Many people love to finish off a busy, stressful working week by going to the pub for a beer or jumping on the couch at home to have a glass of wine. The vast majority of people enjoy a social drink, some more than others. There is an enormous range of alcoholic drinks to choose from when you decide to go and have a social drink, but is what you choose to drink having an effect on your health and fitness goals?
We will outline some simple changes to make when choosing what to drink on a night out that won’t set your health and fitness goals back.
The first thing we are usually told is to avoid alcohol as much as possible when beginning a gym program or working towards specific goals. This is because alcohol delays fat loss significantly. How? Drinking alcohol affects your body by creating hormone imbalance, particularly an increase in cortisol. This causes a switch from your body’s fat burning state to triggering our body to store fat particularly in the abdominal region.
As a consequence, your body reduces athletic performance, slows recovery rate, stores food as fat not energy, inhibits sleep patterns and increases muscle soreness.
*Remember there are various types of fats. We are talking about bad (saturated) fats here, not the good kind you find in various unsaturated fats which should an essential part of your diet.
Completely cutting drinking out of a diet may be very difficult for some, so we are able to provide you with the best alcoholic alternative that will aim to minimize the effect alcohol has on your training.
Simply changing your drink type can have a significantly less effect on the way your body processes the alcohol. This is often linked to the gluten content within the drink. The common beer contains gluten so by switching from a ‘manly’ drink to one that is less ‘manly’ may reduce the effect alcohol has on your fitness goals.
Gluten causes inflammation which spikes insulin and puts high stress on the body, prompting you to store more body fat. A potato based vodka is gluten free and much easier for your body to digest as opposed to beer. Some potato based vodkas include Luksusowa & Ciroc (both are available at Dan Murphy’s). You need to remember that although you are making a better choice in alcohol, it is best to avoid sugary mixers. The best thing to drink vodka with is soda water as it does not have any sugar in it.
Other options that are gluten free are wine and cider. It is best to be aware of the sugar content, opt for a cider low in sugar. Red wine is better to drink over white wine due to the antioxidant content.
If you want to learn more or have any questions, please don’t hesitate to send us a message