So you want to make gains but still enjoy the delights of an Old Fashioned? No problemo, there’s no need to quit the booze! Whilst we wouldn’t recommend swigging a bottle of wine at the gym, it is possible to get fit and drink alcohol. Of course, you’ll need to follow a few basic guidelines…but we’ll get to those in a minute.
The relationship between alcohol and fitness
Before we share our tips on “healthy drinking”, we wanted to be clear about alcohol: it is bad for you. But then so is indulging in comfort food, playing games all night, spending too much time in the dark, spending too much time in the sunshine, and so many other things besides! And yet, a little bit of naughtiness from time to time can significantly benefit our mental health.
Whilst it’s not the same for everyone, we love a social drink and the odd glass of wine at dinner. We’ve even worked out a way to drink responsibly so we can focus on our efforts towards muscle gain, weight loss and a healthy lifestyle. Nevertheless, it’s important to be smart about these things. You know you; don’t let us tell you what to do, you are the commander of your own health and wellness.
Right, are you ready to find a way to enjoy a drink without negatively affecting your fitness goals?
How to get fit and drink alcohol
We’re strong believers in balance, which is why we’ve come up with a step-by-step game plan to help you achieve your health and fitness objectives whilst still being able to enjoy drinking alcohol:
1. Watch those empty calories
When we first learnt about the empty calories in alcohol, we naively thought that these might be conducive to weight loss because they were calories that didn’t actually contain any, well…calories. But, unfortunately, empty calories are still calories and alcohol contains 7 empty calories per gram. What’s more, they’re calories that provide no nutritional benefit!
Whilst ECs can provide our body with immediate energy, if you’re counting your calories to achieve fitness goals, you may wish to prioritise those that come from more nutritional sources. But that doesn’t mean you have to stop drinking alcohol altogether. Instead, you could opt for more low-calorie beverages, such as vodka soda or a Dry Martini. Alternatively, why not…
2. Moderate your drinking
We know, we know. But, at the risk of sounding like your nan, moderating your drinking is cool; there’s a growing movement challenging the stigma of drinking alcohol-free, so why not join them? Be there or be square!
0% has never been so exciting and the great news is that swapping out the odd alcoholic drink for alcohol alternatives is great news for your fitness. Amongst the many benefits of drinking alcohol-free, you’ll experience quicker muscle recovery and higher energy levels. Oh, and there are usually fewer calories in alcohol-free drinks!
And the best part? You don’t have to give up drinking to hit those personal bests on your deadlifts!
But drinking in moderation is easier said than done, surely?
Not if you follow our guide on How to Moderate Your Drinking and…
3. Drink NoLo
This may surprise you but NoLo is not an acronym for Never Offend Legless Ostriches! Oh no, it’s actually an abbreviation for no alcohol and low alcohol drinks. And the growing NoLo industry has made it a hundred times easier to get fit and still drink alcohol. How? Because there are now so many great options to help us moderate our drinking.
Instead of a lime and soda, we can order a non-alcoholic Negroni at any one of the many bars or restaurants now serving alcohol-free. That means we can skip the hangover and leave our competitors in the dust during that race tomorrow!
4. Remember to stay hydrated
Whether you’re an Olympic athlete or a living room yogi, H2O is vital for keeping you fit and healthy! Roughly 55-60% of your body is made up of water and it plays a key role in every bodily function. Being well hydrated boosts your overall performance during a workout, improves sleep, supports weight loss and reduces muscle fatigue, which is why it’s incredibly important to ensure you’re hydrated before you exercise.
So for every alcoholic drink you have, enjoy a nice glass of H2O before you help yourself to another…and get ready to pee a lot!