrated you will be the next day. Drinks like white wine and clear spirits contain less contaminants and are therefore less likely to cause a hangover however anything excessive will put you into a morning of hell.
Stay Hydrated During & After Drinking
I have personally found that I feel much better if I drink a pint of water for every pint of beer I drink throughout the night helping me stay hydrated. If you do this and drink a couple of pints of water before going to bed you should feel much better than if you hadn’t the next morning. I also like to wake up at least an hour before running and drink a glass of water before going back to sleep for another hour. This seems to help when I wake up a second time. If you can get on board an electrolyte drink such as Gatorade or Lucozade sport this can help your body stock up on electrolytes.
- Helps to replace lost electrolytes
- No sugar while continuing to hydrate you
- 12 Fl Oz
- Pack Of 24
I think we have came to the conclusion that it’s probably not a great idea to be drinking just before a run or to even run with a hangover. However if you decide it’s something you must do then hopefully this article has gave you a few tips to keep you as safe as possible while doing. Enjoy!