Fitness ?? and alcohol??


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Picture this: it's Friday afternoon after a long week. You just finished a large project and decide to celebrate with colleagues after work. You know that tomorrow you have a workout on the books and a busy weekend with some fresh air and some trail walking with your family. You are perusing the menu and your colleagues around you are ordering beers. You are faced with a choice to order a beer as well, or not. 

This situation is all too familiar and you may already know how you feel having passed on the beer or maybe had just one. That saying, everything in moderation, seems true enough. But if you have some serious fitness goals you want to achieve, passing on that beer may be way more important than you think!

Your body is a machine, much like your car engine. If you want your machine to operate at optimum levels and achieve some pretty exciting things, like lose 20 pounds or gain some serious muscle, giving it the best gas you can is the best thing for it!

So what exactly is it about alcohol that can cause your machine to not operate optimally, and why should you avoid alcohol altogether while training? Let's look at 4 facts about alcohol and your body.

1. Dehydration. The dehydration associated with alcohol can leave you unable to perform well for your workout. Think about how you feel when you are incredibly thirsty: you have dry mouth, you feel more tired than usual, your energy is zapped. All of these things won't serve you to perform your exercises at close to optimum levels. Before you eat or drink ANYTHING, you should be asking yourself, "how does this serve me and accelerate my fitness?".

2. Digestion. Processing foods and using it efficiently for fuel becomes impaired when intaking alcohol. How do you generally feel the day after drinking alcohol? Your stomach may be upset, you may feel bloated or gassy. Now think about working out while feeling this way. Do you think your workout will go well when you feel like this? Probably not! Your liver isn't the only organ affected by alcohol, it is felt systemically. 

3. Food Choice Impairment. Lowering your inhibitions is generally what happens with alcohol intake, but don't forget your food choices. Because in the short term your metabolism is affected, you will want to eat, but how do you eat when you have had alcohol? Late night food choices aren't filled with salads and lean chicken, they usually involve processed foods with an "i'll worry about the consequences tomorrow" attitude. Again, THINK about what you want to achieve, THINK about how you will feel losing 20 pounds of fat, and THINK about how you will feel tomorrow if you sabotaged your nutrition because of alcohol intake.

4. Poor Calorie Choice. We talk about tracking your foods, counting your macros and staying accountable to your nutrition. Ask yourself if those empty calories are worth it. 500 calories is 500 calories, but it is your choice if those calories are lean protein and healthy greens or carbohydrate filled liquids!

Still wondering how much you are affected by the occasional alcoholic drink? Don't take my word for it, take yours! Track your nutrition for a month with the occasional alcoholic beverage, then cut out all alcohol consumption for a month and see how you feel. You may surprise yourself with a few more pounds of fat loss, or maybe you just have more energy! The changes are different for everyone, but one thing is true for everyone: the positives you feel will supercharge your fitness and have you feeling better than if you consumed that occasional beverage.

Also, once you stay true to tracking your foods and drinks, you may be surprised by how much alcohol you consume in a week. Have questions about how to change your eating habits or just want some healthier food options? Give us a call 352-872-5373 or email us at info@AxisTrainingStudio.com to schedule a consultation about how we can supercharge your fitness today!


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