Facts About Combining Alcohol and Exercising

By James Madeiros


12-Ounce Curls + Actual Curls = ?

We’ve all been there. We’re out on the town, hitting the clubs and having some drinks. After the third or fourth stop, somebody says, “Hey, I’ve got an awesome idea. Let’s all go to the gym and work out!”

No? Okay, so maybe it never happens that way, but sometimes drinking is combined with strenuous physical exertion; perhaps the weekend softball league, or that random night alone when the Bowflex looks irresistible after a double whiskey sour.

But, is exercising while you’re under the influence such a good idea?

The short answer is, “No.”

The most important thing to remember about alcohol in relation to exercise is that it is a diuretic, and water is a critical element of athletic performance. Your body needs water and increased blood flow to reduce its core temperature, and alcohol saps these resources by lowering blood pressure and pushing water out through the bladder.

Alcohol also lowers your level of coordination, which will increase your risk of injury while exercising. It also impairs your judgment, which could also result in injury. For example, after a few drinks you may decide that today is the day you will beat your personal dead-lift record.

But in fact, that was the day you ruined your back and ended up in traction.

Of course, there are no absolutes and it really all depends on the type of person and the amount of alcohol that is being consumed to determine the level of risk. All things being equal, though, it’s probably best to enjoy your cocktail from a glass rather than a squirt bottle.

Of course, I should remind everyone that our blog entries are for your information only and are not intended as medical advice. Because everyone is different, you should work with your medical professional to determine what’s best for you. If you’re going to drink, do it legally and responsibly; don’t be stupid =).

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