Whether you’re gearing up for a marathon or just heading out for a morning jog, you can’t say NO to a can of chilled beer. But to tell you the truth, drinking alcohol before or after a workout may not be the best choice for your health.
It’s a common practice to chug a drink before/after a workout. Most people consider it a great way to energize their bodies while enjoying the taste of refreshing drink. Some might adopt it as an addiction which can be detrimental to health, but others may adopt the concept of drinking in moderation.
People going to the gym are more addicted to this habit. Tough workouts might get you stressed out, and beer might sound perfect at that moment, but it’s best to opt for other beverages like energy/sports drinks, fruit juices, coconut water, and so on. You can even drink herbal tea if you love a hot beverage.
The best option to keep your body running smoothly is to double the amount of water consumed. That will minimize the dehydrating effects of alcohol.
Beer has been the American Drink of Choice for ages, with light beer being the most consumed beverage. So, it’s not difficult to find people drinking beers before or after a workout. Continue reading the article to know about the potential benefits and RISKS involved in drinking alcohol before/after an exercise.
Is It Safe to Have a Beer Instead of Liquor Before or After Exercise?
Whether you talk about having a beer or a shot of vodka, both contain alcoholic content. Beer is on the lighter side and has a lower ABV of 4-5%, whereas for vodka, the percentage may go above 40%. In short, it would take a couple of beers to get you fully drunk, whereas 2 shots of vodka can make you feel tipsy.
If you are planning to WORK OUT, it’s best to stick to beers. Liquors will increase the chances of injuries and disrupt your coordination.
But how much beer is safe?
It all comes down to our metabolism. Normally, it takes an hour to process 1 standard drink. The less you drink, the better for your mind and body. 1-2 cans of beer is advisable, but not more. The best option is to keep a bottle full of chilled water to keep your body well-hydrated.
Drinking Before A Workout Ain’t Such A Good Idea
Exercise and drinking don’t really go together so well. Your body needs all the nutrients and energy to keep up with a tough routine.
Most people consider beer as a healthy supply of vitamins and carbs. It is true! However, even with all the B Vitamins, it can never be a good supplement for fruits and veggies. Because of its alcoholic content, it should never be taken as a nutritional drink.
Check out how beer affects your body if consumed before a workout.
Alcohol Is Diuretic
Alcohol inhibits the production of antidiuretic hormones (ADH) known as vasopressin. Too sciency for ya…Ok, simply put, the more you drink, the more you’ll find yourself sitting in the washroom. Beer causes you to pee more often, resulting in big distractions during a workout.
During exercise, your body loses a lot of sweat, while increased urine output will double the dehydration. Therefore, it’s best to keep your alcohol intake to a minimum before a workout.
Not Good For Muscle Recovery
When you exercise, your muscles use up glucose called glycogen stored in your body as a source of energy. When you’re done exercising, your body tends to restore these glycogen stores for muscle recovery, but alcohol being the BAD GUY in the movie, doesn’t allow it to work.
- Alcohol reduces the production of glycogen in the liver means less glucose to replenish glycogen stores in muscles.
- It slows down the absorption of nutrients resulting in making less glucose for the body. Your muscle recovery becomes slow, and your performance starts declining.
Is Booze Taking Over Your Head?
Even a small amount of liquor can make you feel like sitting on a spinning chair. Imagine being at the gym, pulling heavy weights, going through a tough training session, or simply running on a treadmill. A drunk person suddenly loses focus and experiences blurred vision. What if you accidentally drop a weight on your leg or fall off the treadmill…Ouch! That’s gonna hurt really bad.
In addition, a lack of coordination and poor motor skill may ruin your training session. To avoid these scenarios, avoid using hard liquor before a workout. Beer may sound good but make sure to drink only 1-2 cans.
Excessive Alcohol Leads To Insomnia
Sleeping disorders are quite common when you talk about alcohol. Alcohol is considered an antidepressant. Most people consume alcohol to run away from all their worries and fears. But the relaxing effects are temporary, and you might end up staying awake all night instead of having a proper sleep.
You will start to feel lazy and irritated. A body that is not well-rested is never fit for an exercise routine. Your brain stops functioning properly and you may find it hard to process instructions.
Drink in moderation to keep yourself away from symptoms of insomnia. A good 8-10 hours of sleep will optimize your physical performance.
Depriving of Nutrients
Your body needs to take in essential nutrients to perform well during a workout. Alcohol contains empty calories. With excessive alcohol consumption, your body will fail to burn fats into energy, and you may feel lethargic and drowsy. Eating a healthy diet is crucial for high performance.
Drinking After A Workout Can Ruin Your Fitness Goals
Running to grab a beer after exercise is not a smart move. If you designed a fitness goal for yourself, then you should skip alcohol as part of the diet. If you are unable to control your urge for a beer, switch to an energy drink. It’s carbonated and has a great flavor. Take a look at how drinking may affect your body after a workout.
Reduced Protein Synthesis
Alcohol can disrupt the muscle’s protein synthesis. When you exercise, small parts of your tissues break on a micro level. Your body works hard to repair and build those tissues. So, it’s better to avoid drinking alcohol if you want to keep your muscles strong enough for the next routine.
Beer is high in empty calories. A standard drink contains 150-200 calories. Beer also increases your cravings for high-calorie foods; as a result, your appetite increases, and you start overeating.
If you’re on a strict diet, drinking will definitely ruin your plan. Your weight will increase and make you ineligible for certain sports. In order to stay healthy, all alcoholic beverages must be taken in moderation.
A Feeling of Irritation Persist
Habitual drinkers can easily relate to this one. You exercise to keep your body and mind fresh and energized. With alcohol intake, the situation reverses. You will find most drunk people showing aggressive behavior. Even the slightest things can make you feel irritated. You indulge in fights and feel restless.
Wrapping It Up!
Overall, drinking is never good for your health. Drinking in moderation will help you to fulfill your alcohol craving but may affect your overall performance. To wrap things up, it is recommended to use other forms of beverages, like sports drinks, that supply necessary electrolytes and carbs. The best hydrating fluid is water, as it saves you from dehydration without adding any extra calories to your diet.
I am a passionate beer connoisseur with a deep appreciation for the art and science of brewing. With years of experience tasting and evaluating various beers, I love to share my opinions and insights with others and I am always eager to engage in lively discussions about my favorite beverage.