Is Alcohol Good Or Is It Bad?
There are several different articles out around the internet that touch on the subject of alcohol and diets, but don’t really give out a lot of information. They will merely take a close minded approach to the subject and tell you to avoid alcohol. They will tell you that it isn’t worth it and that it can severely damage your performance at the gym.
With that being said, alcohol can have many adverse affects to the body but it’s 2018 and social gatherings are a big part of life that are hard to avoid. I’m not saying that you can’t have fun unless you drink but I am saying that there are certain pressures that are put on us to partake in celebrations with alcoholic beverages. The thing is, if you were to constantly reject outings because of not wanting to drink you would be less happy. Now you might be thinking that you are strong enough to resist in the temptations and while that may be the case and you may want to figure it out for yourself – I can assure you that it is mentally exhausting to prohibit yourself especially if it is merely because of your diet.
Thankfully, I am here to help and hopefully I can pass on some of my wisdom.
First off, there are a few things that happen to you when you drink.
Judgement Is Affected
The Next day
We all know that if you drink too much it is going to affect your judgement in many different ways. Picture this scenario in your head – you are at the bar about 5-7 shots in (give or take) – its 2 a.m.- and the bar is closing. You are still energized and don’t want to go home right away, or perhaps you want to get something to “absorb” the alcohol. Are you really going to make the healthy choice? Or are you going to go to Whataburger or Jack in the Box? Yeah, that’s what I thought. There are studies in which mice were injected with alcohol and what was found was that alcohol would make them more likely to overeat – it actually made them hungrier. If you are interested in this study, which was published in Nature Communications, click here. This could explain why it’s so easy to go on a late night food binge after drinking at the bar.
1 gram of alcohol has 7 calories. For reference proteins and carbs only have 4 calories each – per gram. That means alcohol has almost double the amount of calories and zero of the benefits. I am not mentioning this to scare you from drinking but merely so that you can make a much more educated decision next time.
We can get into the details of what alcohol does to the body but for the sake of your reading pleasure I will summarize it all in just a couple of sentences. Basically, alcohol affects your hormones negatively – for guys it will lower your testosterone levels. Which if you do a simple Google search you can find more about, but the less known fact is that it also affects women’s hormone levels – it will actually increase the testosterone levels resulting in you breaking out and potentially growing a nice mustache.
The Next Day
Okay, we all know what happens the day after a night out of drinking. You will experience severe fatigue, dehydration, nausea, etc. Your symptoms may be different from your friends but something that may be true for all parties involved is alcohol will impede your workout the next day. If you are feeling any of the side-affects that I mentioned above then it will definitely lower your motivation levels – who wants to work out when they feel terrible? It will most likely affect your strength and you will also feel bloated. Alcohol can do some pretty nasty stuff to your gastrointestinal tract and cause irritation which will give you that bloated feeling. Since alcohol also dehydrates you, your body is going to want to hold on to the water that it has left therefore making you look puffy.
So up until now you must be thinking “Well, he really did a good job at pointing out all the bad things about alcohol but how is that going to help me with me diet?”
The easiest way to make your experience more enjoyable now that you are aware of all the bad side-affects is preparation. Just like anything that goes into dieting – preparation is key. So if you know that you will be drinking on Friday then you need to prepare for that by allocating carbs to your alcohol consumption. The key is to make this process – a lifestyle, like I explain here.
I will be drinking 5 shots of vodka Friday therefore – roughly 100 calories X 5 = 500 calories
Therefore if I have 250 grams of carbs I eat in a day I will be allocating approximately 125g of those to alcohol – so I can only eat 125 grams of carbs for the entire day without affecting my diet.
This of course is an oversimplification but it all really comes down to preparing for what you will be consuming. Now I can go into more detail about the several different types of alcohol and how many calories each one has but I’ll save that for a different post. I will also caution you to prepare because the opposite is usually the more common habit and if you drink 500 calories on top of what you are consuming in a day and then add on the calories from the Whataburger or the Jack In the Box, you will gain weight. Simple as that.
Until next time guys! Leave a comment below!