As a fitness person it is good to understand the effects alcohol can have on fitness performance. This week Activ8 would like to share with you some interesting tips on the effects of alcohol on your fitness performance.
Alcohol is harmful to fitness performance because it effects the body physically during exercise and its adverse effects on the brain’s functions including judgment, will impair fitness performance.
We need to be hydrated when we exercise to maintain normal flow of blood through our bodies, which is essential for oxygen and nutrients to reach our muscles and all the body’s organs.
- Alcohol causes the kidneys to make more urine, so it lead to dehydration.
- Exercise makes us sweat as our body temperature rises. So, combined, sweating and the diuretic (increased urine) effect of alcohol make dehydration much more likely.
- Alcohol interferes with the body’s metabolism.
- Alcohol consumption causes an increase in insulin secretion, which leads to low blood sugar (the medical term is known as hypoglycemia). Exercise requires normal levels of sugar in the blood to give us energy. So, after alcohol, blood sugar levels will fall, and our sports performance won’t be as good as usual.
- Alcohol effects our motor skills, balance, hand-eye coordination, and reaction time, which negatively effects our performance and increases the risk of injury.
- Alcohol contains a lot of calories. So alcohol contributes to weight gain.
It is important that we drink plenty of water to stay hydrated, to replace water lost through physical activity and, if we drink any alcohol after exercise, drinking additional water is essential to prevent dehydration. Please do not rely on increased physical exercise to ‘burn off’ excess calories gained from alcohol. And if you decide to have a drink, always do it in moderation.
While alcohol may have some health benefits, it can have a detrimental effect on our physical activity. We’d love to hear your position on effects of alcohol on fitness performance.