There is no getting away from the fact that many people get excited by the prospect of finishing work on a Friday and going down the pub.
I hear you say “many times alcohol consumption makes people look more attractive!” in the short-term this may be true, however
In many parts of the UK I guess, the general consensus is a ‘nice’ pint or a glass of wine is a good way of unwinding in the evenings for some. There is no harm in going down the pub on a Friday night but if you are serious about your health and fitness goals you CANNOT afford to be going through 5 or 6 pints a few times a week. That’s easily done.
Excessive amounts of alcohol not only empty your wallet but it has adverse affects on your health and fitness and your good looks.
Alcohol is actually a lot more harmful than people think; it does more than just give you a thick head the next day.
So here are the 5 main ways which alcohol slows down your progress:
1) It negatively affects protein synthesis. Stopping you building muscle and causing wastage or catabolism.
Protein synthesis is the process where amino acids are joined together to form complete proteins. Excessive alcohol consumption slows this process down by up to 20%, and since your muscles are made up of protein, you can see how this is a problem.
2) It lowers testosterone levels and increases oestrogen.
Testosterone, the male hormone, is the most important hormone in your body if you’re male. If you have any problems with your libido and you drink lots then excess alcohol maybe partly to blame.
Estrogen, the female hormone, is increased significantly with alcohol consumption. High estrogen levels can cause lots of problems for both men and women but the main one is weight gain in the form of FAT. AND depending on the type of estrogen will depend of whether you get a fat backside, big belly or man boobs…..take your pick…..
3) It causes dehydration.
Your skin will age faster and look worse.
The kidneys must filter very large amounts of water in order to break down the alcohol, and this can result in severe dehydration within the body. Water plays an absolutely crucial role in the body, and being even slightly dehydrated is a recipe for disaster. The muscles alone are comprised of 70% water.
4) It depletes the body of vitamins and minerals.
Alcohol consumption causes vitamins A, C, the B’s, calcium, zinc and phosphorus to all be drained at rapid rates. Vitamins and minerals keep every little process in your body functioning properly.
5) It increases fat storage.
With 7 empty calories per gram, alcohol can actually be quite fattening. Alcohol also disrupts the Kreb’s Cycle, which plays an important role in fat burning.
I’m not saying a pint of lager or a glass of wine will mean that you won’t be able to reach your fitness goals and lose weight but you need to be sensible. Your life is there to be enjoyed and to have fun; too much fun could lead to problems though.
If you’re serious about achieving significant fitness results, you definitely need to monitor your intake of alcohol and make sure that you are consuming it in moderation. A few drinks here and there shouldn’t be a problem, but if you find yourself drinking every weekend you can almost certainly kiss your health and fitness gains goodbye.
If you know that you will be in a situation where you will be drinking try to reduce the negative effects by drinking plenty of water during and after you have finished drinking, it’ll help to properly nourish you with vitamins and minerals and help reduce the feelings of a hangover the next day.
Remember this, if you’ve taken the time to make the effort to improve your physical conditioning and your overall health, why take major steps backwards and impede you improvements by excess consumption of alcohol every weekend?
As a personal trainer I see my clients and many of you have worked very hard to make great strides towards being healthier, lets not undo our hard work every weekend.
Committed to your health and fitness,