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Nutrition

Can You Sweat Out This St. Patrick’s Day’s Hangover? Research Says No

Isn’t it ironic that one of the biggest holidays associated with drinking alcohol is on a Sunday, without Monday off? That’s one sick joke. This Sunday is St. Patrick’s Day and we know you are already devising a master plan as to how to not be too hungover for work on Monday.

Thinking of sweating out your weekend in a sauna or steam room? While this detox solution has circulated for years, recent research suggests that you can’t actually sweat out a hangover.

According to recent findings in Environment International, even when we do excrete pollutants or toxicants out of our pores, the amount that we sweat out is actually very minimal. 1

Pascal Imbeault, an exercise physiologist who led this new study, told National Geographic that the amount of pollutants existing in sweat are so low that using methods of sweating like exercise or the use of saunas, essentially have no major impact on excreting toxicants. 2

In fact, Imbeault and his team found that your average person working out for 45 minutes could sweat 2 liters a day. All of that sweat would contain just one tenth of a nanogram of harmful pollutants ingested that day.

Specifically, Imbeault said that the average amount of pollutants in sweat is .02 percent and really pushing your workout to the extreme would probably only get you to .04 percent of pollutants excreted through sweat.

With that said, it looks like sweating is not the solution to detoxing your hangover. So what could help?

Well, sweating’s main function is not to flush out toxins; it is to cool you down when you’re overheating. The organs that are actually responsible for detoxing our bodies are the kidneys and the liver. With time, these organs should do their job and flush out the toxins in your body.

Don’t believe the rumors or old wives’ tales for getting rid of a hangover. All in all, the best thing you can do to prevent a hangover is to not drink too much in the first place. And if that doesn’t work — you may just need the luck of the Irish this St. Patrick’s Day.

Our articles should be used for informational and educational purposes only and are not intended to be taken as medical advice. If you’re concerned, consult a health professional before taking dietary supplements or introducing any major changes to your diet.


1. Imbeault, Pascal. Can POPs be substantially popped out through sweat?. Environment International.
2. Engelhaupt, Erika. Fact or Fiction: Can You Really Sweat Out Toxins?. National Geographic.

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Ian Roden

Ian Roden

Writer and expert

A Fordham University graduate, Ian majored in communications and media studies with a focus in journalism and a minor in anthropology during his time at college. Here, he wrote for the university newspaper ranked top ten in the nation.

A competitive athlete for most of his life, Ian has spent almost a decade working as an ocean rescue lifeguard in New Jersey. Within that role, he has competed in endurance sports competitions against other lifeguards for the last 8 years.

As a lifelong surfer, Ian spends most of his spare time in the ocean regardless of the time of year. He also enjoys distance running, photography, and frequently spending entirely too much money on concert tickets.


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