What drinking alcohol does to exericse.

Most coaches/trainers explain how important it is not to drink while athletes are training hard, losing weight, or trying to build muscle.  Why would that be the case?  Why not drink while in an intense training program?  Is it because the carbs in the alcoholic beverage aren’t good?  It’s true the excess carbs in alcohol won’t help you lean out, but in this article, I will discuss how alcohol has other negative effects on the reaching of peak fitness.

Alcohol vs. athletic goals

Consuming 2-3 drinks will hinder athletic movement, recovery, and exercise intensity up to 24-48 hours post alcohol consumption.   By knowing this, you now know if you have an intense workout after consuming a few drinks, these drinks will hinder exercise recovery.  This means that when you break down muscle during a workout while your body still has alcohol in it; your liver will be breaking down the alcohol instead of breaking down consumed protein to help rebuild your muscles after a workout.  So, in some ways, the workout could be considered wasted because the muscle wasn’t able to recover properly after the workout.

If you’re trying to achieve peak fitness, don’t spin your tires by sabotaging your workouts by drinking alcohol unless you’re satisfied with your current lifestyle and fitness.

How bad do you want it? 

Peak fitness doesn’t come without sacrifice.  If you truly want to be at your peak fitness level, superb discipline is needed to help achieve your goal.

That’s why I ask how badly do you want it?  Your “why” must be strong enough to help you make the sacrifices needed for your success.  Many times we learn the implications of a poor diet, but yet we don’t make the change.  That’s ok as long as you can take personal responsibility of knowing it’s YOU and not blaming anything but yourself.

Need help staying accountable?  If you have a coach, be open with him/her about your struggles so your trainer can help you in areas where you’re weak.  If you don’t have a coach, then get one!

Now let’s look at the other effects of alcohol on the body.

If an individual is performing within 48 hours of alcohol consumption, as little as two or three standard drinks can directly:

–          Decrease strength

–          Impair reaction time

–          Impair balance and eye/hand coordination

–          Increase fatigue

Most athletic movement is fueled by glycogen.  If glycogen is not properly metabolized, the body becomes fatigued because the muscle is unable to acquire the glycogen essential for peak performance.  Reaction time, balance, coordination are also impacted by this process as well as the direct aforementioned neurochemical effects alcohol has on the brain

–          Interfere with body temperature regulation

–          Cause dehydration

The kidneys have an important job of removing toxins from the body, regulating blood volume and pressure, maintaining electrolytes levels in blood and blood pH.

Alcohol interferes with the kidneys’ ability to maintain certain electrolytes such as magnesium, calcium, sodium and phosphorus that are lost in the urine as a result of alcohol.

–          Impact muscle recovery

Protein metabolism is negatively impacted with alcohol consumption.  This means that, after a workout, your body will have a harder time repairing the damaged muscle.

–          Hinders cardiovascular system

Alcohol consumption increases blood pressure, forcing your heart to work harder at pumping blood throughout the body.

–          Disrupt sleep

A lot of people like the fact that alcohol helps them fall asleep, but unfortunately deep sleep is interrupted (rapid eye movement).

–          Vitamins and minerals deplete

–          Cognitive impairment

If you’re an individual pursuing peak athletic performance, the counter effectiveness of alcohol on the body must be noted, so that you may know the effects of the choices you make on your fitness goals.

 

 

 

 

 

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