Blame it on the… (you know how it goes)

I’m not much of a drinker even though I’ve posted many pictures of 

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but believe me the most I’ll have is one glass or one bottle and I’m shut down. Ye olde broad cannot get down like she used to and I’m thankful for that because alcohol ain’t nothin but trouble. It still troubles me somewhat, for instance if I have a beer tonight, the early morning workout gets pushed to late afternoon or evening because I CANNOT get out of at the bed and I am usually dehydrated or moreso than I usually am.  Knowing my experience, I wanted to know a bit more about the science of alcohol, the body and exercise. I found some things that I already knew and one thing was a bit surprising.  Here’s what I found out.

Alcohol’s effects on your body and your fitness are dependent upon what type of drinking you’re doing:

  • Moderate: one drink per day for women, up to two for men
  • Binge: when blood alcohol levels reach .08 g/DL which is about four drinks for women and five drinks for men in a space of two hours (GEEZ) another standard is 5 or more drinks one one occasion in the last 30 days
  • Heavy: five or more drinks on five or more days of the last 30 days

ldbooze Photo: Lamont Doss

The most deleterious effects of alcohol on the body occur amongst binge and heavy drinkers such as:

  • Brain: alcohol can affect mood, behavior, clarity of thinkingetc
  • Heart: stroke, high blood pressure etc
  • Liver: cirrhosis etc
  • Pancreas: production of toxins
  • Cancer: several types
  • Immune system: weakened

What happens in terms of fitness?

  • Muscle – lessened blood flow leading to weakness and deterioration
  • Hormone – lessens testerone, increases estrogen, leading to increased fat deposits and fluid retention and…
  • dehydration, fatigue, weight gain (empty calories and drunk munchies), decreased nutrient absorption

Not a pretty picture.

Here’s the bottom line, moderate drinking is alright and shouldn’t preclude you from reaching your fitness goals.  Going beyond moderate can enter you into the danger zone.

One more thing that I found interesting about alcohol consumption that I found interesting was a study at Northwestern that indicates that people drink more on days that they are more active and less when they are less active. One hypothesis is that that extra bit of drinking may serve as a ‘reward’ and I know that’s the case for me.  After a week of green food, green drinks and protein, I think I DESERVE a cold brew or glass of wine.

What about you? Do you imbibe from time to time? How does it affect your performance in the gym, on the road or wherever you do your thing? Let me know in the comments and have a great weekend (in moderation of course).

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Photos: MsThorns except where noted. Inclusion of photos are for illustrative purposes only.

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