Boozing and Training Aren’t BFFs – If You Choose to Drink, Drink in Moderation
I made the biggest mistake the other weekend.
A mistake I don't regret necessarily, but definitely one I need to remember further down the road when faced with the decision of drinking alcohol.
Since I started training with Taylor, I basically cut all alcohol out of my diet. Being a college student, that is extremely hard to do. Sounds dumb, I know, but growing up in that culture, I knew it wouldn't be easy. I went out probably every weekend, would drink every Thursday and Friday, and not even close to in moderation. I had developed some terrible drinking habits, a very high, unhealthy tolerance, and would always feel awful the next day.
I would go so far as to say that I deserved to feel that terrible after putting so much liquor in my body. Not only was it making me feel lousy and unproductive, but drinking so much turns out, puts a lot of pounds where you probably don't want it.
An article from T Nation describes alcohol's effects on your body's physique:
1) Booze isn't so much a fat storer as it is a fat burning surpressor. (This sounds good, but we'll come back to this).
2) Heavy drinking has several mechanisms that will smash muscle protein synthesis and recovery from training.
3) Athletes who drink post-competition don't seem to be all that impacted by it, as long as they take a couple of days off.
4) The effects of alcohol depends a lot on what you drink (beer, wine, or mixed drinks), how much, when, and what you eat with it.
5) As long as you're not drinking yourself into a stupor nightly, your worries of man-boobs and shriveled testicles are likely overblown.
There was my mistake. Number five. The stupor part, not the man-boobs or shriveled testies.
It was one of my best friend's birthdays. She was turning the big 2-3. A bunch of my coworkers and I planned a surprise party for her, but I suppose I was unaware of how "well trained" these girls were when it came to drinking, as I wasn't nearly as "conditioned."
Like I said, I haven't drank A LOT of alcohol in a long time. "A lot" meaning maybe more than two drinks. I knew in hindsight that I would feel like crap the next day, and wouldn't get as much done as I usually would if I drank. This idea basically went in one ear and out the other as we hopped from bar to bar last Saturday night. Getting home at 2:30 a.m. with little food in my stomach and little water to "balance out" how much I had drank, was a recipe for disaster. Drunk Sarah didn't realize that at the time. And I paid for it the next day. Boy, did I pay for it.
Taylor never discouraged me from drinking, but told me it wouldn't necessarily benefit me either.
Beer in moderation is good and delicious. But if you're curling more bottles than dumbbells, then you got a problem.
Basically, if you drink "intelligently," alcohol probably isn't that bad (see point number one).
Think of it this way: Alcohol is a non-nutritive calorie source. When you drink, you consume extra calories. Under certain circumstances, T Nation says alcohol "can impact hormones that help your body build muscle and stay lean."
I'll get off my soapbox, because I know everyone reacts differently when training. If you choose to drink while training, go with beer and white wine. T Nation says "the two have a better impact on your appetite. Stay away from the mixed drinks." *Taking mental note of this.*
I've discovered in my year long process thus far that you can have fun without throwin' back fifths of Fireball and partying until 3 a.m. As for me, I think I'm going to steer clear of the vodka for a while. But I did hear Summer Honey was for sale now...Decisions, decisions.