Drinking Away Your Success

Drinking Away Your Success

June 24, 2012 // Wellness

Summer is thought to be the much- deserved reward for enduring another long, cold winter. The barbeques and beach house parties seem endless, especially with the abundance of cocktails being served at any hour. At times, our desire to relax and unwind can become detrimental to our health accomplishments. We must understand what drinking alcohol does to our bodies and how we can manage our alcohol intake to maintain the internal and external composition.

Alcohol and its Effects

Alcohol (Ethanol) is a “volatile, flammable, colorless liquid” that is considered a mild psychoactive drug. Alcohol can severely impact your fitness results due to these physiological reactions:

  • Interfering in the production of burning fat (the liver cannot metabolize alcohol and fat at the same time)

  • Causing dehydration

  • Lowering inhibitions (much easier to cheat on a strict diet)

  • Raising estrogen levels (easier to store fat)

  • Increasing cortisol levels (stress hormone)


A quick word on cortisol: this stress hormone induces a catabolic effect on the body. Catabolism is when the body stops the body’s production of testosterone and growth hormone and instead breaks down tissue – muscle tissue! Remember, whether you are a pro bodybuilder or an everyday woman exercising to stay toned, every shape needs to preserve their muscle tissue.

So now that we can see the body’s regression caused by alcohol, the next step is to decide how to handle this potent liquid. My personal opinions are the following: Try NOT to space out the drinking (unless you are feeling drunk); the faster you stop drinking, the faster its can be removed from your body. Try to avoid the added sugar substances like mixers or sodas. Try to drink a glass water in between drinks.

Figure out what amount works within your health goals and body reactions. Be smart with your decisions and the payoff will keep you focused.