Barbells and Booze
Baseball, beer and hotdogs are the ultimate combination for the summer time whether you’re actually playing or at your local stadium knocking back $12 Bud Lights. Though sports and alcohol often go hand in hand, you might reconsider your drinking habits especially if you feel like you have hit a plateau in your exercise goals.
Everyone has had that one rough night where you jump up in shock unaware of where you are, how you got there and what happened the night before aside from getting into the Uber. That notorious “blackout” is in fact you suffocating your brain, and the rest of your body, of oxygen hence not allowing yourself to function at a normal level. In a blind study, two groups of rugby players were subjected to normal or spiked orange juice post competition and assessed both their power output as well as their recovery states the next day. Not surprisingly, the spiked group recorded both lower power outputs and were not able to perform as well the next day. Some of this can be attributed to the deprivation of oxygen which will not allow a restoration of ATP, glycogen and myoglobin, but the decrease in performance can also be attributed to dehydration as well. Most of you do not drink water until you are thirsty but by that point you have already lost 2% of your body weight in water and this is the same threshold that your body begins to suffer a drop in performance. A 2% loss of water is approximately equal to a 10% decrease in performance.
Side Effect and Soreness
As stated previously, alcohol results in a decrease in oxygen content and water saturation within the body which will inevitably lead to a delay in muscle repair which will cause additional soreness whether you ran, swam, jumped, or lifted the previous day. Not only will you feel more uncomfortable but the alcohol throws your hormones out of balance, specifically cortisol and estrogen. Yes men, estrogen can negatively affect you as well, potentially causing your chest day to turn into man boob day if you continually drink post exercise.
Everything in Moderation
Just like anything in life, alcohol can be enjoyed if monitored and not done in excess with emphasis on the timing of alcoholic beverages not being too soon pre- or post exercise. Go out and enjoy yourselves on the weekend, or to your local Margarita Monday, but try to limit yourself to a handful of drinks while also trying to drink a glass of water for every alcoholic beverage which will also help prevent a hangover.