At the weekend, it’s natural to want to let your hair down after a long week’s work. And for us Irish – our usual go-to is a couple of drinks to relax & let our hair down. However, if you’re after embarking on a fitness journey, it’s important to know these facts about alcohol & its effect on the body – particularly if you’re looking for results!
1. ALCOHOL IS LOADED IN CALORIES. Alcohol is not only expensive on the wallet, it’s also expensive on the calories you have to spare. There’s almost double the amount of calories in a gram of alcohol as there is in a gram of protein or carbohydrate. There are about 210 calories in a pint of Guinness, and 100 in a shot of vodka or spirit. This doesn’t factor in the sugar that a lot of the shorts are usually mixed with, such as white lemonade or coke! 4/5 pints will see you add an extra 1000 calories or so onto your total daily energy expenditure. If you’ve been in a deficit of 200 calories for the previous 5 days, you’re back to square one in terms of weight loss. And quite a few of us would have more than 4/5 pints a week unfortunately…
2. AFFECTS MUSCLE-BUILDING FUNCTIONS. Testosterone is needed to build muscle. And multiple studies have directly linked alcohol to lowering testosterone production in the body. Heavy drinking can cause a drastic decrease in testosterone, and even moderate drinking of 1+ glasses of wine has been linked to decreasing testosterone by 7%. To make matters worse, beer contains compounds that actually increases oestrogen in the body – which can lead to the storage of fat. Now of course we’re not saying oestrogen is bad, but in terms of building muscle, ideally you’d have low oestrogen, and high test.
3. TAKES PRIORITY OVER FAT TO BE BURNED. If you’re looking to lean out & lose fat, then you should take note of this one. If you consume alcohol, your body will prioritise this as fuel for energy rather than fat, which isn’t ideal if you’ve been dieting & think that seeing as you’re in a deficit you’ll be leaning out. Rather than using the fat stored in your body, your body will use the alcohol & therefore will set your fat-loss journey back a few steps.
4. THE HANGOVER. Need we explain? Asides from the crippling pain of an Irish hangover, our cure often revolves around food, food & more food – or even hair of the dog. If you’re dieting all week, not only will the night before have set you back, but this hangover day will often see you get a meal from a takeaway that contains upwards of 2000 calories. The hangover will likely prevent you from hitting the gym as well – so needless to say, it’s far from beneficial to your weight-loss goals!