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The Liquid Lowdown – The truth about Water and Alcohol

How’s everyone doing?! As this weekend draws to an end, and another about to begin, I wanna cover a few questions I got from clients this past weekend.

Coincidence or not, I can kind of tell what weekend plans people have in store. The questions they ask usually tell whether they’ll be focusing on their fitness or maybe just letting loose. Questions ranging from cheat meals, to the importance of sleep and in the case of todays blog, a question on liquids, particularly water and alcohol.

Lets take a look at the first one and one that many still seem unsure about

How much water should I be drinking a day?

Contrary to what most people were told and believe, the recommended 8 X 8 rule (8 glasses of 8 oz. per day) has no actual research to it and was basically a casual guess from a 1945 government report. Nowadays, the IOM (Institute of Medicine) recommends that women get 2.7 L (11 cups) of water per day and men get 3.7 liters (16 cups).

If you are active and train intensely 3-4 days a week, make sure to add 1-2 additional cups per day. Also, keep in mind that water doesn’t need to be the only source of fluid in getting the recommended intake. Coffee, tea, and juices also count as liquids and should therefore be factored in.

 

Will drinking alcohol destroy my fitness?

I had someone, most probably an Arnold fan tell me that Arnold Schwarzenegger once used a little alcohol to appear leaner on stage. While it is true that alcohol can act as a diuretic, we certainly don’t advise it! Nor do we believe that Arnold was popping bottles before getting on stage. (Though he was smoking marijuana at the end of Pumping Iron, which I thought was pretty funny!) Remember, the effects that alcohol has on your body cause way more damage than it does good. So please, put the bottle down.

So will alcohol destroy my fitness? Well, it won’t help build it. Depending on how much is consumed; alcohol can have many adverse effects on your body.

Ethanol, the type of alcohol found in drinks, has toxic metabolic byproducts called acetaldehyde and acetate. These byproducts cause that nauseous feeling you get after a few drinks.

Alcohol also weakens your body’s digestion system. This makes it harder to absorb nutrients, and can lower testosterone levels and impairs protein synthesis. On top of all that, alcohol is very calorie-dense, with more calories per ounce (7), than protein, and carbs.

Everything in moderation!

Most of us work hard during the week. No matter what line of work you’re in, the weekend is usually a time where we like to kick back and enjoy the little pleasures of life. Taking your fitness seriously is important in making sure you not only live a healthier, happier life, but also a life that doesn’t rob you of energy and vitality. However a healthy balance of fitness and fun is needed. So, while Im not gonna advocate you downing a fifth of vodka, I will say that an occasional glass of wine or beer can help with your fitness goals. Not literally, but mentally. Learning to enjoy life and taking pride in the little things in life can get you closer to happiness – both inside and out.