Ever Wonder How Alcohol Affects Your Weight Training?

You go to the gym before you watch football with the guys..you drink during the games..then what have you accomplished in the gym?

You go to the gym to look good in the club.. drinking in the clubs, then pay for it the next day..

You go to the gym to keep your figure, but then drink a glass or two of wine at night to deal with the kids or situations in life..

Here are some facts on the relationship of alcohol to exercise. Just some facts for the curious individual or for the serious exersize enthusiast who wonders why they arent breaking through a fitness plateau. In my gym, located in Charlotte, NC, I help clients that struggle with this and more everyday. They want to workout and reach goals, but have a good time and live life. You CAN do both; but there is a balance. But knowing facts can help you in your decision.

Alcohol is a depressant drug and has an immediate effect on the brain. As a nutrient, it can provide energy to the body at 7 kcal per gram. One alcoholic drink consists of 35 ml of 40 % (80 proof) spirit and the effects depend upon the blood alcohol concentration(BAC). Alcohol is likely to affect the physical performance of an athlete due to impaired psychomotor function apart from causing dehydration and affecting the heart and liver function. A BAC of over 100 m/L will interfere with almost all types of psychomotor skills (which require hand and eye coordination). The reaction time of the athlete will be affected with a BAC of 50 m/L or even lesser, making it a bad idea to take alcohol before any sports event. Alcohol is also known to decrease the strength and speed of the athlete.

Some of the side effects of drinking include the following:

1. Build up of lactic acid : Alcohol has the effect of building up lactic acid in the muscles, which could lead to muscle cramps and injury.

2. Alcohol slows down the recovery of cuts and bruises and could lead to injury due to impaired vision and hand eye coordination.

3. Alcohol leads to higher reaction time and slower response to stimuli.

4. Alcohol leads to impaired judgment and impaired vision. This can greatly affect performance in sports such as shooting which require hand eye coordination.

5. Alcohol could lead to loss of body heat as a result of the effect it has on the skin.

6. Alcohol could lead to dehydration as it increases urination. Approximately 4 ounces of body fluid are lost for each drink consumed.

7. Due to excessive urination after alcohol consumption, the body loses essential minerals such as magnesium, calcium and zinc.

8. Alcohol consumption leads to a loss in aerobic performance as it hinders the body’s capability to convert food into usable energy besides building up lactic acid and causing dehydration. Alcohol also hinders the body’s capability to produce blood sugar in the liver. This can have a bad effect on the endurance of the athlete.

Many sports persons may feel relaxed after consuming alcohol and think that they will perform better. However, the truth is that the negative effects of alcohol on the athlete far outweigh the mild relaxation it may offer. Alcohol and sports are incompatible.

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Thank you, Zeke Samples

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