Booze and Exercise: Your Active Lifestyle and Alcohol

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Moderation is Always Key

Can your active lifestyle include booze? Three experts stop by to give us some quick tips on how your active lifestyle and alcohol can mix (or if it can’t). Nope, this isn’t a proclamation that you can drink 30 beers a night, as with everything nutrition it’s all about moderation! Here’s the expert’s advice:

Active Lifestyle and Alcohol: Empty Calories

People are often surprised to discover that the calories from alcohol are basically equivalent to saturated fat.

Too much alcohol contributes to extra calories and to a wide range of other health problems.

Booze and ExerciseOutside of the ongoing debate regarding the health benefits of one glass of wine or one beer a day, alcohol often contains no nutritional value, which sabotages opportunities to fuel the body for energy.

If you’re trying to lose weight and increase exercise, reducing or eliminating alcohol can help you reach your goal faster.

Alcohol can also leave you dehydrated and sluggish, increasing the chance of “putting off” your workouts.

– Carol Phillips is a national health and wellness expert and the multiple award-winning author of 52 Simple Ways to Health.


Moderate Consumption Okay?

Alcohol can certainly be a part of a healthy lifestyle.

A post-ride beer with your cycling group, a heart-healthy glass of wine with dinner, or even a nerve-calming nightcap with your significant other can all be integrated into an athletic diet.

The addictive “cons” of too much alcohol are well-known, but numerous scientific studies have associated “moderate” use (1-2 drinks/day) with superior health of the heart and brain.

In addition, the hops in beer and the flavonoids in red wine have specific anti-stress benefits at the cellular level, helping to reduce both oxidation and inflammation that lead to accelerated cellular aging.

One important factor for athletes (and dieters) to consider about alcohol is the calories. A good rule of thumb is that each drink (beer, wine, shot) delivers about 100-150 calories (depending on type) – and that a lot of mixed cocktails can pack several hundred calories.

Those alcohol calories will also be “burned first” – so the body will be more likely to store carbs/protein/fat as fat.

If someone is trying to lose weight, cutting out alcohol is an easy way to strip out excess calories for relatively fast fat loss.

I generally recommend for people to only drink 1-2 drinks and only on days that they have had a good workout.

Shawn M Talbott, PhD, CNS, LDN, FACSM, FAIS, FACN, Nutritional Biochemist and Author


Moderation Can Go Overboard

There are many clinical studies proving moderate consumption of alcohol can help reduce all-cause mortality in women and in healthy active adults, alcohol can reduce the risk of ischemic stroke.

Benefits of alcohol were related to moderate consumption which is equivalent to a daily serving of alcohol for women or 2 servings for men.

Unfortunately, people tend to drink more than that and negative effects of alcohol will supersede such as liver impairment and neurological damage.

– Dr. Karine Wong, co-founder and chief operating officer of Pro-Gummies, LLC.


Wrap-Up

As you very well know when it comes to anything nutrition – especially alcohol – it’s all about moderate consumption!

While alcohol consumption can have negative (and positive) effects on your health, it can be part of your healthy lifestyle!

So don’t feel guilty about that beer this weekend, enjoy it, and get ready for an active week ahead!

Josh Anderson
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Booze and Exercise: Your Active Lifestyle and Alcohol
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