0

votes

Alcohol and athletic performance

Answered on August 19, 2014
Created March 07, 2013 at 11:05 PM

While adapting a full on paleo lifestyle (sleep,food,training,etc) I admit I like to drink alcohol. Craft beer being my guilty pleasure. Usually 5-7 beers a week and a glass of red wine or margarita here and there. I'm a active BJJ competitor and train 5 days a week very hard. Lately when I don't drink lets say for 3-4 days I feel great in the gym. When I do drink, even 2 beers, I notice I don't sleep as well and feel sluggish in training.

So my question is where does alcohol fit into elite athletic performance?

If I'm trying to achieve optimal results in competition and training, should I still drink?

Thanks for your time!

8ce8b8fd33944e67dfd6277e7b671815

(327)

on May 17, 2013
at 05:07 PM

maybe your just not aware of whats in the cider or the mead http://www.jclinepi.com/article/0895-4356(94)00174-O/abstract) my point was more so to illustrate that light drinking might be healthy for you http://www.medscape.com/viewarticle/562474_2 and yes those drinks when they are home brewed have natural vitamins and minerals from the yeast your brewing them with eating the sugar.

Ebb10603524dd22621c1155dd7ddf106

(19150)

on May 17, 2013
at 12:13 PM

"the plant"? As someone that brews meads and cider, you sir, are full of shit. ;-) "Phytochemicals" doesn't mean anything - anymore than zoachemicals or mycochemicals does. Chica is a very different concoction than mead or cider.

7d46edca72c2f8347f65d7b734d1f1eb

on March 09, 2013
at 02:09 PM

It is something I struggle with at times because if I am going to drink....an IPA is my choice but I feel the effects even if very minor. I use to homebrew and really enjoy them (taste, culture, etc.). I just don't enjoy wine or alcohol drinks as much. Lifestyle + goals = choices

89fa2da4805b0b4e54b77a5a20a2e206

(2097)

on March 08, 2013
at 10:09 PM

yeah...it should be fine once in a while if you really miss it that much. But otherwise ..JUST SAY NO :)

Medium avatar

(129)

on March 08, 2013
at 09:34 PM

Thanks for response, I feel the exact same way...even 2 beers affects my sleep and training...not much but noticeable. I do feel an array of effects ranging from bad food choices to digestion issues like you said. Also tend to hold more fat when consuming as well. Ya iv been trying to stick to wine/norcal marg but its hard when you like craft beer as much as I do, and yes the extra flavor is added alcohol and grains. Im realizing to reach my goals cutting it completely or till at least after competition is what I should do.Thanks for response again

Medium avatar

(129)

on March 08, 2013
at 09:23 PM

Well said, I should hold off till after

Medium avatar

(129)

on March 08, 2013
at 09:22 PM

Guess its also a social thing. But yes I agree.

Medium avatar

(129)

on March 08, 2013
at 09:22 PM

I have heard that as well, guess its a double edged sword...love me some craft beer buts its true I dont like the way I feel/perform after. Thanks

Frontpage book

Get FREE instant access to our Paleo For Beginners Guide & 15 FREE Recipes!

7 Answers

best answer

1
89fa2da4805b0b4e54b77a5a20a2e206

on March 07, 2013
at 11:44 PM

Ideally i would say dont drink as drinking (beer especially) has been shown to elevate estrogen levels and lower testosterone levels. Seems like you've answered your own question too since the effect of drinking just 2 makes you feel crappy afterwards. So why not just say bye bye to the grainy/hoppy stuff altogether.. :)

http://thechangelink.com/alcohol-consumption-raises-estrogen-levels-and/

89fa2da4805b0b4e54b77a5a20a2e206

(2097)

on March 08, 2013
at 10:09 PM

yeah...it should be fine once in a while if you really miss it that much. But otherwise ..JUST SAY NO :)

Medium avatar

(129)

on March 08, 2013
at 09:22 PM

I have heard that as well, guess its a double edged sword...love me some craft beer buts its true I dont like the way I feel/perform after. Thanks

best answer

2
7d46edca72c2f8347f65d7b734d1f1eb

on March 08, 2013
at 11:49 AM

If your goal is high level performance then consumption of alcohol should be limited if not eliminated. I'm the first one to point out that everyone's life is theirs to live so each and every person needs to make their own decisions based on their lifestyle, goals, health, currently condition, etc. so ultimately you have to decide where alcohol fits in your life and goals. I love beer and IPAs so I make my choices but I know even if I have 1-2 it impacts my sleep and my workouts negatively. Maybe not in a big way but I feel it. I do some pretty intense metcons and sometimes if I have a beer or 2 the night before I just don't feel like I have that extra gear to push myself. That said it is a choice I do make occasionally.

Do keep in mind to that it isn't as simple as "having a few" and pushing through to making it to the gym the next day and then pushing through the workout. Alcohol will impact the quality of your sleep, energy levels, digestion, may lead to bad food choices and cravings, possible dehydration, decrease in recovery, consumption of bad carbs and other non-paleo 'things' depending on what you drink, possible extra fat storage, depletes nutrients, decreased testosterone, etc. Will one glass of wine or beer take you right off the rails? Probably not but if your goal is optimal performance as you said then it is something that will potentially negatively impact said goal.

