Shape Magazine asked Dr. Keith Kantor all about “sweating out alcohol.”

Can you “sweat” out alcohol that’s still hanging out in your system by going to the gym? No, our body has already metabolized the alcohol by the next morning and working out may have the health benefits of endorphins rush and energy boost but you have to remember that alcohol is a diuretic and if you are not hydrated properly you could be putting yourself in danger by working out hungover and dehydrated.

How come your sweat smells different after a night of drinking? If you consumed a lot of alcohol your body has produced byproducts through the liver and it causes your sweat to smell differently.  This is not the same but similar to how our urine smells differently when we drink coffee or eat asparagus.

What’s happening in the body to cause that? Ethyl alcohol (the type of alcohol we drink) breaks down into acetaldehyde, this breaks down into diacetic acid, these two acids are then excreted from the body through the urine or sweat and they smell like vinegar and acetone.  This is why our sweat smells different.  It is also important to know that when these acids are present it is hard for your body to burn fat for fuel, making it more difficult to lose body fat when you drink alcohol regularly, especially binge drinking.


Can trying to sweat alcohol out make your hangover worse? Please explain! Yes, if you are dehydrated it can put your body at risk for severe headaches, cramping or even passing out if the dehydration gets severe.


Besides sweating it out, what can folks do to avoid the hangover? Moderate your alcohol consumption, and always make sure you alternate each alcoholic beverage with a cup of water, this will naturally promote moderation while rehydrating you.


Anything else you’d like to say to folks who go to the gym to sweat it out? Hangovers happen but keep in mind that your fitness and health goals are hard to reach if you are regularly binge drinking (drinking more than 2 drinks for women or 3 for men is considered a binge drinking episode). Make sure you drink lots of water, at least one half your body weight in ounces to avoid dehydration.



Dr. Kantor has a Free nutrition and lifestyle support group centered around Living Healthy and Happy.  Join Here Now –