Health expert Sabrina Wolf explains: This is the influence alcohol consumption really has on physical fitness.
The discussions about the influence of alcohol on fitness are repeated and at the same time the myths about alcohol and fitness persist in the world of sports. But what is really there? Is alcohol actually harmful to your fitness or is a glass of red wine in the evening perhaps healthy after all?
Today you will get the answers to the question of what influence alcohol has on your diet, your health and your muscle building. And I can tell you in advance: Alcohol and fitness just don’t go together – alcohol as a neurotoxin is simply too unhealthy for the body.
Alcohol and weight loss
Alcohol can make you fat because it is very high in calories. Illustrated with numbers, this means: one gram of pure alcohol contains seven calories, which is almost as many calories as one gram of fat, because that has nine calories. In comparison, one gram of sugar has only four calories. The problem with alcohol consumption, however, is that it is usually not mixed neat, but rather mixed with sugary drinks to make long drinks or cocktails. This turns the drink into a real calorie bomb.
In addition, alcohol inhibits fat burning in the body. After consuming it, your body is busy breaking down the alcohol and can therefore not break down body fat at the same time – on the contrary. The body actually stores more fat in the fat cells than usual. If you eat or drink during, before or after consuming alcohol, all of the fat contained in the food or in the drinks is stored directly in the fat cells.
In addition, alcohol limits the absorption of important nutrients. This leads to cravings for fatty or salty foods. If you then give in to the feeling of hunger, the nutrients in this food will not be properly absorbed and the fat will be stored directly in the fat cells.
All of these are bad conditions if you’ve just made the decision to lose weight or if you’re in the middle of a diet. The consumption of alcohol is a huge thwart for you.
Basically, however, the following applies anyway: you lose weight if you consume more calories than you consume and you gain weight if you consume more calories than you consume. However, you must be aware that alcohol is not particularly rich in nutrients and that the absorption of nutrients is limited by consumption. In addition, when you have cravings caused by alcohol, you rarely resort to healthy food, as your body craves fatty or salty foods. The fat from the meal is then stored directly in the fat cells.
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Alcohol and health
The more alcohol you have in your blood, the worse your coordination skills become – this can lead to injuries. Your coordination skills may still be limited during training the next morning after partying, as there may be residual alcohol in the blood.
In addition, alcohol makes you sleep worse because it reduces your deep sleep phase. In connection with going to bed late – which is mostly associated with alcohol consumption – you will get less sleep than your body needs, which together with the reduced deep sleep phase does not make your sleep very restful, which in turn reduces your performance. This can be very unfavorable during training the following day and also have a negative effect on your ability to regenerate, as your body regenerates during sleep – if it is not restful, the regeneration takes longer.
The consumption of alcohol can also have an impact on your psyche, because alcohol lowers your resilience and your motivation – this means that you can only train with low intensity and your motivation for exercise is not particularly high.
Alcohol and muscle building
The consumption of alcohol increases the levels of cortisol in the body. Cortisol is a stress hormone – alcohol puts your body in a stressful situation. The release of cortisol also inhibits the release of testosterone, which is the growth hormone in the body. This means that muscle growth is stunted when you consume alcohol. So if you were training at noon and partying with a lot of alcohol in the evening, the afternoon training was pretty much free.
Never again alcohol?
As with anything, of course, the crowd makes the poison. One glass of wine a week will not make you fat and it will not stop you building muscle. However, for many people it is often not just a glass of wine and not even once a week. So if you like to drink too much more often and at the same time are busy losing weight or building muscles, then you should think about whether this is the right way … Maybe you weren’t really aware of that before Alcohol can affect your diet so negatively. Make a conscious decision as to whether or not you want to drink alcohol – and keep the effects on your body and health in mind, which can still occur a few days after consuming it. Enjoyment can be natural, but the effects of too much alcohol on your health can be quite strong.
I’ve never been a fan of bans and would never advise anyone to completely avoid alcohol. Because renunciation is always negative. If you don’t want to give up alcohol, then of course you have every right to do so. It is your conscious choice! However, you then have to be able to expect the consequences. I consider a healthy mediocrity to be the best solution: never drink too much alcohol and don’t drink a glass of what you like as a coercion, but with pleasure.