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Is Alcohol Messing with Your Fitness Gains – ?

You are unique and so is your body! Before starting any new health routine, always be sure to talk with your doctor to make sure it is right for your needs. 

Whether you are trying to lose weight, gain strength, or build muscle, making sure you are enjoying the fun things in life (like sweet treats and delicious beverages) in moderation is critical. One of the sneakiest saboteurs of fitness progress is alcohol. 

An adult beverage isn’t all bad – it can help you decompress after a long week, help make special events with loved ones even more festive, and some drinks can even add to your health (looking at you, red wine). But let’s all say the magic word together: moderation. 

So here’s what you need to know about alcohol to motivate you to stay on point even when you indulge. 

Alcohol increases your total calories for the day

This may sound like a no-brainer, but for those trying to lose weight, calorie count is important. You want to be sure that you burn more calories than you consume, and alcohol is packed with empty calories. So to stay on top of your goals, you will need to put more time into your workouts to make up for the excess calories.

Alcohol changes the way your body burns fat

When you drink, your body is primarily focused on breaking down what you’ve consumed. The calories your body breaks down from your drink will turn into fuel for your systems. Sounds like good news right? Unfortunately, this means that the glucose from the carbs and fats you have consumed will go unused and your body will turn that energy into… yep, you guessed it: fat.

Alcohol encourages belly fat

So not only does our body store more fat when we drink, but it files it away as the worst kind: belly fat. Everyone’s body is different and tends to store fat in different places, but it is very common for people to gain weight in their midsection due to alcohol consumption.

Alcohol can lower testosterone

Whether you’re a man or a woman, all of us produce testosterone and need it for different bodily functions, including building muscle. Alcohol has been shown to lower certain sex hormones, like testosterone, ultimately making it more difficult for you to build and grow lean muscle mass.

Alcohol increases your appetite

Scientists have found that there does seem to be a relationship between drinking and increased appetite. So if you find yourself raiding the pantry for a snack at night, alcohol might be to blame. 

Alcohol messes with your good sleep

While some people think that alcohol helps them get better rest, the truth is that it actually contributes to lower quality sleep. A glass of wine or a cocktail with dinner may make you sleepy and help you fall asleep more quickly, but it has been shown that it can throw off your circadian rhythm, block important sleep processes and brain activity, and result in you feeling drained the next day.

The Smart Way to Enjoy a Beverage

While alcohol is considered a toxin and can throw a wrench in your fitness goals, drinking in moderation and using these tips and tricks can help ensure you get the best of both worlds.

  • Hydrate. Drink 1-2 glasses of water for each alcoholic beverage. 
  • Pair it with protein. Enjoy a nutritious meal that is full of healthy protein, carbs and fat before you start drinking. Pro tip: Have a healthy snack ready to go for after drinking too!
  • Know your number. Decide ahead of time what your limit is and stick to that many drinks no matter how tempted you are to grab another round.
  • Choose your booze wisely. For a lighter drink, stick with dry wine (red is best) or clear liquor. Avoid sugary mixers by opting for club soda with lime or sparkling water.
  • Take breaks. Show your body some extra love by taking a dry spell – a week, a month, whatever you feel your body needs. 

Let Us Help You Embrace the Journey

At Baer-Fit, our certified trainers work closely with you to understand your unique fitness goals and design customized workout and meal plans to get you there. Not only do we provide you with the roadmap to get you where you want to go, but we are with you each step of the way, holding you accountable and celebrating all the milestones. 

To learn more, visit our Contact page and send us a message! We can’t wait to learn more about you.