Fitness and Alcohol – Is wine o’clock okay?
Many health and fitness experts will simply tell you to just say no to alcohol, period – Fitness & Alcohol do not mix. End of discussion. But let’s assume you enjoy having a glass of sangria or wine or beer or whatever on occasion– let’s be real here, many of us do indeed enjoy these things despite the negative health consequences.
While we acknowledge that alcohol has its harmful effects, we also agree that it can be incorporated into your life and enjoyed modestly, in the same way sugar and greasy foods can also be occasionally enjoyed.
Consuming or not consuming alcohol is a personal choice. If you choose not to drink there is nothing but health benefits to be enjoyed. So if you want to stop drinking, absolutely cut the cord! It’s not a dietary staple. You don’t need it. If you do enjoy alcohol, however, then its important to understand the harmful effects.
Consequences of Consuming Alcohol
Alcohol can be addictive, you can get drunk, make bad decisions, damage your liver, increase your chance of certain types of cancers, oh and yea, it can also cause weight gain, puffiness, & full day hangovers too. Yea, it’s not good for you that’s for sure. Although, I am sure we all think back to that study published in 2012 that said that drinking a glass of wine has the same health benefits as a 1-hour workout. HA – talk about trying to justify our consumption. While yes, there are some studies that show a small amount of red wine has health properties, I wouldn’t be adding it into your diet because of the benefits, that’s for sure.
It Will Negitavly Effect Your Diet & Exercise Efforts
When it pertains to your results diet & fitness-wise, it’s not going to help your cause, especially if you are abusing it by binge drinking every weekend. It’s dehydrating, muscle wasting, high in empty calories, disturbs your sleep, and for many people makes you want to eat greasy food at 2 am. Alcohol can literally ruin your progress despite 100% compliance with the rest of your nutrition and exercise. So yes, if you want results (and general good health) you will likely have to cut back on your alcohol consumption.
We know this can be hard at social events, so here is the advice you’re looking for (for the people that do occasionally want to consume alcohol).
What to drink if you’re going to drink alcohol
Try to stick to clear alcohols such as gin or vodka, and ONLY mix with soda water and real lemon or lime juice. Keep in mind that alcohol calories can add up very quickly. 200 calories for a pint of beer, 110 calories for a glass of wine (if measured appropriately), and 70-90 calories for a shot of hard liquor. Doing some simple math will tell you that if you had about 3 pints of beer, you’d be consuming around 600 calories, which is what you might burn within 2 workout sessions, so try your best to limit alcohol as it might counteract your healthy eating and workouts habits!
Also, for MANY reasons, not just because of the excess calories, try your best to stick to just a couple of drinks. Alternate one alcoholic beverage with sparkling water, if you feel you’d like to keep something in your hand.
We want to stop here for a moment and state, we’re not here to endorse alcohol – but we’re keeping it realistic in the fact that we know that people do enjoy alcoholic beverages which is why you will sometimes see a glass of wine or a beer on the program. It’s not because we WANT you to go out of your way to drink them, we just want to show you how you can enjoy them modestly and incorporate them into your plan if you feel you want to. Just remember that when you do drink, do so in moderation.
Risks To Consider
Alcohol does have its risks when it comes to health, even with moderate drinking. It can increase levels of estrogen and other hormones associated with hormone-receptor-positive breast cancer. Also, it may increase breast cancer risk by damaging DNA in cells. Compared to women who don’t drink at all, women who have three alcoholic drinks per week have a 15% higher risk of breast cancer. So, know the risks and drink responsibly, and take ownership of the fact that your results may be hindered.
In Canada, a new non-alcoholic beverage company recently launched and guess what – their beer actually tastes good and is insanely low in calories. If you ever get the chance, try to find the brand “Partake”. Their IPA is quite refreshing, and only has 10 calories! We’re not affiliated in any way but it’s helped some of my beer-loving clients get through their diets and even a few pregnancies too!
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