Fitness expert reveals why drinking alcohol is ruining your workout efforts – and the shocking impact it has on your body and overall health
- A fitness expert has revealed how alcohol is destroying your fitness progress
- Mackenzie Blakey said alcohol reduces performance and hinders muscle growth
- It also can lead to injury if exercise is carried out when dehydrated or hungover
- Consequently this slows the progress towards your fitness goals
A fitness expert has revealed how drinking alcohol is destroying your efforts and progress after a workout as Dry July reaches the half way point in Australia.
Mackenzie Blakey, Program and Research Lead for Body Fit Training in Sydney, told Daily Mail Australia drinking alcohol has been proven to reduce performance, impact muscle development and increase risk of injury when exercising.
Not only does alcohol dehydrate the body, it also increases the heart rate, impairs sleep and cognitive function and hinders muscle growth.
This ultimately hinders the progress towards your fitness goals by making it harder to lose weight or build muscle.
Mackenzie Blakey, Program and Research Lead for Body Fit Training in Sydney, told Daily Mail Australia drinking alcohol has been proven to reduce performance, impact muscle development and increase risk of injury when exercising
The effects of alcohol ultimately hinders the progress of your fitness goals and almost reverses what you are trying to achieve during a workout
How does alcohol impact your body and delay fitness goals?
Ms Blakey said alcohol impairs efficient energy utilisation and processing during exercise, making your body work harder to achieve a lesser outcome.
‘Alcohol consumption alters your energy source used by working skeletal muscles, reducing energy supply and impairing metabolic processes,’ she said.
‘It also decreases the rate of protein production and muscle fibre recruitment.’
With these bodily functions and system not working at their best, you will feel worse when working out after drinking alcohol and will likely achieve very little after a workout session.
Thousands of Australians sign up each year to raise money for cancer research by ditching the drink for ‘Dry July’
The ‘warning signs’ to determine if you drink too much alcohol:
* If you drink alcohol ‘without thinking’
* If alcohol becomes a way to relax
* Others notice your consumption
* If it impacts your mood and lifestyle
* If you drink more than 10 beverages a week or more than four per day
* If you can’t stick to drinking limits
* If alcohol becomes a way to cope with different situations
How does alcohol impact muscle growth?
Regardless of whether you’re trying to burn fat, gain muscle or workout to keep fit, alcohol essentially prolongs the time it takes to reach fitness goals.
‘Muscle growth is dependent on both hypertrophy training and sufficient nutrition including adequate protein intake – alcohol consumption affects both of these,’ Ms Blakey said.
She added how on a night out when alcohol is consumed it is often paired with fast food, which is high in fats and carbohydrates with little protein.
‘A big night of drinking is also generally paired with little sleep as well as dehydration,’ she said.
‘Hydration and sleep are important aspects of hypertrophy training as adaptations occur at rest, preceding the training session.’
‘So alcohol not only negatively affects performance and the ability to train efficiently but also impacts the resultant gains.’
What to expect when you stop drinking:
Within 12-24 hours: Detoxification begins and blood sugar normalises.
During this period you may experience withdrawal symptoms including sweating, anxiety, depression and insomnia.
Within one week: Quality of sleep should improve and you should start to feel more energised and hydrated.
Within two weeks: Weight loss may begin thanks to cutting out the hidden calories in alcohol.
Within three to four weeks: Blood pressure stabilises.
Source: Dry July
Regardless of whether you’re trying to burn fat, gain muscle or workout to keep fit, alcohol essentially prolongs the time it takes to reach fitness goals
Why is it important to not exercise when you’re dehydrated or hungover?
You should avoid exercising when dehydrated or hungover as this can lead to injuries.
Ms Blakey said dehydration places strain on different bodily system, which boosts your heart rate and increases the risk of fatal consequences.
‘Dehydration impairs cognitive function, increases cardiovascular strain, alters metabolic function and induces alterations in central nervous system functions,’ she said.
‘This causes your exercising heart rate to increase at a greater rate and impairs your body’s ability to regulate homeostasis therefore putting bodily systems under a greater level of stress.’
Australia’s guidelines for healthy drinking:
Australian Guidelines recommend healthy adults should drink no more than two standard drinks on any day to cut the lifetime risk of harm from alcohol-related disease or injury.
They also recommend consuming a max of four standard drinks on a single occasion to reduce the risk of alcohol-related injury.
A standard drink contains about 10 grams of alcohol – the amount your body can process in an hour.
The average glass of wine served in a pub contains 1.5 standard drinks.
New draft guidelines recommend healthy Australian women and men drink no more than 10 standard drinks a week.
Source: Health Direct