We get it, it’s important to have fitness goals! But it’s also important to let loose and have some fun once in awhile. So how do you balance your fitness with your drinking? The good news is, you can drink responsibly and get extremely fit. The bad news is you can’t completely ignore the issue.
The primary issue is that alcohol affects the body’s rate of recovery. That means that the more alcohol you drink, the tougher it is for your body to repair torn muscle tissue. In fact, many athletes find that regardless of the amount of alcohol they consumed, they did not feel as if they were operating at their peak performance level the next day.
It takes an incredibly large amount of alcohol to have a serious effect on muscle growth, so unless you’re a habitual binge drinker this likely won’t have a serious effect on your fitness level. However, when you drink your body does not get as restorative sleep as it normally needs. Yes, alcohol has been shown to shorten the amount of time it takes to fall asleep, but it also reduces REM sleep, which leaves you feeling less rested the next day. Since deep sleep is when the body heals and repairs torn muscle, getting the proper amount of sleep is the most important aspect of getting fit and staying healthy–aside from training and nutrition.
The bottom line is, yes cutting out booze completely is the most effective way to maximize your training. However, if you are not a competitive athlete you are likely looking for the right balance of fitness and fun. You can be in killer shape if you take the time to plan ahead and find the right balance between training, recovery and going out.
How do you find that balance? As in life, it’s up to each individual to find what works for them. We’ve had many people tell us what they do, and we’ve compiled a few of our favorites here.
- Don’t drink every day. Take a few days off so you know your body is getting that deep restorative sleep it needs at least a few days every week.
- Don’t binge drink the same day you had a particularly difficult workout. Remember, that the training session is only the first part of a healthy lifestyle.
- Eat properly, even when out drinking! Giving your body all that amazing nutrition it needs is a great way to help negate the negative effects of alcohol.
- Stay hydrated, particularly when out drinking. One of the primary causes of hangovers is dehydration. Staying hydrated will help make sure you don’t miss training days because of a fun night out!
A healthy life is a balanced life, and finding the balance between drinking and fitness is an important one. For the nights where you may have had a little too much fun, there’s LAUNCH to make sure you never miss a workout the next day. Using LAUNCH in combination with proper hydration will help to considerably lessen your hangover symptoms. Visit www.intelligentdrinking.com for more information.