8 Ways That Alcohol Affects Your Body, Sports Performance And Recovery
Posted on 21st November 2023 at 13:08
We all love to push our limits, stay active, and maintain a healthy lifestyle. While the occasional celebration might involve a glass of your favourite tipple, it's crucial to understand how alcohol affects your body, sports performance, and recovery.
In this blog post, we'll explore 8 ways alcohol can impact your active lifestyle and offer some tips for making better choices.
1. Decreased performance
Alcohol can impair your motor skills and coordination, leading to decreased performance in sports and other physical activities. It affects your reaction time and precision, making it difficult to achieve your best on the field or at the gym.
Alcohol is a diuretic, meaning it increases urine production, leading to dehydration. Proper hydration is essential for optimal athletic performance, and alcohol can disrupt the body's natural fluid balance, affecting your endurance and overall stamina.
Alcoholic drinks are often high in empty calories and low in nutrients. Consuming alcohol regularly can displace essential nutrients from your diet, impacting your overall nutrition. A balanced diet is crucial for supporting your body's energy needs and muscle recovery.
4. Disrupted sleep
While you might think a nightcap helps you relax, it can disrupt your sleep cycle. Alcohol may help you fall asleep faster, but it interferes with your REM (Rapid Eye Movement) sleep, preventing you from getting the deep, restorative rest your body needs after physical activity.
5. Increase in risk of getting injured
Impaired judgment and coordination due to alcohol consumption can significantly increase the risk of accidents and injuries during physical activities. Your ability to assess risks and make split-second decisions is compromised, making you more susceptible to harm.
6. Delays recovery
Alcohol interferes with the body's ability to repair tissues and build muscle. After a strenuous workout, your muscles need time to recover and grow stronger. Alcohol consumption can delay this recovery process, leaving you feeling sore and fatigued for a more extended period.
7. Build-up of fats
Alcoholic beverages can be high in calories, and excessive drinking can lead to weight gain. The extra calories from alcohol, combined with impaired metabolism, can result in the accumulation of body fat, affecting your body composition and athletic performance.
8. Masking pain
Alcohol has pain-relieving properties, which might lead you to ignore discomfort or pain from injuries sustained during physical activities. Ignoring these signals can worsen the injury and hinder your overall recovery process.
Low-alcohol and alcohol-free alternatives
Luckily, there are plenty of low-alcohol and alcohol-free alternatives available on the market. These options allow you to socialise without compromising your health and fitness goals. Try alcohol-free beers, mocktails, or simply experiment with different non-alcoholic beverages to find a tasty alternative that suits your preferences.
In conclusion, while the occasional drink might not ruin your fitness journey, it's essential to be mindful of the impact alcohol can have on your body, sports performance, and recovery. Staying hydrated, maintaining a balanced diet, getting adequate sleep, and avoiding excessive alcohol consumption are key factors in achieving your fitness goals.
Whilst massage can help flush out toxins and aid recovery, remember to avoid alcohol before and after them. Contact us to book.
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