one47 | 17.06.2021

Muscle soreness vs alcohol soreness

What are the differences? You drank a little too much alcohol last night? And you wake up with a hangover? Or are you more the type for intensive training and suffer from a severe muscle soreness?
Although both conditions share some symptoms, they are fundamentally different. In this guide, we’ll tell you what the differences and similarities are and how you can deal with these two types of hangovers.



Alcohol hangover and muscle soreness – the exact definitions

The greatest similarities of both hangovers are found in the origin of the respective word. Both terms are derived from catarrh. The medically shortened term for catarrhal inflammation was quite simply turned into the male cat in the vernacular. Thus, over the years, it found its way from the vernacular into the dictionary.
A closer medical look, however, reveals that the two male cats do not have that much in common. Even though some symptoms may be similar.



What are the differences?



An alcohol hangover is usually referred to as alcohol intoxication (a milder form of alcohol poisoning). This is expressed mainly in general malaise and nausea. Heavy joints and tension are occasionally added to this. Muscles and mucous membranes also suffer – fuelled by dehydration. The lack of minerals and fluids cause dehydration headaches. In addition, the breakdown of toxins (especially fusel alcohols) makes the body struggle.

Muscle cold, on the other hand, is, according to current knowledge, probably primarily a micro-traumatisation in the muscle fibres. The fact that this is often accompanied by similar dehydration symptoms is, however, more likely due to the interaction of intensive training and insufficient fluid intake. Sore muscles alone do not trigger headaches, but are localised.



A look behind the hangover types – what happens in the body?



For a long time, a distinction was made between two forms of muscle catarrh. Today, however, we know that the pain symptoms can be traced back to a single cause.
In school sports or sports clubs, it is often claimed that sore muscles are caused by lactic acid deposits in the muscles that can be flushed out by more training. Today, this theory has been disproved. Otherwise, sprint training alone would be a possible cause of muscle soreness – after all, aerobic endurance units run in the body without the formation of lactate.

In fact, the cause of muscle soreness is tiny tears in the muscle fibres.





These are caused by overstraining during sport. The fact that you don’t feel the pain during training, but only afterwards (often not until the next day) is due to nerve stimulants that make you think everything is fine. This archaic body mechanism is also supposed to protect you during heavy exertion. After all, your body is more likely to assume you are fighting a sabre-toothed tiger than jogging a long lap through the park.

In severe cases, the Z-discs in the muscle fibres tear and water can flow in. This can lead to swelling of the muscles. Other symptoms include pain in the affected muscle areas and lack of mobility, which in turn can lead to secondary injuries such as tension, as your body compensates for the pain with incorrect movement patterns.





Sore muscles are particularly common when you start new sports and have to learn new movement patterns, when you are training again after a long time, when the load is too high or when you run downhill. The strain caused by the braking movement is often underestimated.



What are the differences?


With a hangover, on the other hand, you suffer from symptoms of intoxication, usually not life-threatening, but unpleasant nonetheless. These include dizziness, nausea, headache, lack of concentration, swollen mucous membranes, diarrhoea and sensitivity to noise and light. Medical help is usually not necessary, but in severe cases the symptoms can last for several days.



The best tips and therapies against both hangovers



This is best treatment for muscle soreness is actually a short break from sport. Micro-tears are only made worse by renewed exertion and can lead to actual muscle fibre injuries. To be on the safe side, be sure to wait until all pain is gone before resuming exercise.
However, regular exercise, physical flexibility and varying loads will make you more resistant to the effects of muscle soreness, so you will be less likely to suffer from sore muscles.






When it comes to alcohol hangover, you are advised against the home remedy of simply continuing to drink. The classic counter beer may help, but only in the short term. If you give your body more alcohol, it first breaks down high-quality alcohols and the painful breakdown of fusel alcohols is postponed. But when the hangover comes, it is all the worse.
Coffee, by the way, is not an adequate hangover killer either, because per gram, caffeine is more toxic than alcohol, so your body will break down the caffeine first. So the cup of coffee only delays the hangover cure unnecessarily.





The most important thing is to rehydrate and remineralise your body. Drink plenty of tea and mineral water, eat a hearty breakfast and get your body going. Even a walk will raise your heart rate enough to break down the alcohol faster. Our after-party drink one:47 is explicitly not an anti-hangover remedy, but it generally a) supports rehydration with electrolytes, b) supports the liver thanks to the substance choline and c) increases general well-being – “Feel good next day”.



Conclusion – both tomcats are not really comparable



What are differences? Differences for the conclusion?


Apart from the origin of both words, muscle and alcohol soreness do not have much in common. Pain in muscles and limbs and also headache symptoms may manifest themselves in both cases, but between microscopic tears in the muscles and intoxication symptoms are worlds apart in medical terms.
What both types of hangover have in common: There is no long-term damage, but you should still avoid both hangovers. Too much alcohol has a negative effect on your circulation and body, and if you train until your muscles are sore, you tend to hamper your successes because you actually have to take tactical breaks.

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