Why alcohol and fitness don’t get on very well

Why alcohol and fitness don't get on very wellThe festive season is beginning to wind down what with Christmas over, but many Brits celebrate quite hard on New Year’s despite how bad it is for you.

While it may not be everyone’s cup of tea tying one on at the end of the year can be a tradition for many people, even though it comes with a host of issues the next day such as headache, nausea, dry mouth, and the general malaise of a hangover. This doesn’t stop too many of us – despite a long and storied acquaintance with the aftermath – but if you’ve been busy working on improving your health and getting your body more fit, there are some things you may want to know about the consumption of alcoholic beverages as New Year’s looms ever closer.

it’s not just about falling down

Everyone knows that alcohol consumption will erode your ability to think and act in a safe and reliable manner, as it doesn’t take a rocket scientist to draw a correlation between falling down on your face after having a few too many. However, there are other physiological effects from excessive drinking that go above and beyond simple physical and mental impairment whilst the alcohol is still within your bloodstream.

While drinking in moderation is always an excellent idea, if you’re the type of person that enjoys ‘partying hard’ you should know that all alcoholic beverages contain calories, often as much as 100 to 150 calories per serving depending on what type of alcoholic beverage. Even so-called ‘lite’ lager style beers – that American abomination that seems to be so distressingly popular – can have nearly 100 calories per serving, though if you’re consuming one of those ‘beverages’ the calorie count is most likely the least of your problems.

Drinking to excess could do more than build belly fat

While the high caloric content of alcoholic beverages is one danger – when it comes to belly fat, no one wants to end up with a beer cask instead of a six pack – there’s another, less well known danger to drinking to excess when it comes to keeping fit. Drinking excessive amounts of alcohol may actually reduce your body’s ability to build muscle mass, according to recent research, as alcohol impairs the process in which protein – the building blocks of human muscle – is synthesised.

Alcoholic beverages are also known as a diuretic, which leads to increased levels of dehydration. This can impact your health in a major, serious way, as remaining hydrated is key to good overall fitness and drinking to excess can result in essential nutrients and electrolytes being eliminated from your body in too great a number, so leave off the heavy drinking and instead stick to sports drinks that are designed to replenish your body’s natural electrolyte balance.

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Image: Pint of bitter by dearbarbie

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