Do you have a goal of a weekly exercise routine with eating healthy? Have you noticed there are many obstacles in the way? The key to obtaining a healthy lifestyle to find ways around or remove said obstacles.
One of those aspects of our lifestyle that can really impact our goal attainment is drinking alcohol, and the chain of events that can sometimes occur when drinking alcohol. That chain of events may include starting with intending to only drink 1-2 alcoholic beverages. That can sometimes lead to socializing and mindless overconsumption of more alcohol, more drinking to stay social if we are wanting to have fun, let loose, or to deal with increased anxiety in social settings, and possibly then mindlessly over-eating on foods that may not be the healthiest options.
So what is the impact of drinking alcohol on our goals of body composition changes and exercise? Alcohol tends to be a source of empty calories, and as we explored in the chain of events in the previous paragraph, people don’t always stop at drinking 1-2 alcoholic beverages. This can lead to consuming excess calories. Consuming excessive calories in any form – food or alcohol – leads the body to store extra fat and gaining weight, often in terms of excess belly fat, or the dreaded “beer belly.”
What about alcohol and its impact on exercise? A study from Barnes, Mündel, and Stannard (2010) suggests that a moderate dose of alcohol may impair normal muscle recovery after very strenuous exercise. If exercise and performance are goals for you, drinking alcohol in excess could contribute to injury and impact your attainment.