Drinking and its effect on us humans!
No one is expecting us to be saints but if we’re really trying to do some good in the gym or look better naked we need to consider a little more than just lifting weights and working up a sweat. We need to take a closer look at what we are putting into our bodies.
Drinking is very taxing on the body, but I get it. It's fun! It's a nice way to finish a bike ride or a day in the backcountry. I don’t want to stop you from enjoying a drink, but if you knew some of the effects alcohol had on your body and performance, you might think twice and end up reaching for your favorite bubbly water instead.
Let's take a deeper dive into alcohol. Alcohol has 7 calories per gram which is higher than both protein and carbs and just under fat. When ingested, the body makes it a priority to process it out as fast as possible. This slows your metabolism for up to 4 hours after just a 1.5 oz shot, 12 oz beer, or a 4oz pour of wine. What! Read that again, slows metabolism for 4 hours! It gets worse...This is just considering the alcohol, not the sugary carbs that potentially go along with the drink, like soda or juice.
If you had 10 drinks in a night, which might sound like a lot but when you are hanging out with your friends it can surely add up. That could lead to an extra 2000 calories!! Now add some good greasy food on top of that, reduce your metabolism and be inactive for a few hours and all those begin to stack up. Do it a couple of nights in a row, a couple of weeks in a row, and fat stores can start to accumulate...
Now that you have made it back home, and gotten into bed, you will probably sleep a little longer if you can, to avoid the dreaded hangover. I can hear you now, “I don't have 10 drinks a night” okay me neither. But I might have 3...that's 600 calories. What should I do?
Well that depends, what is more important to you? Gains, lean muscle mass, or headaches?
Here are a few ways of tackling the dilemma:
- I would keep drinking to a minimum. If you were going to have 3 drinks, try to cut out 600 calories from your daily consumption. I know it's not cool.
- Drink earlier in the day. Day drinking is kinda fun, right?
- This one is definitely the most impactful: don't drink during the week. Monday - Friday no mas Cerveza! Once you get to the weekend set a window for your drinks and keep them skinny. Meaning drink a lite beer, I know so what, be that guy. Cocktail, no juice, or soda for sure, stick to bubbles and a lime. Wine, how about just one glass, I know it's hard.
Live, have fun, and remember that we aren't in a position that we will never have alcohol again, but keep your goals in mind and what is important to you. Having a La Croix or something similar is a decent option. It really works. Want to look better? Perform better? And make the gains? Decrease the alcohol, hit the protein and veggies, and try and keep it clean!