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Drinking is destroying your workouts!

Posted by Christopher Picerni on
Drinking is destroying your workouts!

We all know about the groggy and sluggish feeling the morning after a night of drinking, but are you aware of the impacts alcohol has on your physical and mental health?  We hate to say it, but yes, drinking is crushing your workout gains!  Keep reading below to find out specifically how drinking is setting you back in a more serious way than that morning headache.

Most people are not aware of the medium- and long-term harm drinking causes to your body and mind.  Studies have shown that consuming five or more alcoholic beverages in one night can affect brain and body activities for up to three days.  Two consecutive nights of drinking five or more alcoholic beverages can affect brain and body activities for up to five days!

First, it is helpful to quickly review why drinking hurts you and your health and fitness goals.

  1. Alcohol creates an extremely harmful toxin in your body called acetaldehyde. This toxin is like a little wrecking ball, damaging your cells and DNA.
  2. Your body has no natural storage for alcohol, so you drain vital nutrients and resources in metabolizing and excreting alcohol. These nutrients and resources would otherwise go towards keeping you functioning properly.
  3. Alcohol inhibits the absorption of crucial nutrients like B1, B12, folic acid, and zinc.

Now let’s go over specifically how drinking hurts your workouts, physical performance, and mental acuity.

Physical Effects of Drinking:

  • Drinking cancels out gains from your workout because it diminishes protein synthesis, resulting in a decrease in muscle build-up.
  • It prevents muscle recovery. Alcohol deeply affects sleep, which is crucial to repairing your body after a workout. 
  • Also, because sleep is inhibited, you produce less human growth hormone, HGH, which is vital to muscle repair and growth. Alcohol can decrease the secretion of HGH by as much as 70 percent!
  • Drinking lowers testosterone by producing a substance in your liver that is toxic to testosterone.
  • Alcohol constricts aerobic metabolism and endurance.
  • It depletes your energy. Your cells lose ATP which is their source of energy. This happens because alcohol 1) disrupts the water balance in muscle cells and 2) inhibits gluconeogenesis which reduces the amount of a coenzyme critical to ATP production.
  • One most are familiar with, dehydration. This slows your body’s ability to heal itself.

Mental Effect of Drinking:

  • Drinking harms your memory and retention by disrupting your sleep.
  • It also lowers your ability to learn new information by compromising the hippocampus, which is vital to your learning and memory.

We know drinking is a big part of our social lives, but it is important to always keep these things in mind as you progress on your health and fitness journey.  Abstaining from alcohol is the healthiest thing you can do, but if that’s not realistic or enjoyable for you, we made COAST to be the next best option!

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