Should You Be Drinking Alcohol Before You Hit The Gym ?

With summer being so jam-packed with activities, many of which center around alcoholic beverages (think 4th of July, barbecues, cookouts, etc), it’s often hard to squeeze in that gym session you promised yourself you wouldn’t miss.

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The solution to this for many is to do both, adjusting a schedule to fit in both partying and pumping iron is easy when you know how, and it often gives people a sense of accomplishment, and also an excuse to eat that extra piece of pie. Now, you’d think that most people would hit the gym after they’ve inhaled their hot dogs and french fries, but many who try to do both actually do these things the other way around.

Now, it’s definitely not recommended by anyone to hit the gym with a buzz, but it’s still done. In fact, some even do it to get themselves a little looser and to take away the anxiety of working out in front of others. However, alcohol is an ergolytic substance, meaning it impairs athletic performance, as opposed to a beverage like coffee that is ergogenic, which helps enhance performance. In fact, the more alcohol that is consumed, the more performance is impaired and the risk for injury rises.

It’s also proven that drinking even after a workout is detrimental to your health. This calls into question many of the sports drinks that are designed for post workout consumption that have alcohol in them. According to George Koob, Ph.D., director of the National Institute of Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, “the tendency is, you’re thirsty after a run, so you want to drink a beer,” Koob says. “Save the beer for later when your body’s systems have returned to a more homeostatic level. Exercise is good for you, but it does change a number of factors, and it’s probably best to let them settle down before you drink.”

Consuming alcohol before and even closely after a workout can impact the body’s cardiovascular system, blood flow and insulin production. It’s best to steer clear of alcohol in all forms when a workout is imminent. It sounds like a no brainer, but the occurrence of workouts around alcohol ingestion is more common than you may think.

Consult your primary care physician or chiropractor for any medical relayed advice.




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