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Alcohol Side Effects & How They Can Affect Your Workout Routine

written by Guest Blogger September 28, 2015

Are you leading an otherwise healthy lifestyle, despite indulging in alcohol consumption on a regular basis? You may be interested in this article by Rachelle Wilber, which discusses how alcohol could be reversing all your hard work and efforts to your healthy lifestyle. 

Liquor offers many enticements and allurements. If you believe the ads on television, it involves beautiful women, wealthy people and exotic places. Alcohol can be a lovely beverage when used moderately at the right place and time. It also has some negative effects, especially on your physical health.


If you eat healthy and work out, alcohol may be stealing some of the positive affects you gain with your healthy lifestyle. Before you belly up to the bar, you may want to read about the five ways alcohol can get in the way of your workout, your progress and your life.

Brain Function
Not surprisingly, alcohol interferes with brain function in a number ways. We are used to seeing side effects like blurred vision, slurred words and an unsteady gait. It also slows the metabolism of glycogen, which means the brain is deprived of glycogen and of energy. This effect lasts for one to two days after drinking. Alcohol steals brain performance.

Muscle Building
Alcohol negatively affects protein synthesis or anabolism. It diminishes the amount of protein that is turned into muscle. It doesn’t only affect the growth of muscle, but it slows down the recovery of muscle tissue because less protein is available to repair muscle tissue. It also causes a shortage of oxygen which blocks the production of adenosine triphosphate syntheses (ATP). ATP is an important energy source for muscles.

Drinking alcohol causes dehydration. Being dehydrated slows muscle recovery because it decreases blood flow to the muscles. Dehydration can cause the blood to thicken and result in elevated blood pressure. It also slows the metabolism.

When you drink, a toxic hormone is released in the liver that directly decreases the amount of testosterone secreted into the body. Testosterone aids in the production of muscle mass. Drinking may also affect the level of human growth hormone (HGH) which helps to build muscle.

A beer has about 150 calories and 12 carbs. A shot of whiskey has 80 calories. Consuming only a few beers can really put a damper on a meal plan and planned calorie intake. Reuters reports that men drink about 2.5 drinks per hour between 11PM and midnight on Saturdays, while women drink about 1.9. Alcohol can’t be stored as a nutrient in the body, so it is stored as a fat.

The Other Consequences

  • Drinking affects judgment and coordination, long after the last call. This can be demonstrated by the poor decisions that have been made under the influence. If you drink enough alcohol, you can pretty easily injure yourself very seriously which is a huge cost to  physical performance.
  • Drinking immediately after a workout slows the recovery process. Alcohol will replace the carbohydrates leaving you with half the amount up to 8 hours later.
  • Drinking can also cause social, psychological, work, family and physical health problems at the extremes. In addition to all of the physical consequences listed above, drinking too much can take a terrible toll on your life. The consequences of driving under the influence can be costly. It depends of the area, but a DUI can cost you up to six months in jail, a $1,000 fine and other really inconvenient consequences. In the case of being charged with a DUI, be sure to have an experienced attorney like Byron Roope, a DUI Lawyer in Sacramento, ready on your side to help guide you through the legal process and charges.

If you are working hard to be healthy and physically fit, you may want to think about leaving alcohol out of your life plan or at least minimize it. Alcohol takes away a lot of the positive effects of the hard work in working out and it negates some of the healthy eating. If you do drink, experts recommend not doing it on a workout day and limiting consumption to two drinks or less.

About the Author

Rachelle Wilber is a freelance writer living in the San Diego, California area. She graduated from San Diego State University with her Bachelor’s Degree in Journalism and Media Studies. She tries to find an interest in all topics and themes, which prompts her writing. When she isn’t on her porch writing in the sun, you can find her shopping, at the beach, or at the gym. Follow her on twitter: @RachelleWilber

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