Drinking alcohol can make you lose your balance and coordination, which can result in muscle strains and exhaustion the next day whether you drink too much or not. You may end up feeling sore for several days even, as some people report the effects of alcohol blues. There are several causes for sore muscles after drinking and there are some effective remedies to relieve that soreness.
Causes of Sore Muscles After Drinking
1. Interference with Lactic Acid
According to research by the University of California, alcohol affects how effectively your body breaks down lactic acid and it also increases the soreness in your body. Similar to how your body stores fat, alcohol is stored as well. And just like fat can have bad side-effects, alcohol can damage your amino acids which your body needs to produce energy, which explains why you will feel tired and fatigued after drinking.
Drinking too much alcohol can cause extreme dehydration and imbalances in your cells which can result in muscle soreness, strains and cramps. What a lot of people may not realize is that you can lose a lot of muscle mass which has a number of side effects like weaker strength and overall performance. Most alcohol consumers complain of fatigue, and athletes are more prone to injury.
3. Nutritional Deficiencies
Drinking a lot can increase the acid in your body and affect how well you are able to absorb nutrients/vitamins/minerals. This leads to nutritional deficiencies which can become severe and cause a multitude of other health problems like hypoglycemia (low blood sugar), which can interfere with normal function of your muscles and lead to energy loss.
4. Drinking After Working Out
According to research from Massey University (NZ), drinking alcohol directly after exercise can result in feeling a loss of muscle strength. After an experiment with 11 healthy men who were brought on to prove whether this claim was true by the Journal of Science and Medicine in Sport in 2010. All 11 performed similar exercises and then had an alcoholic drink. After drinking the alcohol, they all reported weaker muscles.
Remedies for Sore Muscles After Drinking
Even though there are no scientifically proven methods that speed up recovery from muscle soreness that occurs as a result of alcohol consumption, below are some methods that can at least help lessen the pain.
1. Have Much Rest
Simply getting enough sleep can help your body to heal quicker. People who don’t get enough sleep at night will not only feel soreness for longer, but the pain will feel more pronounced.
2. Exercise Lightly Afterwards
A lot of people don’t know this trick, assuming that exercising is counterproductive and the only cure is getting enough rest, but little do they know that exercising can actually help ease the pain and reduce soreness more quickly. Some ideas: a low-intense job, a short walk on the treadmill and even swimming—all of which help get your blood flowing through your body and to your muscles faster. All of which contribute to a speedy recovery.
3. Keep Hydrated
Your body is mostly water, so it’s no surprise that being hydrated is important for your recovery. Dehydration can not only cause your muscle soreness to get worse, but it can also cause muscle cramps that can be quite painful.
4. Take NSAIDS
NSAIDS are non-steroidal, anti-inflammatory drugs which can be taken to help reduce the pain. It does not speed up your recovery; it just acts as a painkiller. Some examples are Aspirin and Alleve.
5. Get a Massage
Massage seems to increase mitochondria in your muscle, which improves the muscles' ability to extract oxygen. Besides, we all know that receiving a massage can help relieve the aches and pains in our body. You can either go to massage therapist or ask your loves one to do the massage for you, or even you can do the massage by yourself. The following video shows more details on how to preform massage to relive sore muscles after drinking:
6. Apply Warm Compress
24 hours after you experience muscle soreness, you can apply heat to increase blood flow to the muscle, which can provide some soothing relief and help rebuilding take place. Take a warm show or try alternating between warm and cool water compress.
7. Try Honey and Lemon
A mixture of honey, lemon and warm water not only replenish the fluid and sugars which are lost in drinking, the honey also increases the metabolism of alcohol in your body. The drink helps to relive the general discomfort after drinking and also relives muscle soreness. To make this drink: boil 1 cup of water and mix in proper amount of honey and lemon juice. You can drink this several times a day.
8. Eat a Balanced Diet
Almost everyone knows how important a balanced diet is for a healthy lifestyle and eating the right kinds of food can also ensure you recover quicker from muscle soreness and that the pain is not so intense in the first place. If your body is lacking proteins or potassium, any soreness in your muscles could take longer to heal.