For many a year we humans have been searching for new ways to alter our moods. Using food, sex and when that wasn’t enough trying whatever we could think of from sniffing stuff, smoking stuff or drinking stuff to get some sort of a high.
Alcohol is the most commonly used substance and is also socially acceptable (surprising if you watch folk on a night out).
And when it come to fitness there is an opposites attract relationship with this poisonous beauty. Sports themselves are a social activity by nature, and so is alcohol consumption. This creates a frenzy of after game nights out, or full out all day drinking.
And while over use of this marvelous creation of ours can be harmful to mental health, physical health and relationships with friends and loved ones, an occasional indulgence shouldn’t affect you too much. Although you may feel slightly worse for wear the following morning.
The problem is that as a nation, we take the piss with it. And push from a few drinks to being unable to drink anymore, stand or function as a person.
SO WHAT!?! You may ask. BUT OF COURSE IT DOES THATS WHY I DO IT!?! You may say. That’s cool, but if you’re trying your heart out to make progress in training, sports or battling weight issues then this will definitley hinder your progress.
I’m not going to go into fancy nonsense on chemical alterations, nutrient malabsorptions or pancreatic endocrine function. SO I WILL KEEP TO THE BASICS.
You will get hangovers. This can affect you for a few days and result in skipping training, eating crap, not eating at all and general crappy training sessions.
Alcohol affects the liver and how it converts vitamins you need. So if you weren’t already deficient in some vitamins you probably will be after a sesh.
Alcohol abusers tend to have lower testosterone levels. Most of us don’t want his to happen, so guys keep this in mind!
BEER GOGGLES. Enough said.
It causes a reduction in protein synthesis. Because less protein is being turned into muscle tissue you will not grow/ repair as you would otherwise. SO even if your goal isn’t “getting massive” your recovery will still suffer.
Alcohol intake slows glycogen metabolism. This means the brain receives less glycogen, so it doesn’t have much energy. If you’re not the fastest thinker at the best of times then drinking will not help you my friend!
CALORIE INCREASE. Full stop. If you are trying to lose fat then consuming copious amount of this wonderful beverage will push up your calorie count.
AVERAGE GLASS OF WINE – 150cal
AVERAGE PINT OF BEER – 200cal
AVERAGE DOUBLE SHOT – 65cal
Drinking five pints of lager a week adds up to 44,200kcal over a year, equivalent to eating 221 doughnuts. And then there’s the food choices around your night out, takeways, crisps at the bar it all adds up.
So be honest, you could EASILY over do it by 1500-2000 cal on a standard night out. That will put weight loss back massively! So if weight loss is your goal, cut it out and get on track before indulging.
ALL THAT BEING SAID….there are health benefits to MODERATE alcohol consumption. I’m not going to be your ENABLER but at a basic level it helps us unwind, relax and socialise with friends. A few pints with mates can stay at a few with some self control. A glass doesn’t have to turn into the bottle and a binge drinking session doesn’t excuse a binge eating session!
So keep this in mind, enjoy your drinks and if you go overboard then ignorance is not an excuse for not achieving your goals!
p.s – If you are looking to get into shape and on track to success, give me a shout and we’ll see if we can get you ready in 2016!