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Sports dilemma: what happens if you drink alcohol after training
There is a lot of controversy and reasoning about the harm and benefits of alcohol in sports. Some believe that alcohol helps to relax and recuperate after a hard workout, while others oppose any intoxicating drinks, believing that they have a bad effect on muscle growth and the body as a whole. Let's try to understand this issue.
Opinion of professional athletes
There is no consensus among professional athletes. For example, Cristiano Ronaldo does not drink alcohol at all. He does not allow himself any indulgences, adheres to a strict diet and at the age of 35 shows phenomenal results. But the hockey player Ilya Kovalchuk believes that a couple of beers after matches are the best to restore strength.
The footballer Dmitry Kombarov also spoke about the benefits of beer: It has been scientifically proven that 0.5 beer will have no effect on the body. It will not affect the next day, either. And sometimes, psychologically and physically, beer plays only a positive role. I trust this. After the game I can have a glass. Some doctors recommend beer, so everything is fine.
Health expert and science journalist Boris Tsatsulin in one of the videos on his YouTube channel explained why athletes are still in the past centuries resorted to alcohol during and after sports.
Boris: Both in the 19th and 20th centuries, athletes from time to time drank beer with a low alcohol content. What for? They replenished the loss of water, minerals, electrolytes and energy in the body. When the beer boils during the brewing process, the water is thus sterilized. And beer was a safer option than water from some unknown source. But that was then.
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Currently, the situation has changed a lot. Now we can replenish the resources spent during training with guaranteed clean water, isotonic and special dietary supplements. So it's worth thinking about whether you need to raise your degree again?
How does alcohol affect the body after exercise?
Before ordering an alcoholic drink, you need to understand all the pros and cons. Alcohol has a negative effect on the cardiovascular system and liver, slows down metabolism and increases appetite. In addition, alcohol affects the levels of the male hormone testosterone in the body, which is responsible for muscle growth. But that's not all.
Interferes with losing weight
If you want to lose weight, then it is better to minimize alcohol consumption. Maybe certain drinks are low in calories and won't do much harm to the body. But, as practice shows, after drinking, we overeat and get carried away with junk food. And hence the extra pounds on the nextblowing day. Therefore, watch the quality of your food and try not to go beyond the daily calorie intake.
Increases the level of stress hormone
Drinking alcohol, even in small amounts, slows down the process of protein synthesis, affects the body's recovery after training, and increases the level of cortisol. This is the so-called stress hormone, and it destroys our muscles and promotes the accumulation of fat. Its increased level carries a lot of health problems: fatigue, weakened immunity and testosterone production, gastrointestinal problems.
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Leads to dehydration
Alcohol is the cause of dehydration. It is a diuretic, meaning it encourages the body to excrete more fluid. The effectiveness of training in the event of dehydration is greatly reduced, because water plays an important role in building muscle. It is also the main cause of headaches in the morning. Therefore, it is important to restore water and salt balance.
When we exercise, especially at high intensity or in hot climates, we lose a lot of fluids and deplete electrolytes. It's important to restore these fluid levels after exercise, but drinking alcohol can delay this process, explains Roger Adams, Ph.D. .
Inhibits muscle growth and impairs strength performance
Alcohol negatively affects muscle growth and power indicators. There are studies that prove that alcohol removes vitamins, minerals and other nutrients from the body that play an important role in building muscle mass. Slowing protein synthesis inhibits recovery and reduces muscle strength.
Alcohol depletes liver glycogen stores and therefore negatively affects endurance, speed and energy.
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To drink or not to drink is up to you. It all depends on the goals. Most likely, alcohol in small doses will not have a strong negative effect on performance. But if you want to achieve serious results in sports, then even rare abuse will get in the way. You need to clearly understand that you can ruin the potential by drinking alcohol. The most important thing is that indulgence does not lead to an uncontrolled bad habit.