Alcohol Consumption and Exercise

By: David B Smith

It has become the norm for an increasing amount of folks to have a few drinks before taking part in exercise.

The dual justifications are regularly given that, firstly, a wee bit of alcohol can actually increase sporting performance, and that, secondly, any negative outcome of the alcohol will be more than be equal out by the benefits of the exercise.

Both these rationalisations need to be . Various experiments has indeed exposed that small amounts of alcohol do increase muscular endurance and the output of strength, but these types of benefits are . After 20 minutes or so, the negative effects start to surface, and these easily outweigh the .

The unfavorable dimensions of alcohol consumption include lessening strength and endurance, diminished aerobic capability, longer recovery time, a decline in the body's ability to metabolize fat, and even a retardation in muscle growth!

Alcohol also effects your central nervous system and brain. Over the long term, excessive alcohol consumption can cause critical deterioration of the central nervous system, but even in the short term, nerve muscle interaction is reduced, which often causes a loss of strength.

Alcohol drinking also effects the heart and circulatory system. Drinking brings on the body to reduce heat though the stimulation of the blood vessels that causes them to dilate. This is felt as a reduction in endurance capabilities. Muscles become relatively cold and then become slower and weaker during muscle contractions.

It is the effect of alcohol on the blood that effects recovery time post and during sport. Regular alcohol consumption can cause continual inflammation of the muscle cells, which reduces the functionality of muscle contractions. This is experienced as increased muscle soreness after exercise, and the discovery that it takes longer for the body .

Drinking alcohol can also lead to digestive and nutrition issues as well. Alcohol consumption brings on insulin in the blood that in turn speeds up the metabolism of glycogen, which makes fat loss far more troublesome. Due to alcohol inhibiting the absorption of main nutrients, it can also lead to anemia and vitamin deficiency (especially with the B type vitamins).

As to the benefits of exercise balancing out the negative effects of alcohol consumption, it needs to be noted further that the areas of the body that most benefit from exercise and not necessarily those that are most damaged by alcohol.

The liver is the most obvious organ targetted in alcohol poisening, as it is the liver that detoxifies alcohol. The more you drink, the harder your liver has to work, and no amount of exercise is going to directly help recovery damaged liver cells.

Similarly, since alcohol is diuretic, drinking large amounts of alcohol puts a lot of stress on your kidneys as well. Right through diuretic action, the hormones are secreted, which leads to heightened water retention, and no one who takes their exercise seriously will want this to .

The message for athletes here is simple: if you want to drink alcohol, make sure you do it in moderation and never drink before exercise. Even a minute amount of alcohol consumed before sport will almost automatically reduce the positive results of the exercise activity for the body as well as poor sporting performance.

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