Alcohol And Fitness, Is There A Happy Medium?
We all have parties and events to attend that always seem to have a plethora of free booze on hand. Like most things in life a little is ok, a lot is not. How does drinking affect your body and fitness goals? How should you plan your next party session around your training? Let's take a look at some hacks on how to maximize overindulgence we're all bound to face at some point.
Let's Start With What Happens To Our Bodies When We Drink.
Alcohol is a diuretic and dehydrates you.
Dehydration severely affects your performance and health
Alcohol is broken down in the liver and becomes the primary mission of the liver
Glucose production in the liver takes a back seat, and we need glucose for energy
Alcohol impairs ATP (Adenosine Triphosphate) production, another energy source of muscle
It contains a lot of empty calories
It is a depressant and can affect your cognitive function
There are roughly about 60-100 calories in a 1.5 ounce drink of 80 proof alcohol, which is an average shot. One beer a day can result in 1,000 more calories per week. It may also slow down the bodies ability to burn calories efficiently, so keep this in mind if you're a daily drinker.
Wise Choices For Your Night Out:
Low calorie booze like vodka, whisky, rum, and gin are generally smarter choices. Avoid high calorie, sugary mixed drinks, and fruit flavored alcohol. Light beers are not a terrible choice either since they run around 80-125 calories a bottle. Darker beers like Guinness have more calories, but may have more nutritional value than a can of Bud Light. You'll want to compare the nutritional info of your favorite beer and see if it's in line with your dietary goals. Champagne has fewer calories than wine and a champagne cocktail, with orange or juice will also give you a little Vitamin C as well, but be conscious of your sugar intake.
The occasional glass of red wine is reportedly good for a healthy heart, and has fairly low number of calories. It varies, but the average glass of red wine is roughly 125 calories. That's not bad but you'll want to avoid sweetened wines that will add unnecessary calories and contribute to a harder hangover.
For The Party Animals:
Like most things in life a little logic goes a long way. A few drinks with your friends can be a healthy way to enjoy a night out. Enjoy yourself but beware of the booze munchies, making bad decisions, and overeating junky bar food when you're out. Avoid drinking everyday, not only for your fitness goals but your overall health. If you're prone to depression you'll want to avoid drinking too much. Alcohol is a depressant and can affect your minds chemical balance.
Mitigate The Damage:
So we know that moderation wins the day. If you go full "Animal House," on it then make sure you make yourself pay in the gym over the next week. Go harder and longer than normal to get yourself right, and make amends to the fitness gods. Don't miss out on the party but don't overdo it. Balance is the key to a healthy and happy life. Enjoy your time with your friends, but be comfortable saying no every now and then also. Stay Healthy.
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