How does alcohol effect our ability to exercise?

As we all know, alcohol has been known to have opposing effect on our bodies when consumed excessively, but how might it effect our training regime as well as our ability to fully recover post training?

Direct effect on performance

  • alcohol will make you feel unmotivated during you exercise as it slows down your ability to work efficiently.
  • alcoholic drinks are often high in calories, making it much more challenging to reach your fitness goals
  • alcohol is diuretic, this means that it helps get rid of fluid from your body and therefore it is easier to become dehydrated during intense workout where you sweat excessively.
  • slows down the muscle synthesis process, this will slow down your overall ability to build muscle after working out by as much as over 30%
  • Alcohol slows down the metabolism, this will cause you to burn less calories throughout the day and it might cause unwanted weight gain when left unchecked.

Effects on our mood throughout the day

Alcohol is a depressant, which means it slows down our ability to function effectively.
It accomplishes this by lowering our neurotransmission levels.
Even if you feel a slight boost in energy or mood, these feelings will vanish the next day, leaving you feeling sluggish, anxious, and/or depressed.
In addition, drinking alcohol causes a decrease in self-control and possibly aggression. Alcohol is also known to cause antisocial behavior due to the inability to clearly express yourself and rather become impulsive.

Personal experience with alcohol

I’ve always considered alcohol to be harmful.
Aside from people enjoying the taste, there were no actual benefits to drinking.
It made me feel sluggish and unmotivated to exercise, which made my workouts less enjoyable over time.
I also noticed a decrease in overall strength and progress due to muscle synthesis not occurring as effectively as before. I also experienced unstoppable fatigue, even during shorter sessions which also directly negatively impacted my workout performance. Overall, I would say that drinking and exercise does not go together, however if you are able to control how often you drink, a suitable amount such as a glass per week should most likely not cause any long term-effects when following a healthy lifestyle.

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