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Does Alcohol Inhibit Your Physical Progress?

Does Alcohol Inhibit Your Physical Progress?

Physical health is more than just the hours you put in the gym – it also includes what food and drinks you put in your body.  This includes alcohol.  Many of us love to end our day with a nightcap or catch a few casual drinks with friends on the weekends, but how much do those few drinks impact your overall physicality and health?  Keep reading to find our more!

Alcohol – The Fourth Macro

One of the biggest ways alcohol inhibits the body is in the way it is metabolized.  When you consume alcohol, your body refocuses it’s metabolism process away from fats, carbs, and proteins, and focuses on metabolizing the alcohol first.  Alcohol also has a lot of empty calories in it that spikes your calorie content after a full day of eating, plus the body cannot use alcohol for energy in any capacity.  Eliminating alcohol from your diet is one of the easiest ways to lose weight quickly.

How Alcohol Impacts Your Workouts

In addition to being empty calories, alcohol is recognized as a toxin and when it is consumed, the liver works to remove it from the body. This process depletes glycogen stores in the body, which means your endurance is lowered. Therefore, if you are planning and endurance-heavy workout the morning after a night out with friends – your body may not be able to sustain itself as much as if alcohol was eliminated.

Alcohol also leaves your body dehydrated which greatly impacts muscle recovery.  If you are celebrating the end of a workout with a beer, it is important to rehydrate prior to consuming.  That way you are giving your muscles the hydration they need to start the healing process.

Finally, alcohol can lead to some decision making that may not be part of a standard day of training or eating. After a few too many, it is easy to consume some “off diet” foods and skip early morning training sessions for a little bit more shut eye.  Although this is not a direct impact on the health due to alcohol consumption, the cause and effect is clear.

…But Then Again, Alcohol is Enjoyable for Some

Although alcohol may not be the BEST calories we consume in a day, it also is a big part of social culture and can be enjoyable when done responsibly.  It is important to remember that keeping a balance between health, happiness, and fun.  Many health experts preach 80/20 balance on diet and maybe your 20% includes a few glasses of wine on the weekend.

The Takeaway

Alcohol can have a negative impact on weight and physical training, but it also can have a positive impact on enjoying life.  It is essential to remember that drinking may result in some trade-offs in both diet and exercise, but in moderation alcohol can still be a part of an overall health lifestyle.

Do you eliminate alcohol when you are in full training mode or do you enjoy a few as part of your 20%? Tell us about it on social media!