Does Alcohol and Fitness Mix?
I know you want to hear an alternate answer to the popular belief which is “no”. Well, you’re kind of in luck. But before we get there, we need to understand why there’s such an “anti-alcohol” sentiment in the fitness industry and how alcohol affects our body and fitness results. Men’s Fitness Magazine explains that:
The fitness industry’s anti-alcohol stance is due, in large part, to the (lack of) nutritional content contained in alcoholic beverages. Ethanol, the type of alcohol found in drinks, has toxic metabolic byproducts called acetaldehyde and acetate. Both by-products help create that queasy nauseous feeling you get when you’ve put a few too many back. Chronic ingestion of alcohol can also mess with your digestion, making it difficult for your body to absorb nutrients like amino acids, B vitamins, and impairs protein synthesis. One study also suggests that two to three beers per day can lower one’s testosterone levels.
Alcohol consumption can also mess with a carefully planned out diet. Many alcoholic drinks are calorically very dense and packed with sugar. If you’re mixing your alcohol with things like energy drinks or juices from concentrate, or even having a few glasses of wine, you are giving yourself a sugary rush with each sip. Let’s also not forget that alcohol totally impairs your judgment. Those late night post-bar pizza runs can’t be too good for your summer beach body.
So, if you’re on a strict calorie deficit diet and that you don’t have much wiggle room for empty calories like alcohol, it’s best not to consume it because it prevents your body from hitting the much needed nutrient budget. It also messes with the absorption of amino acids, which could result in prolonged muscle soreness.
Is it completely not okay to drink alcohol?
Of course it’s OKAY to have a drink every once in a while BUT It’s important that you don’t over-do-it though. Drinks that are “healthier” for you are Coors light, Bud Light, and Miller Lite. Remember though, alcohol has a lot of calories and can add up very quickly!
I would recommend to not drink during your first go through of any routine until you hit your desired results. That is what I had to do because the alcohol kept me from getting the results I wanted. I consume beers or wine every now and then. Generally, I don’t drink more than 2 bottle (12 oz) of beers each time. And I stick to the aforementioned light beers. Each 12 oz bottle contains less than 5g of carbs, which is relatively low comparing to the full-flavor beer which at least has 15-20g of carbs per bottle. There are actually some benefits from consuming alcohol moderately. According to Men’s Fitness Magazine:
…if users are able to practice some moderation with alcohol, a drink or two on occasion will not effectively poison your body and make you irreparably fat. There are some studies that suggest moderate alcohol consumption can provide health benefits. Much has been made of the heart healthy components of a glass of red wine, but did you know that moderate beer consumption can improve your immune response and can reduce harmful C-reactive proteins (linked to heart disease)? All in all, alcohol is harmful when overdone. It can mess with your digestive system, liver, and diet. But if done within moderation and with clear judgment, it can be beneficial, and of course a ton of fun.
At the end of the day, you need to be responsible for what you put into your body. If you care about your fitness result as much as I do, please track your alcohol consumption as part of your food diary. I use MyFitnessPal to track EVERYTHING I eat and drink. Click here to see if you could spot the beer I drank yesterday (3/24)
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