It's no secret that alcohol can negatively impact our fitness goals. But how exactly does drinking affect our ability to achieve and maintain a healthy weight? Can drinking impact your fitness goals? And what are the best ways to drink if we still want to indulge occasionally? Read on for answers to these questions and more.
The Negative Impacts Of Alcohol On Fitness
It is true that alcohol can negatively impact our fitness goals. Some of the most common include:
Alcohol contains ethanol which is processed in the liver and is prioritized over other nutrients, including fat. This results in a decrease in the rate at which our bodies burn calories and can lead to weight gain over time.
While we all know that alcohol is a diuretic, meaning it causes us to urinate more frequently, many people don't realize just how dehydrating it can be. In fact, alcohol can cause dehydration levels similar to those experienced during strenuous exercise. This can lead to fatigue, headaches, and decreased performance both in the gym and everyday life.
Lack Of Sleep
It's no secret that alcohol can interfere with our sleep patterns. But did you know that even just one night of drinking can impair sleep quality? This can lead to fatigue and make it more challenging to stick to a workout routine. Plus, when you lack good sleep, it disrupts the ability to grow muscle properly.
Because alcohol dehydrates us and impairs sleep quality, it can also make it harder for our bodies to recover from exercise. This means we may be more likely to experience soreness and fatigue after a workout, and it may take longer to see results from our efforts. In fact, some research showed that heavy drinking could actually increase the amount of time needed to recover from a soft tissue injury.
Harder To Stick To Diets
Let's face it, alcohol is often full of empty calories. And when we're trying to watch our weight, those extra calories can quickly add up. Drinking also lowers our inhibitions, which can make it harder to stick to a healthy diet. We're more likely to indulge in unhealthy foods when we've had a few drinks.
How Can I Enjoy Alcohol And Still Maintain My Fitness Goals?
Just because alcohol can negatively impact our fitness goals, that doesn't mean we have to give it up completely. If you enjoy drinking, why not try a non-alcoholic version of your favorite drink? For example, try mocktails, virgin cocktails, or non-alcoholic wine instead of their alcoholic counterparts.
While alcohol can negatively impact our fitness goals, that doesn't mean we have to give it up completely. There are still ways to enjoy drinking without sabotaging your efforts. By choosing lower-calorie options, drinking in moderation, and opting for non-alcoholic versions of your favorite drinks, you can still indulge while maintaining your healthy lifestyle.