Sometimes alcohol gets a bad rap from the fitness community. Alcohol has been blamed for many things such as preventing fat loss, lowering fitness desires, inhibiting muscle growth, and it has even been linked to moderate depression after excessive use. Could these accusations be true? Or is it ok to keep partying like the best of them?
Every once and a while
Most scientific research shows that it’s ok to have a drink every once and awhile. Some fitness guru’s completely swear off alcohol because of the effects it has on their bodies. But since everyone reacts to different substances differently, and everybody has their own fitness goals, it is truly up to you to decide if alcohol is sabotaging your fitness routines.
One of the best ways to determine if drinking alcohol is right for you is to establish how you feel when you drink alcohol. That may mean keeping a ‘mood journal’ to track your feelings before, during and after drinking. Usually people who get this serious about their alcohol consumption are usually leaning towards limiting, or completely eliminating alcohol from their lives. But a mood journal may just help finally determine if those ‘blue moods’ or ‘extra bloating’ is in fact related to alcohol and not related to other pleasures of life (like maybe processed food?).
Setting goals is awesome and also a great way to determine how often you may want to indulge in an alcoholic beverage. Since alcohol is very high in calories, if losing weight is one of your fitness goals, reducing the amount of your regular alcohol consumption could certainly expedite your weightloss journey. Every single action you take is either getting you closer to your goals or farther away.
Effect on Performance
It has been reported by many fitness leaders that alcohol affects their performance. Check out Brenda Lee Turner’s youtube video Why I Never Drink Alcohol. She claims that alcohol lowers her ambition to push harder at the gym, among other things. Using the age old ‘Pro and Con’ list could really help tally up the good and bad experiences you have with alcohol.
Be the best version of you that you can be.
Of course, alcohol has addictive factors and this is an important consideration for anybody. To prevent bad habits, it is great to develop healthy habits instead. If your friends/family like to include alcohol every time you get together, maybe it is time to suggest new activities. In the case of the ‘Crabs in the Bucket’, the crabs try to pull any potential member that tries to crawl out, pulling that crab back down into the debts bucket – completely preventing any crab from leaving the group. Assessing whether or not you have people around you that may be distracting you from your fitness goals with alcohol is a huge realization. Of course, this is not always the case, but it is certainly something to consider if you are serious about your fitness goals.
Another great way to save money is to cut down on alcohol expense, especially if you frequent bars or drink when eating out. That expense can add up throughout the month and can greatly increase your monthly savings. You may find that by reducing your alcohol consumption per month, you may be able to join a new gym activity, or better yet, buy new fitness clothes.
It’s ok not to drink
Whatever may be pressuring you to drink – you really don’t have to. It could be that you feel you are /losing out on the party’ if you don’t drink, but really, if you need alcohol to have a good time, there may be something else to consider. Choose a different kind of party, learn to have fun in different ways. You can invite friends and family out to support your fitness goals by enjoying activities that are fitness oriented.
To conclude, it is truly up to you to decide if you want to include alcohol while you journey towards a fit and fabulous life. Who do you want to be? And is alcohol part of that image you want to create? These are all very deep and life altering questions – but considering how serious you are about creating a fit and fabulous life, you may just find your answer. Either way, just don’t feel bad about whatever you choose, or if you ‘sip’ once and awhile – be sure to enjoy every drop!
Cheers to you and your fitness career!