We all know the dangers of drinking, why you should partake in great moderation, what it does to the liver and other organs, etc. I do not want to have a lesson dedicated to what other organizations spend millions and a great deal of effort explaining.
So instead of convincing people to limit consumption through reviewing the dangers, let's just focus on how it will slow, halt, or even destroy your hard-earned progress, then I will share my advice on how to still enjoy a drink.
As you probably know, alcohol is a depressant. Not necessarily in the sense that you become depressed from drinking, but that your metabolic functions slows. To illustrate just how much your metabolism can potentially slow from drinking alcohol, I have put together a little quiz for you below! Click on the image below and do your best to answer them correctly!
How'd you do? Was it eye-opening??
Again, you are working hard to have your metabolism burn as hot as possible. Consumption of alcohol has the potential to hold your metabolism back or bring the entire metabolic operation to a screeching halt.
Though I have not yet constructed a post dedicated to sleep, it is critically important. Those resting hours give your body a chance to do things you cannot while awake. Though there are multiple sleeping functions, one is critically important to what we are trying to accomplish.
You may spend time in the gym, you may get all your steps in for the day, you may eat the best meals ever, but sleep is just as important. While asleep, your body excretes growth hormone that is busy repairing and building lean muscle (you know, the stuff that makes up your metabolism?) and refortifying joints. The better sleep you get, the better your body will repair and support your metabolism. It's funny how we all want results overnight, when in fact, that is when your body is making those results happen.
So how does alcohol play into this?
Alcohol consumption disturbs your sleep cycles and gives you less REM sleep. These shortened cycles cause you to wake up earlier feeling less rested. Aside from you not feeling rested, you also have missed out on a quality night of repair for your body.
The Bully & His Friends
Alcohol is like the bully on the playground. It pushes all other nutrients to the side, jumps to the front of the line, and demands to be processed as the primary and sole fuel. Per gram of alcohol consumed, you receive 7 calories. Those costly calories add up and must be burned before anything else may resume.
On top of this, with alcohol in mixed drinks, beer, and wine, we must be especially aware of the tasty carbohydrates tagging along for the ride. Following the same cycle of unused sugars, the delicious carb free-loaders will be deposited as fat, which negates hard work you are accomplishing. So again, you slow the metabolism, force it to process alcohol first, but then also you are introducing sugar into the blood stream to more than likely be converted to fat.
That's a lose, lose, lose.
Discipline is just choosing between what you want now
and what you want most.
So if you want great results, limit or eliminate consumption.
No, but until you make considerable headway or reach your goal, you must.
My primary drinking policy:
Take shots! My method for almost all of my alcohol consumption, especially when Tequila is involved. A bit aggressive, yes I realize. However, this way you get it into your system quickly so your metabolism can go back to normal faster. Also, you will be free of the sugars that plague many drinks.
My policy of beer, wine, and other mixed alcoholic beverages:
Consume sparingly but best to save for once you have reached a milestone where you are okay maintaining. If you know ahead of time you are going to indulge, then build in those calories to you nutrition. Though, do not abuse the latter method.
My last piece of advice? Consider any alcoholic beverage as a cheat treat which means aim for once a week or less.
Otherwise, don't drink and get gains. Simple as that.
Want me to address a fitness/nutrition topic? Shoot me a quick email and I will gladly either write you back or write a post about it!
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