Effects of Alcohol on Fitness Training
As much as drinking large quantities of alcohol may seem fun at a frat party or the local pub, there are numerous disadvantages of such liberal consumption. Let’s take a closer look on the effects of alcohol on fitness.
The Marin Institute for Preventing Alcohol Problems details: alcohol has more calories per gram than sugar and also tends to be accumulated as fat in the abdomen. Pot bellies, anyone?
Along with contributing to excess weight, the Marin Institute reports of interference that alcohol causes to cardio-respiratory fitness. It may cause the heart and lungs to work less efficiently. Booze tends to damage muscle groups and cause dehydration also.
A bird’s eye view at some alcoholic drinks and their caloric content may help you see the light:
- Budlight bottle (12 oz.) = 110 calories
- Pina Colada cocktail (4.5 oz) = 245 calories
- Merlot red wine (5 oz) = 123 calories
- Pinot Grigiot white wine (5 oz) = 123 calories
- Budweiser bottle (12 oz.) = 146 calories
- Shot of 100 proof liquor (1.5 oz.) = 124 calories
- Shot of 80 proof liquor (1.5 oz) = 97 calories
No more Zzz…
Sleep deprivation is not to be taken lightly when fitness training is your goal.
In a study of 93 men and women, researchers discovered specifically the second half of night affected by booze, decreasing sleeping periods and promoting. Women suffer more as sleep time was found to be decreased by more than 30 minutes over the night. A disrupted sleep cycle reduces the human growth hormone output (the reason for muscle build up) by as high as 70 percent.
Alcohol consumption may induce sleep disorders by altering total sleep time along with the average time required to fall asleep.
Adverse impact on Fat Burning
The worst nightmare of a fitness freak is yet to be revealed: alcohol decreases fat burn!
The American Journal of Clinical Research concluded from a study that a measly 24g of alcohol consumption showed whole-body lipid oxidation (the rate at which your body burns fat) fell by a massive 73%!
Alcohol, upon passing through the liver, produces Acetate, which inhibits fat burning competence of the body. Simply put, if you drink alcohol consistently, the fat burning processes in your body slow down. This ends up in more fat storage in the body, which can drastically boost weight gain.
Injuries and Drinking
Fitness training is quite strenuous at times and incidence of injury is part and parcel of any exercise regime. There may be minor injuries like tiny tears in muscles due to strength training.
The National Strength & Conditioning Association explains that alcohol can cause additional swelling and slow your healing and recovery. Swift, complete recovery from injuries is crucial to improving and maintaining performance.
Sports performance is also disturbed if you consume alcohol after an injury. You are at risk of prolonging the recovery process and sitting on the benches.
Increased blood supply that is another effect of alcohol. This causes the blood vessels in the skin, arms and legs to open up. This could make an injury bleed and swell even more, causing unnecessary and easily avoidable crises.
Numerous studies prove that alcohol consumption results in increase of appetite more than any other type of drink. A research by the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism and U.S. Department of Agriculture in 2000 showed that those who over consume alcohol display poor eating habits while drinking. Not only do meals appear tastier and more appetizing when there is a bottle of beer to pair with it, people also get more hungry after drinking alcohol.
People who are seriously trying to lose those extra pounds should try their best to avoid beer and other alcoholic drinks so as not to perk up their appetites.
Alcohol & Heart Rate
The most alarming effect of alcohol is that tends to increase the probability for atypical heart rhythms. This risk is raised exponentially during fitness training for up to 2 days after exceptional drinking.
For those who are not used to drinking and decide to randomly binge out on the booze; drinking in itself already raises your heart rate and with a lot of alcohol in your system, you put additional stress on the organ.
Women, Hangovers & Exercise
A certain number of women develop the habit of exercising and working out hard the day after a booze fest, thinking that the excess calorie intake may be combated easily. They feel that they can drink as much as they want because they will burn it all off the next day.
The female gender’s tendency to go overboard, researchers say, could be the product of a “work hard, play hard” personality type. “There are people who are sensation seekers,” says Ana M. Abrantes, Ph.D., assistant professor at Brown University’s Alpert Medical School. “They engage in activities that produce intense sensations and can be quickly bored by things that don’t produce those feelings.”
For the men out there’s intel from a study of 8 healthy male volunteers that observed after drinking alcohol. The effects? Significant decrease in testosterone and an increase in cortisol (a muscle destroying hormone) lasting up to 24 hours! If fat burn and muscle build up is your aim, you would want all the free testosterone levels you can get and you want to reduce cortisol in any way you can.
The self destructive effects of excessive alcohol consumption on your mind and body, especially on fitness training and exercising should convince you to say no to that extra glass tonight! Life is best enjoyed in balance and moderation. If you feel any unsavory cravings for alcohol, talk to your physician. The time to take back control of your life is now!