Fitness Together, the largest one-on-one private, personal training franchise in the U.S., is encouraging Americans to educate themselves about the relationship between alcohol and fitness this April, which is Alcohol Awareness Month.
There are so many studies out there that say alcohol is bad and there are also studies that say alcohol is good. So, who do we listen to? said Suzanne Caruso, certified nutritionist and personal trainer at Fitness Together, Reading. The key is moderation. If youre the type of person who can have one or two adult beverages and not have it affect your normal eating habits and daily functions, then you should be ok. If you are the type of person who finds yourself overindulging, then a focus of reduction might be an appropriate game plan.
Caruso, along with Fitness Together, Bethesda owner and certified personal trainer Robin Coe, say alcohol can impact fitness performance in a few ways:
- Metabolism: Alcohol contains empty calories and those calories may reduce the rate of which other macronutrients are metabolized. The body must metabolize alcohol before it can get to food, often leading to excess calorie storage.
- Hydration: Drinking alcohol after a workout will adversely affect the bodys ability to replenish glycogen, which is the substance in our bodily tissue that stores carbohydrates. After strength training or high-intensity cardio, the muscles are already dehydrated, and drinking alcohol can further dehydrate the body and prolong muscle recovery. In some cases, muscles may not function optimally for three to five days.
- Food Selection: Alcohol can lower the body and minds ability to choose proper food sources. Instead of having a well-balanced, protein-based meal, a person who has had a few too many drinks may inadvertently choose foods that are at the bottom of the food continuum – Lose-Lose situation if one is trying to lose weight and or body fat.
- Physical Performance: Fitness routines, athletic performance and muscles are all impacted by alcohol. Alcohol reduces our ability to recover and it certainly reduces our ability to perform. Alcohol can delay the recovery process, cause hormone disruption and interrupt sleep patterns. If you want to operate at peak performance or you have a competition coming up, you might want to ditch the alcohol. After the event is over, its ok to get together with teammates/competitors/friends/family and celebrate. But again, one or two beverages should be the norm.
Moderate alcohol shouldnt ruin your fitness routine. However, if you are looking for the ‘six-pack abs’ you will need to say no to booze, adds Coe. Alcohol produces excess and unnecessary calories for your body. As long as youre realistic with your goals in relation to your alcohol consumption, having a 5oz glass of wine 3 times per week is acceptable.
A highly-recommended book and resource for exploring whether you have a healthy relationship with alcohol is This Naked Mind: Control Alcohol, Find Freedom, Discover Happiness & Change Your Life by Annie Grace.
Additionally, Robin and Suzanne recommend booking a private training session and nutrition consultation at Fitness Together. There are currently over 140 convenient Fitness Together locations throughout the U.S. To find a location near you, go to fitnesstogether.com
About Fitness Together
Fitness Together is a one-on-one private, personal training franchise focused on changing clients lives with improved fitness and health. Whether the aim is to lose weight or achieve better health, Fitness Together pairs clients with a personal trainer and a workout plan tailored for their goals. To learn more, visit www.fitnesstogetherfranchise.com.
Tyler Rathjen | Decibel Blue| [email protected]