How much will alcohol effect your results?
When it comes to alcohol consumption there definitely is pro’s and con’s, but what I do know from research and personal experience is having moderation with alcohol consumption will not have a significant negative impact on training performance or body composition goals. The key word is “moderation” having a glass of red wine with dinner has around 80 calories with 14% making up carbohydrates and the remaining alcohol. If your daily caloric intake is around 2000 calories, then you could fit this glass into your calories quite easily. However if you are drinking more than one standard drink or “binge drinking” regularly, this will significantly impact results with performance and body composition goals.
To put things into perspective from a macro-nutrient / calorie point of view:
- Carbs = 4 calories per gram
- Protein = 4 calories per gram
- Fats = 9 calories per gram
- Alcohol = 7 calories per gram
What are the disadvantages of alcohol consumption with performance?
When it comes to the effects of over consuming or binge drinking, this can be quite detrimental. Alcohol can have a significant impact on training recovery, protein synthesis, adequate hydration, motivation and nutrient intake. Not to mention the money being spent on large amounts of alcohol can be put towards effective supplements or high quality foods. Some examples for over consumption of alcohol are listed below:
- Impaired reaction time, eye/hand coordination and focus with exercise
- Decrease in overall strength in resistance training
- Effected metabolising of glycogen stores as the liver will be metabolising alcohol up to 48 hours after the last drink is consumed
- Interferes with body temperature regulation during training
- Causes dehydration, due to the effect of alcohol on kidney function which directly interferes with fluid regulation throughout the body
- Depletes aerobic capacity and effects endurance activities up to 48 hours after the last drink
- Protein metabolism is negatively impacted when alcohol is in the system, causing issues directly with muscle repair and protein synthesis
- Vitamin and mineral depletion also occurs even after 2-3 standard drinks of alcohol, this effects the heart, liver, thyroid and kidneys
Everybody who knows me as a coach and friend knows from time to time I’ll have the occasional drink and I believe there are positive aspects of alcohol consumption also. However remember that it’s “moderation” which is the key and not over consuming alcohol, this will keep you on track with your fitness and health goals. If you are an athlete competing in a bodybuilding competition or particular sport, it’s best to eliminate alcohol completely if you want to have a competitive advantage with your opposition.
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