Stacey Kyle - Head Coach
I personally have always said I would rather eat my calories than drink them. I say this for a few reasons – first being that food is much tastier, second is that I could literally eat a burger and it would be less calories than having a few wines after work.
Just in case you want the math, when we work out calories from the macros, here are the details:
Carbs = g x 4, Protein = g x 4, Fat = g x 9, Alcohol is g x 7.
That’s alcohol alone, not the sugar/carbs from any flavouring or mixers.
Unfortunately, since I’ve lived in The Mount my alcohol intake has been slowly increasing, so I thought it was time we all took a closer look into the effects of alcohol and our training so we can make a balanced decision for ourselves based on the facts.
Let’s begin by diving in with the immediate effects that alcohol has on our training:
First and foremost, alcohol is a diuretic – now as much as diuretics can be great at making you look lean for a short amount of time, this only happens because it is dehydrating you by making the kidneys produce more urine. When we train, we sweat – adding to this dehydration. If you are not well hydrated during training, then your performance will be affected due to the lack of blood flow carrying oxygen and nutrients to your active muscles.
Another big issue is the way alcohol can affect our energy production. The liver is responsible for glucose production giving you energy, but this will become second if the liver is too busy breaking down the alcohol – leaving you feeling drained.
And finally, the reason most of us drink alcohol is it gives us that nice relaxed feeling after a long day at work. This is actually because it is slowing the neurons that pass messages around the body. This can take a while to come back to usual function, causing your senses to dull and can cause a lack of co-ordination.
In summary if you wish to perform the next day or even the next few days it is obviously suggested to avoid drinking. But we also believe in balance, so what is the best way to get the best of both?
1. Firstly, just try reducing the amount you drink slightly – do you really need to keep up with the squad?
2. Drink plenty of water that day, between drinks and the next day. This will help to keep the body hydrated and the body functioning the way it should.
3. Don’t be afraid to eat. I know I just said alcohol is more calories, but if you keep your carbs high this will help replenish your muscles making it easier to perform and recover.
4. Choose your drinks wisely, go for lower alcohol options and avoid sugary mixers.
5. Put your glass down between sips if you can - this will slow your drinking down so you don’t get carried away. Don’t have your next drink waiting for you – get moving between drinks and go for a walk to get your next one.
6. Re-hydrate before bed and a sneaky tip is to add salt to your drink or food, this will help replace the sodium lost from dehydration during the night.
...Or better yet, offer to sober drive!