Whilst we’re all up for a cheeky drink or two, especially at Christmas time, alcohol can have a huge effect on your fitness and workout regime. You might feel like toasting your super-intense Gym session with a glass of bubbly but in reality, this is sure to undo all your hard work. It’s also hugely important to not hit the treadmill after a big night, no matter how fresh you might feel. Read on to discover how alcohol can seriously affect your fitness regime and do more damage than you think…
If you’re a serial calorie counter, then you might be surprised and somewhat shocked at just how many calories alcohol hides away. On average, a pint of lager packs 180 calories and a 175ml glass of white wine will hit the 159 calorie mark. So whilst we encourage celebrating any weight loss or new personal best after a workout, it’s best not to do so in liquid form else you could be piling back on the calories you’ve just sweated out. Why not opt for a lower calorie tipple such as vodka or gin with slimline tonic? Save that calorie intake for refuel such as protein and vegetables that will help, not hinder, your health and fitness journey.
Have you ever been told that you can ‘sweat out your hangover’ in the gym? We aren’t so sure this is scientifically correct. Hitting the Gym with a hangover can actually do more harm than good as you’re sure to be running on empty before you’ve even reached the cross trainer. Taking on a taxing workout without sufficient energy resources can not only make you lose motivation quicker but can cause physical effects too such as nausea and feeling lightheaded. Plus, alcohol dehydrates your body at the best of times so a sweaty session is only going to make you that bit more parched. We wouldn’t normally advocate skipping a workout but if you’ve had a heavy night, we’ll let you off.
Perhaps the most obvious reason that exercise and booze don’t mix is the fact that working out, whether on your own or at the gym, with alcohol in your system can be downright dangerous. Everyone knows that too much drink can play havoc with your brains ability to coordinate properly so why risk injury to yourself or others? You might wake up feeling fresh as a daisy and ready to run a marathon but it takes, on average, the human body three hours to clear just one glass of wine from your system; meaning a bottle of wine could take up to 15 hours. Everyone’s different of course but it’s hardly worth the risk.
Still fancy a cheeky post-workout celebratory treat? Read our blog on how dark chocolate is not only delicious but can be beneficial to your health.