At Catacombs, we know that health and fitness is about so much more than the work we do in the gym. Each month, we explore an area of nutrition to bring attention to how best to maximize our work in the gym rather than sabotage it. Coach Suz has proclaimed that this month our focus is alcohol. This may well be the least popular blog post I’ve ever written, but my goal is simply to provide information. Once you have the information, you can make your own choices about how alcohol fits into your health and fitness goals. Stay tuned all month for facts and insight into the impacts of consuming alcohol.
As the weather gets nicer, we flock to the outdoors for BBQ’s, patios and outdoor activities where alcoholic beverages flow freely. Enjoy yourself, but make smart choices too. It IS possible to socialize and enjoy the outdoors without alcohol. If you do choose to drink, make sure your drinks are not also laden with sugary mixers and make sure you are consuming plenty of water between alcoholic beverages. Drinking also lowers your inhibition to make good choices about food. If you are going to drink, make a plan about how you are going to salvage your nutrition. Fill that plate with veggies before you reach for the chips and cookies.
Below are 6 facts that may help motivate you to take your happy hour outside with a frisbee and some fizzy water instead of nachos and beer.
EMPTY CALORIES: Alcohol has zero nutritional value and supplies almost twice as many calories as proteins and carbs at 7 calories per gram as opposed to 4 cal/g.
POOR SLEEP: Alcohol in your system causes increased periods of wakefulness during important restorative sleep cycles.
STOPS FAT BURNING: After consuming alcohol, the body works only to breakdown the alcohol and stops burning fats. This enables the fat in your diet to be stored a lot more easily.
STAYS IN YOUR SYSTEM: Although alcohol metabolizes at the rate of 1 drink per hour, it can effect your brain and body for 48-72 hours.
CAN WEAKEN IMMUNE SYSTEM: Drinking a lot on a single occasion slows your body’s ability to ward off infections, even up to 24 hours after getting drunk.
ABSORBING NUTRIENTS: Alcohol causes deficiency in certain vitamins such as thiamin (vitamin B1), vitamin B12, folic acid and zinc, as it actually inhibits the absorption and usage of these vital nutrients.
Thanks for reading even though it wasn’t what you wanted to hear. Let us know how we can support your efforts. And if you are ready to work on your nutrition with a plan and accountability, reach out to Coach Suz for more information on Ignite Nutrition.