Exercise and Alcohol Consumption
It's probably not uncommon that, on Friday afternoons, after you wrap up the week's work, you think about going out and having a few drinks with friends to relax and wind down. After all, it is the start of the weekend!
Well, even though you may think you deserve that opportunity to go out and have a few drinks to unwind, there are some things that you should keep in mind.
Exercise After Alcohol Consumption
Let's say that tomorrow, or the next day, is going to be an exercise day. So, you figure that now you are exercising on a regular basis a few drinks of alcohol surely won't really hurt anything...right?
A cold beer, a daquiri, a Rusty Nail, or just a couple of glasses of wine, maybe.
What's the difference?
Well, my friend, before you decide to rush out to the local package store or bar, here are a few things that you should think about before you decide to go out to drink some alcohol with your "buds".
Results of Alcohol Consumption
Research has definitively proven that while even small amounts of alcohol will commonly increase muscular endurance and the strength, these types of benefits are very short lived. After 20 minutes or so, problems will begin to surface. All of the negative side effects which are associated with alcohol will easily outweigh any possible benefits that it can have.
Alcohol is Actually a Poison, and Alcohol Consumption is not Generally a Good Thing
Face the facts!
While it may feel good, and, may even have some health benefits, alcohol is a poison that can really harm your body if you aren't careful. A glass of wine a day is good for the heart, for example. However, once you get past that first glass, the benefits of alcohol consumption begin to decline, and the dark side begins to emerge.
The result of exercise after alcohol consumption, or even before, is more far reaching than simply interfering with one day's workout.
One major negative side effect of alcohol is that it can actually reduce your strength, endurance, aerobic capability, recovery time, ability to metabolize fat, and even your muscle growth!
Alcohol also affects your nervous system and brain. If you use it long term, over
a few years, you can eventually cause severe deterioration of your central nervous
system. Even with short term use, however, nerve muscle interaction can be
reduced which will result in a loss of strength.
Now, no one wants to imply that you need to "dry out", and become a teetotaler, nor that the occasional cocktail party, or beer bust will destroy you. Even that old guy, what's his name? Oh yeah, Arnold
Schwarzenegger, who is from Austria where beer drinking is a part of daily life, has been known to down a few bottles of beer in his time. We are talking about somewhat regular use for the most part,
but we are also talking about the short term effects on your health and fitness efforts as well. Exercise is not a good match with alcohol consumption.
Once alcohol reaches the blood cells, it can and probably will damage
them to some extent. Inflammation of muscle cells is a
very common thing among alcohol users. Over periods of time,
some of these cells that have been damaged may eventually die which will result in less
functional muscle contractions. Drinking alcohol will also probably leave you
with more soreness of your muscles after you exercise, which means that it will
take you a lot longer to recuperate.
Alcohol Consumption and Your Heart
Alcohol will also have many different effects on your heart and
circulatory system. When you drink any type of alcohol,
you may begin to see an almost immediate reduction in your endurance
Anytime you drink, your heat loss will increase due to the alcohol
stimulating blood vessels to dilate. This loss in heat can
cause your muscles to become quite cold, hence becoming slower and
weaker during your muscle contractions.
Alcohol Consumption and Digestion
Drinking alcohol can also lead to digestive and nutritional problems as
well. Alcohol causes a release of insulin that will increase
the metabolism of glycogen, which spares fat and makes the loss of fat very
hard. Due to alcohol interfering with the absorption of
several key nutrients as well, you can also become anemic and experience B
vitamin deficiency and other nutritional problems.
Alcohol Consumption and The Liver
Because your liver is the organ that detoxifies alcohol, the more you
drink, the harder your liver has to work. The extra stress
alcohol places on your liver can cause serious damage and even destroy
some of your liver cells.
Alcohol Consumption and Hydration
Since alcohol is actually a diuretic, drinking large amounts can put a
lot of stress on your kidneys, and other organs, as well. During
diuretic action, hormones are secreted which can lead to
heightened water retention and no one who exercises will want this to
happen...especially if they are exercising to lose weight.
If you feel that you must drink alcohol anyway, and, personally speaking, I DO enjoy my glass
of wine or bottle of beer, you should do it only in moderation and never
drink before you exercise, as this will impair your balance,
coordination, and also your judgment. Think about your
health and how you exercise - and you may begin to look at things from a whole new prospective.
As with many other things in life, serious exercise and alcohol consumption do not go well together.
Click Here to learn about Alcohol and Body Fat.
While I do not normally recommend diets or dieting for weight loss, healthy eating is important to any health, fitness, or weight loss program. Click Here to learn more about Diet Direct.
P. S. If you want to learn more about why Diets Don't Work, please click here.
If you want to learn how to burn fat, a great book to read is Burn the Fat, Feed the Muscle by Tom Venuto