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How Alcohol Affects Workouts and Your Progress

Listen to “How Alcohol Affects Workouts and Your Progress”.

When assessing your overall health, your exercise tendencies are not the only thing you should be taking into consideration. You should also keep a close eye on your diet. 

Alcohol significantly affects your fitness, and it’s important to know what it does to your body. If you decide to have a few drinks, you should understand the potential effects it will have on your progress. 

After a night of drinking, most people discover that their bodies are slower to respond. This is commonly known as a hangover, and the unpleasant feelings caused by them can make your next-day workouts more lacklustre. More surprising, however, is that what appears to be a short-lived headache can have a lasting impact on your overall training progress. 

It’s common to feel nauseous after a night of drinking. However, alcohol can also place other stressors on our bodies. Alcohol is a toxin and, once consumed, your body has to work to metabolize it in order to remove it from your system. This results in your body having to work harder to fight the results of drinking alcohol when it should be focused on helping you recover from your workout. 

Proper hydration is vital for regulating your body’s temperature. When alcohol is present in your system, there’s an increased chance of overheating, which can lead to a raised heart rate. As training and workout performance often depend on your resting heart rate, this can set you back. Your body is too busy metabolizing the alcohol instead or recovering from that workout. 

Alcohol can also increase your chances of immediate water retention, which will result in weight-gain and longer-lasting impacts on your waistline.

Water. The Benefits of Staying Hydrated?

Alcohol is a potent diuretic, a substance that promotes the production of urine, meaning it can severely dehydrate your body for up to a week, depending on how much you drink. While dehydrated, you’re at higher risk of sustaining musculoskeletal injuries such as cramps, muscle pulls and strains

Alcohol depletes a broad range of vitamins, minerals, and proteins that our bodies need to help us recover post-workout. This reduction in nutrients directly impacts training progress, as they play a pivotal role in acting as our body’s building blocks. One vital nutrient, in particular, magnesium, is lost with the presence of alcohol.

Health Benefits of Cutting Down Alcohol

Magnesium is responsible for relaxing muscle tension, lowering our pulse rate, and reducing stress levels. All three of which are needed to support proper exercise recovery.

There is no doubt that alcohol affects our quality of sleep. While alcohol may seem to help us to fall asleep initially, frequent sleep disturbances will occur. Your overall sleep quality will suffer as your body metabolizes the alcohol.

If you’re working out to lose weight, one of the most important things to know, is that drinking alcohol is highly counterproductive. If you want to lose weight, one of the best things you can do is to stop drinking. Alcohol contains a lot of unnecessary additional calories which our bodies can’t process or utilize for energy, and so become extra weight. 

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