Beeries. Schooies. The Good Stuff. Suds. Sauce. Liquid Courage. Juice. Call it what you will but drinking is as part of Australian culture as vegemite and BBQs and it can be extremely tough avoiding it. I’m not anti-drinking in anyway – in fact I love doing it but have learnt to pick my battles these days. Binge drinking and results in the gym really don’t mix. It is not breaking news that binge drinking isn’t good for you. This article is more about opening peoples eyes on how it can affect your results both inside and outside the gym more than they may realise.
I’ve had a few individuals come through the gym recently who seemed to do everything right. They come to the gym 3-5x a week and train hard. They eat well during the week – high protein, plenty of veggies, mainly water to drink. When checking in to see the results of all this hard work with diet and exercise… they don’t see progress (and in some cases they’ve actually gone backwards).
Let’s face it – smashing 10 to 20 standard drinks a week seems pretty common for most. I am going to break down how that 10 to 20 standards is putting a halt on your fat loss efforts. Fat loss generally speaking requires you to be expending more energy (through training, day to day activities, digesting food) then you take in through eating and drinking.
I’ll use an example of an 85kg guy I recently dealt with. Provided they have a pretty sedentary job and train 3-4x a week In order to drop body fat they should be aiming to consume roughly 400 calories less than he is currently having per day.
What does it take to completely wipe out the entire weeks hard work in the gym and with decent nutrition? Some where in the vicinity of 18 beers.
Please note this is not of course including all of the deliciously decedent highly palatable foods that people gravitate towards when out on the lash (truffle fries, wedges, pizza, pasta, ice cream, kebabs, dumplings, cheeses – I could go on forever but my mouth is kind of starting to water).
Obviously the above is in regards to fat loss and aesthetic goals – but it is silly to think optimal health and looking good are mutually exclusive.
Here are 3 ways ways hitting the booze train too hard and too often can wreak havoc on your health.
Alcohol Increases Cortisol
Cortisol being the stress hormone. In excess cortisol can lead to low sex drive, poor sleep quality, poor gut health, anxiety and depression, weight gain and poor immune system function.
It Can Cause Dehydration
Most are no strangers to waking up after a night out having a mouth like the sahara desert. Dehydration can massively disrupt circadian rhythm (sleep patterns) and decrease your performance in the gym and at work.
The male sex hormone testosterone is responsible for a TON of optimal body functions: sex drive, sperm quality, fat breakdown and improved muscle mass. More testosterone = more man power.
Destroys Your Gut
Chronic binge drinking can affect your ratio of good to bad bacteria in the gut while also damage the integrity of the gut lining. This can cause bacteria to enter areas it’s not supposed to be in and can be a major factor in many IBS like symptoms (bloating, gas, constipation, trapped wind, diarrhea etc.
All of these negative affects not only affect your physical and mental health but also how you perform on a day to day basis whether it’s in the gym or at work. As i’ve mentioned earlier this isn’t a booze hound shaming post. More of an educational piece to show people why they may be struggling with their fat loss goals due to their weekend shenanigans.
Stay happy. Stay healthy and remember….