Many people indulge in alcohol in their social time, be it a glass of wine with dinner, drinks at a sporting event or even a few drinks whilst catching up with friends, but how many of us really understand what it does to the body or how it affects our training?
A weekend drink at the pub can rapidly undo the hard work you are putting into your training & healthy eating during the week. Some people perceive alcohol as a reward for eating well & exercising, but here we explain why this just isn’t the case.
Previous research has suggested that red wine can have health benefits as it contains antioxidants (flavonoids), but in truth alcohol is on average 7kcal per gram – which is almost as much as consuming pure fat, and that’s before adding in any sugary mixers. Antioxidants can be found in a multitude of healthy foods, and also in green tea – so there are far less damaging food and drink options for detoxifying the body.
More recent research suggests that if alcohol were categorised in the same way as drugs in terms of its ill effect on health, it would be in the same category as Class A drugs, above ecstasy. The same research suggests that alcohol is in the top 5 most damaging of the 30 most popular recreational drugs. In fact there are between 10,000-15,000 alcohol related deaths in the UK each year, so what exactly does alcohol do that makes it so detrimental to our bodies?
Negative affects of alcohol on the body:
Detrimental effects on sporting performance:
If you do decide to indulge in a few alcoholic drinks in your social time, you can help to reduce damage to the body by not drinking on an empty stomach – by not eating any food beforehand you are depriving your body of essential nutrients & are more likely to binge on junk at the end of the night. Also be sure to keep hydrated, drink water before you sleep to help the breakdown on alcohol and to help the body maintain its essential functions.