You may want to think about what you're drinking and how much as well. Beer is definitely not considered a paleo beverage and there are better choices. If you're drinking out many places are serving 16 oz beers rather than 12 oz now so you're actually drinking more like 6-9 beers a week if you're out. Also there is a new trend with craft beers that contain higher alcohol, more calories, and sugar (malt) not to mention the potential gluten concerns. I'm not certain on this but I think Budlight has 3.5% ABV and Bud had 5%. I'm seeing more and more craft beers creeping up easily into the 7-8% ABV range these days if not 9%+. Not judging or trying to be a nag here at all since I love IPAs myself but rather pointing out that having a 12 oz 100 cal budlight at 3.5% ABV based on some rice syrup or a vodka soda is a lot different than the 16oz craft beer at 250+ cal and 8% ABV that is brewed with 4+ types of grains.

Medium avatar

(129)

on March 08, 2013
at 09:34 PM

Thanks for response, I feel the exact same way...even 2 beers affects my sleep and training...not much but noticeable. I do feel an array of effects ranging from bad food choices to digestion issues like you said. Also tend to hold more fat when consuming as well. Ya iv been trying to stick to wine/norcal marg but its hard when you like craft beer as much as I do, and yes the extra flavor is added alcohol and grains. Im realizing to reach my goals cutting it completely or till at least after competition is what I should do.Thanks for response again

7d46edca72c2f8347f65d7b734d1f1eb

on March 09, 2013
at 02:09 PM

It is something I struggle with at times because if I am going to drink....an IPA is my choice but I feel the effects even if very minor. I use to homebrew and really enjoy them (taste, culture, etc.). I just don't enjoy wine or alcohol drinks as much. Lifestyle + goals = choices

best answer

1
0c875e97044bf838a074470caa5d630d

on March 08, 2013
at 11:49 AM

Alcohol fits in as a once-in-a-while celebration after you win some competitions ;)

Medium avatar

(129)

on March 08, 2013
at 09:23 PM

Well said, I should hold off till after

0
048dd52752c45129c1212bfffb37ca72

on May 17, 2013
at 05:06 AM

I'm also an endurance athlete. I was a regular weekend alcohol consumer until some time ago as in this society it's pretty hard to evade, beer is very fond here in Spain, also wine in most celebrations or dinners and when you go party one or two spirits/long drinks seem a must... but frankly I know I am pretty sensitive to it (just two beers can make me feel a little bit drunk) so I have been reducing them to the extreme that now when we go to the bar at night with friends and they have their drinks I just ask for a sparkling water.

They look at me like 'WTF?!' but hey I don't care any more, for me being optimal and performing at the events is more important than just going to have a drink that:

  1. Is expensive
  2. Is not doing any good on me, on the contrary
  3. I don't enjoy so that much that I could not pass with another more healthy option

If it's a dinner I may have some red wine but no more than one cup, I'm really sensitive to it but I guess it should be fine for most people and wine is pretty natural stuff, gluten free and is loaded with resveratrol (antioxidant) and just a little bit of alcohol could have an hormetic positive effect on the body (they say it can be good for heart health) so at least you get some good compromise, the other stuff I try not to have it.

But I also have to say that many of my friends won't give up on alcohol and they still perform very well, one of them can get drunk one night and get a sub 35' on a 10K... whereas I have to be in full shape to just get sub 37... I always tell him that he may even go further by not drinking but I guess we will never know... hehe

0
8ce8b8fd33944e67dfd6277e7b671815

(327)

on May 17, 2013
at 02:44 AM

you may want to look into brewing hard cider or mead as it contains natural phytochemicals and b vitamins from the plant and only contain up to 5% alcohol. Some paleo peoples even had their entire diets devoted to drinks such as these, like chica. So just tone it down and maybe choose some more healthy alcohol

0
8ce8b8fd33944e67dfd6277e7b671815

(327)

on May 17, 2013
at 02:43 AM

you may want to look into brewing hard cider or mead as it contains natural phytochemicals and b vitamins from the plant and only contain up to 5% alcohol. Some paleo peoples even had their entire diets devoted to drinks such as these, like chica. So just tone it down and maybe choose some more healthy alcohol

Ebb10603524dd22621c1155dd7ddf106

(19150)

on May 17, 2013
at 12:13 PM

"the plant"? As someone that brews meads and cider, you sir, are full of shit. ;-) "Phytochemicals" doesn't mean anything - anymore than zoachemicals or mycochemicals does. Chica is a very different concoction than mead or cider.

8ce8b8fd33944e67dfd6277e7b671815

(327)

on May 17, 2013
at 05:07 PM

maybe your just not aware of whats in the cider or the mead http://www.jclinepi.com/article/0895-4356(94)00174-O/abstract) my point was more so to illustrate that light drinking might be healthy for you http://www.medscape.com/viewarticle/562474_2 and yes those drinks when they are home brewed have natural vitamins and minerals from the yeast your brewing them with eating the sugar.

0
C657d176db6f11f98aeb2a89071e3281

on March 08, 2013
at 07:08 AM

I agree with Mary. Why drink if you know you feel better when you don't?

Medium avatar

(129)

on March 08, 2013
at 09:22 PM

Guess its also a social thing. But yes I agree.

Answer Question


Get FREE instant access to our
Paleo For Beginners Guide & 15 FREE Recipes!