How does alcohol affect your training?

How does alcohol affect your training?

If you are serious about achieving those fitness goals then you need to consider cutting out your alcohol consumption. Whether you’re looking to build a fantastic 6 pack of abs, or just lose a few pounds to fit into your favorite outfit, drinking that glass of wine in the evening may just be putting you back a step or two.

After a big night out, if you can muster up the energy to exercise the next day, you will find your training significantly affected. With alcohol being a diuretic (which means that your kidneys produce more urine) coupled with working up a good sweat in the gym, this can easily lead to dehydration.  With this then comes light-headedness, headaches and the feeling of tiredness.  On the other hand, the more hydrated you are, the better the flow of blood through your body which allows oxygen and nutrients in to your muscles. As Alcohol is not a nutrient, it cannot be stored as energy in the body and therefore it just turns to fat instead.

In addition to this, alcoholic drinks tend to be high in calories. Therefore, if your goal is to lose unwanted fat, than this task becomes twice as hard as your body tries to flush this poison out of you as well as trying to digest your latest meal.

For example, a standard pint of lager has the same amount of calories as a slice of Chocolate cake. So if you’re having a night out with your friends, where you’re drinking into the early hours of the next morning, you could have got through half or even a whole Chocolate cake just by yourself. In addition to that, a large glass of white wine could have the same amount of calories as an ice cream. Even though a neat shot of vodka, tequila or brandy may have the lowest amount of total calories, they still affect the body’s hormones in a negative way.  

For instance, the body produces a certain amount of natural growth hormone, which allows the building of muscle and cell development. This is generally released into the body in the early hours of the night whilst you are sleeping. As drinking alcohol can disrupt your sleeping patterns, it will disturb this process and therefore cause a decrease in muscle development.

If all of that wasn’t enough, it can affect your ability to carry out a cardio workout also. As alcohol increases your blood pressure and your heart rate, if you were then to have a work out (which also raises your blood pressure and heart rate also) it will just make it feel considerably harder.

In conclusion, if you have a training goal in mind that you’re serious about, don’t give in to peer pressure from your friends forcing you to drink. It’s likely that one big night could set you back a week’s worth of hard training in the gym. Focus on your goal, think of how amazing you’re going to look at the end and don’t give up. First they’ll ask you why you’re doing it, but then they’ll ask how you did it!

James Chandler 

GM of Talise Fitness Jumeirah Emirates Towers