Lets be real here, alcohol is counter productive, period. People generally make bad decisions when they are drunk that they wouldnít normally do if sober. Itís poison to your body. Making you feel like crap, gain fat and slow down your mental and motor skills. So why do we do it? Itís fun, itís a social outing, it taste good, it relaxes us. Whatever your vice is, so be it. Iím not here to lecture you. Thatís what your parents and high school teachers are for. Iím going to tell you the setbacks it plays on your body and how to minimize damage if youíre going to drink.
All alcohol is whatís known as empty calories. Meaning, there is no valuable nutrition to the calories consumes. Each beer, shot, cocktail or glass of wine contains anywhere from 100-400+ calories per drink! The higher calorie drinks are the sugary cocktails loaded with juice and sugar to make it taste good. These things are garbage and you should stay away from them. Your best bet is always the lowest calories drinks such as light beer, wine or a shot. These will put you in the 100-150 calorie per drink range.
Lets say you consume 5 drinks for the night and each one was 150 calories. You just took in 750 empty calories that must be accounted for. If your target daily calorie consumption is 3,000 calories you must now remove valuable calories to make up for this so that you still end the day at 3,000 calories. Your best bet is to remove carbs and fats from your macronutrients that day and keep your protein levels high. This way you protect your muscles and can still help with recovery.
A few drinks wonít disrupt your hormones but 4+ drinks in one night will do damage. First off, it lowers your natural testosterone levels. Testosterone is the fuel to your tank. Itís the muscle-building hormone in the body that helps build muscle, burn fat and gives you the physical drive. It will return to normal levels but it takes a few days or even up to two weeks if you had a super heavy drinking night.
Why do we feel so crappy after a night of drinking, even if we got a full nights rest? Because you never get proper sleep when drunk. When you sleep your body goes through sleep cycles. The final and deepest sleep cycle is called REM sleep and this is the stage where you actually repair and recover. When you are drunk you donít get REM sleep. This is why we are still tired and feel like crap.
Higher Fat Storage:
Many people will drink when trying to lose body fat and say, ďoh Iím on a diet so Iíll just drink low calorie drinks and make sure not to eat junk food tonight.Ē I got news flash for you. Itís not the calories that are making you fat, itís the actual alcohol content. Our bodies do not know how to break down alcohol. When you consume more than a few drinks your body stops metabolizing the current foods and body fats it is breaking down and moves over to this foreign substance ďalcoholĒ and has to now start breaking it down. Therefore, our metabolism slows down.
Like I said, Iím not here to lecture. I just want you all to realize the damage alcohol does to your progress and what you can do to keep things to a minimum. Do I drink? Yes. I know itís counter productive but I keep it minimal and save it for special occasions. At the end of the day/week/month/year I keep myself 100% accountable for all my actions and assure Iím making forward progress. So here are some of my personal tips for you to focus on if you do drink. And if you donít drink, more power to you!
- Stay away from sugary cocktails. Stick with low calorie drinks.
- Remove fats and carbs from your meal plan that day to count for the empty calories.
- Donít have more then a few drinks.
- If you do have more than a few drinks in one night, know your damage and get your butt up early in the morning and hit some cardio to burn it off and sweat it out.
- Drink water before, during and after your drinks. This will keep you hydrated.
- Eat high non saturated fats the next day to help raise your normal testosterone levels back up.
Written by Scott Kemp. Brought to you by BKiPaintball.com