We all love a few (or many) glasses of wine over the weekend, however if you are looking to see results in the gym, alcohol and exercise don’t mix well.
Despite the immediate pleasure of sipping on that espresso martini on a Friday night with girlfriends, alcohol effects your workout and impacts your body in more ways than you may think.
Alcohol is empty calories and has zero nutritional value. Vodka stands as the “healthiest” of alcoholic drinks and in just one shot, contains 97 calories. For those of you with a goal of fat loss, alcohol will have a significantly negative effect on your calorie intake and also slows down your metabolism, immobilising fat to be used as energy. In simple terms, your body is trying so hard to digest and metabolise the alcohol, that fat burning stops all together for many hours after a big night out.
Alcohol is a diuretic, meaning alcohol causes your body to become dehydrated. With less water in your body and muscular cells, it is harder to build muscle. If you’ve been incorporating resistance training into your exercise routine, alcohol is a huge contributor to minimising any strength results, lowering protein synthesis (muscle growth) by 20%. Alcohol also blocks the absorption of many key nutrients for muscle function and growth including phosphorous, magnesium, iron and potassium.
Alcohol interferes with the way your body makes energy. With your body working hard to break down the alcohol, less glucose is able to be produced. A lower level of sugar available in the bloodstreams results in poor energy levels and therefore your exercise intensity and performance during your workout will be reduced.
Planning ahead is key to any alcohol overindulgence.
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