Drinking & Training Responsibly
So, I’m not here to tell you to stop drinking. That would be an outrage, given that happy hours offer such great prices on drinks. What I am here to tell you is to drink within certain parameters if you plan on reaching your general health, weight loss or muscle gain goals.
Not to be a party pooper, but alcohol does have a major effect on your weight loss or muscle gain journey. First off, alcohol comes in at a whopping 7 calories per gram, which is almost double the amount in protein and carbs (both 4 calories per gram). Furthermore, it contains empty calories and has basically no nutritional value. Although, the most alarming downer is that drinking more than one drink a day can slow down your metabolism. Research performed at Penn State shows that alcohol decreases protein synthesis by 15-20% after 24 hours. Yup, this means that while you’re enduring the epic hangover, your muscles aren’t getting the full recovery they need. Furthermore, the human body doesn’t store alcohol, meaning that it works at metabolizing it after ingesting, resulting in a lacking metabolic process for the other macronutrients, leading to fat storage. Huge bummer.
You may be thinking, “but ‘they’ say one glass of wine a day is good for you!” What ‘they’ don’t tell you is that it’s the resveratrol that comes from grape skins that has all the health benefits. With that said, the health benefits can only be enjoyed by drinking in moderation. This means one glass for women and two for men under the age of 65.
Your face after you read the drinking in moderation guidelines...
But don’t give up hope just yet…
We know that changing drinking habits can be very hard, especially whilst trying to maintain a ‘great social life’, so we put together a few guidelines for you.
If you’re planning a long night out and intend to nurse one drink over conversation, white or red wine should do the trick. At 121-127 calories per glass, it does offer you a little wiggle room. When drinking beer, stick to light, as they contain an average of 100 calories per 12oz serving. Darker beers such as ales are next on the list, weighing in at 125-145 calories per 12oz. Try to stay away from regular beers or lagers. And for those who argue that sour beers are fermented and therefore must be good for you, according to fourth-year Food Science & Technology student Chan Mei Zhi Alcine, “there are currently no beers on the market that contain probiotics.” Don’t fret, though: as of Winter 2017, Alcine was working to develop a healthier brew. Finally, if you prefer hard liquor, keeping your shots neat is the name of the game. Neat drinks don’t differ too much when it comes to calories, but here’s a handy breakdown:
Vodka: 97 calories (0 sugar, 0 carbs)
Rum: 97 calories (0 sugar, 0 carbs)
Tequila: 105 calories (0 sugar, 0 carbs)
Gin: 110 calories (0 sugar, 0 carbs)
Whiskey: 105 calories (0.3 sugar, 0.3 carbs)
Bourbon: 105 calories (0.3 sugar, 0.3 carbs)
Scotch: 105 calories (0.3 sugar, 0.3 carbs)
Vermouth: 64 calories
Vodka Soda: 97 calories with 0 calorie Seltzer
Classic Manhattan: 138 calories (Rye Whiskey, Sweet Vermouth, Bitters)
Gin Martini: 178 calories
DRINKS THAT ARE NEVER YOUR FRIENDS:
So You Went In Hard Last Night. Now What?
It’s going to happen: you’re going to have one or two epic nights of debauchery in your lifetime. So what do you do after a big night out? When you get home, make sure that you hydrate with lots of water before bed, preferably two bottles of water as well as a scoop of glutamine or amino acids supplements. When you wake up, make sure that you continue to hydrate. You’re not going to like this, but we recommend working out. Even if it’s just a little bit of movement! We know, we know-- you will undoubtedly just want to stay in bed eating junk food all day, as alcohol is a depressant and rids your body of serotonin. But exercise produces endorphins that curb your sugar and salt cravings throughout the day as well as fight against the moodiness. If you can muster the energy, before the workout session, we recommend taking more amino acid supplements and eating a banana before heading to the gym. Once you sweat it all out, we promise that you’ll feel better and have regained some focus so you can keep working towards your goal.