Alcohol and sport have long had a close, and often toxic relationship. Many of the world’s biggest stars have spoken out previously about battles with addiction, from football to running, swimming to rugby, but it doesn’t just affect those at the top.
For even amateur athletes and hobbiests, alcohol could be affecting your training and performance more than you think, and certainly more than you would like. We all have goals in our training, and no matter how big or small alcohol could be affecting them if you are a regular drinker.
Across the world more people are suffering from alcohol abuse, with alcohol rehab centre admissions up significantly. But whether you have a problem or not, here’s exactly how alcohol could be affecting your day-to-day training and workouts…
Impaired muscle recovery
One of the main ways in which alcohol can impact your training is by impairing muscle recovery. This is because alcohol consumption can lead to dehydration, which can prevent your body from properly repairing and rebuilding muscles after a workout. Alcohol can also interfere with your body’s natural hormone production, which can further hinder muscle recovery.
Decreased performance and endurance
It’ll also decrease your overall performance and endurance during exercise. This is because alcohol can impair your coordination, balance, and reaction time, making it more difficult to perform exercises properly and efficiently. Furthermore, alcohol can reduce the amount of oxygen that your body can take in, which can limit your endurance and stamina during cardio-based exercises.
Increased risk of injury
Alcohol can significantly increase your risk of injury. This is because alcohol can impair your judgement and coordination, making it more likely that you will make mistakes during exercise that could lead to injury. Additionally, alcohol consumption can increase inflammation in the body, which can further increase the risk of injury and impede healing.
Reduced protein synthesis
Protein synthesis is an essential process in the body that allows muscles to repair and grow after exercise. However, alcohol consumption can significantly reduce protein synthesis, hindering your muscle growth and recovery. This is because alcohol can interfere with the production of hormones such as testosterone and growth hormone, which are essential for protein synthesis and muscle growth.
Increased calorie intake and fat storage
Lastly, alcohol consumption can also lead to increased calorie intake and fat storage, which can impact your overall body composition and training progress. Alcohol contains empty calories, which means that they provide no nutritional value but can still contribute to weight gain if consumed in excess. Alongside this, alcohol can increase the storage of fat in the body, particularly in the abdominal region, which can further impact your body composition and performance.