Exercise and Booze – Diet and Fitness
It’s Friday afternoon, your work is done, and a drink with some friends seems like the perfect way to unwind from the week. Even though you deserve to go out and relax there are a few things that you should definitely keep in mind if you plan on having a few drinks.
Is tomorrow going to be a day for exercise? Since you exercise regularly, a few drinks won’t really hurt anything, right? Well studies show that alcohol reduces your strength, endurance, recovery-time, and your ability to burn fat essentially sabotaging your diet and fitness efforts.
Whether it’s beer, wine, or hard liquor, any alcoholic beverage has a negative effect on your central nervous system and brain, especially if taken in sufficient quantities. If you drink regularly, over time you can severely deteriorate your central nervous system. Even sporadic drinking causes nerve-muscle interaction to be reduced in the short-term, which results in strength loss.
When alcohol reaches the blood cells, it typically damages them. Regular drinkers (that is not to say alcoholics per se) typically have an inflammation of the muscle cells. Over time some inflamed cells can die which ultimately result in less functional muscle contractions. Drinking alcohol also causes more muscle soreness after exercise, which means longer recuperation time is required after workouts.
Alcohol has a myriad of negative effects on your circulatory system and heart as well. When you drink, heat loss increases, because alcohol causes your blood vessels to dilate. The loss in heat can cause your muscles to become quite cold which results in slower and weaker muscle contractions. That’s why when you drink you may see a reduction in your physical endurance.
As if that isn’t enough, alcohol can also lead to digestive problems. Alcohol causes insulin to be released, which increases the metabolism of glycogen, this causes your body to essentially hold fat. Alcohol also hinders the absorption of many essential nutrients. One can even become anemic and deficient in type-B vitamins. So you can see how alcohol can derail your diet and fitness goals.
Your liver detoxifies alcohol from your body so the more you drink, the harder your liver must work. Alcohol can cause serious liver damage even destroying some of your liver cells.
It sounds as an extreme way of putting it but one must remember that alcohol is a poison. It just happens to be a legalized poison with overwhelming social acceptance. The fact is alcohol can really harm your body if you aren’t careful.
Alcohol is also a diuretic so drinking large quantities will put a lot of stress on your kidneys as it dehydrates you. This dehydration also causes hormones to be secreted which can also lead to increased water retention and that’s never a good thing.