We can be so consistent in the gym and work on progressive overload, or even eat the right number of fruits and vegetables every single day, but something we don’t consider could be affecting how quickly we move towards our goal is alcohol. Most of the time, we completely forget the liquid calories (including pop, coffee, juices, etc.) and how that plays a role.
Now let’s get one thing straight before we dive into this…I’m not telling you that you can never have alcohol again, because that’s not realistic. My goal is to just inform you of what alcohol does and to encourage you to live a balanced lifestyle.
Alcohol consumption effects:
As alcohol reduces the quality of sleep, we want to recall the benefits we are now risking from reduced sleep. Such as hormone and insulin regulation, and muscle repair and recovery. If your goal is to work towards weight loss and you’re already struggling with consistently hitting good quality and quantity of sleep, alcohol will be reducing this even more.
Another point I feel is most important to hit on is the effects of protein synthesis, or in this case, the lack thereof. As you work all day to hit your protein intake goal, which most likely is already very challenging, adding a few drinks at the end of the day will reduce your body’s ability to use that protein for the goals you’re intaking it for.
Alcohol can increase cortisol, reduce testosterone, and shows a decrease in plasma amino acids. What we sometimes forget, or ignore, is that alcohol is a toxin. Not only can it result in death due to irresponsible behaviors, but it also increases risks of obesity and other preventable diseases that ultimately lead to death.
When partaking in drinking alcohol, I would recommend reducing your overall consumption. Start in small steps just like every goal, to make sure it can be achieved. If you feel like you’re struggling with alcohol consumption and need assistance, please reach out to a center near you or to trusted family/friends. Remember to enjoy alcohol responsibly!