We've all heard the saying, "moderation is key." But when it comes to alcohol and fitness, is that really true?
Can you have a drink or two and still be considered healthy? Or does alcohol completely cancel out all of your hard work at the gym?
In this post, we'll explore the effects of alcohol on fitness and provide some tips for how to include it in your life without compromising your progress.
What Is Alcohol?
Alcohol, specifically ethanol, is a clear, colorless, and flammable liquid that is produced through the fermentation of sugars.
This process happens when yeast cells convert sugars into alcohol and carbon dioxide gas.
Alcohol is the main constituent of alcoholic beverages, such as beer, wine, whiskey, vodka, and others.
Effects & Side-Effects
We've all been there before. A long day at work, a fight with our significant other, or maybe we just had a really rough day, and we want to take the edge off.
So we pour ourselves a drink. And it feels good. We relax, let out a deep breath, and suddenly the world doesn't seem so bad anymore.
But what we don't realize is that alcohol is technically poison. It's a central nervous system depressant that slows down the body's ability to function properly.
When people drink alcohol, it quickly enters the bloodstream and goes to the brain.
Alcohol affects judgment and lowers inhibitions. People may seem more relaxed, and less inhibited after drinking alcohol.
But alcohol also impairs coordination, balance, and vision.
While it may make us feel good in the moment, drinking too much can lead to serious health problems like liver damage, heart disease, and others.
All of these potential side effects though stem from one single thing - the fact that alcohol is highly addictive.
Addiction refers to a person's psychological dependence on a substance or activity.
People with an addiction have a strong urge to drink or use the substance even though it's causing them problems.
However, those are extreme cases, and for the average alcohol enjoyer, one thing is of true importance…
The Dosage Makes The Poison!
Most people are familiar with the old saying, "the dosage makes the poison."
The same is true of many other substances, including alcohol.
While a small amount of certain alcoholic drinks can (potentially) have beneficial effects on health, drinking too much and too often can lead to serious problems.
Therefore, it is important to remember that moderation is key when it comes to drinking and staying healthy.
This means that if alcohol consumption is not daily and controlled, the balance is still in favor of healthy, constructive habits, you can afford to drink alcohol occasionally without harm.
In fact, you might even enjoy some benefits!
So, what’s the verdict? Should you exclude alcohol completely if you’re fitness-minded?
The answer is, well, not entirely. It depends on your personal goals and how alcohol affects you.
If drinking causes you to overeat or disrupts your sleep, it might be best to avoid it altogether.
But, if you can enjoy a glass of wine every now and then without any negative consequences, there’s no need to swear off alcohol entirely.
Whatever your decision, make sure to stay on track with your constructive, healthy habits and have alcohol as just a side thing to unwind with.
With a little trial and error, you can find the right balance for you that allows for both health and happiness.
As always, if you need any help on your fitness journey, be it about training, nutrition or recovery, message us!
We're here to help.