5

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Alcohol and Exercise

Answered on September 12, 2014
Created June 10, 2011 at 4:34 PM

Does anybody know the ramifications of exercise with alcohol in your system? I completely understand the concept is horrible. The reason I ask though is that a few years back, I used to play soccer on a team that always met up for drinks before the game, rather than after.

Also, when I was in college and living in a local beach town, I would often "run off" my hangover in the morning.

Just trying to gauge the level of damage I did. Potential damages I can think of could be leptin / insulin resistance at the muscular level, amongst other things?

Any info is appreciated

Fe87afa634afe26f4f6fd956abe0b46a

(565)

on June 13, 2011
at 02:23 PM

Actually Robb Wolf recommends eating a meal with plenty of fat after drinking. And don't drink before bed. Generally speaking, the body metabolizes alcohol at the rate of one drink every two hours.

B1859f696e88d25460a6b8a333412ea3

(837)

on June 12, 2011
at 06:23 AM

So what you're saying is, don't drink until 4 hours after a meal, and don't eat until it's burned off? ;-)

50637dfd7dc7a7e811d82283f4f5fd10

(5838)

on June 11, 2011
at 02:20 PM

This completely misses the point. yeah bunji

8a4ce6a9e1ab27616920b828df08b259

(354)

on June 11, 2011
at 08:17 AM

Oh god, I'm britney spears, lol. And the gogo dancers got NOTHIN on me.

50637dfd7dc7a7e811d82283f4f5fd10

(5838)

on June 11, 2011
at 05:26 AM

Awesome, I figured it would have some effect. Thank you for the input. Looking forward to your info on the sleep in the future.

Ed71ab1c75c6a9bd217a599db0a3e117

(25472)

on June 11, 2011
at 01:24 AM

The sleep angle i think I have worked out. Sleep is gonna be a favorite for me since it is so hard to study

Ed71ab1c75c6a9bd217a599db0a3e117

(25472)

on June 11, 2011
at 01:23 AM

its main effect is on the brain and liver. So far I have not read one paper that it effects leptin. The hepatic effects raises IL6 and TNF so I think the potential is there. I do know raging alcoholic I have had the pleasure of taking care of for free in ER's over the years have some of the highest reverse T3's. That is a sign of severe malnutrition.....they actually had fat one them but they tend to destroy there own muscle because of the cortisol effects and the disordered glucagon response.

50637dfd7dc7a7e811d82283f4f5fd10

(5838)

on June 10, 2011
at 11:03 PM

Doc, I was hoping you may have some input on what it does re leptin / insulin on either the muscular level, liver or both? I agree re: the sleep. Anything over 2 drinks and I wake up at 2am like clockwork and am unable to fall back asleep until 330 - 400. Very strange

50637dfd7dc7a7e811d82283f4f5fd10

(5838)

on June 10, 2011
at 09:27 PM

I'm not looking for justification, I'm wondering what affects on the body it has

50637dfd7dc7a7e811d82283f4f5fd10

(5838)

on June 10, 2011
at 06:40 PM

3 drinks and I think I'm the next "Usher". What others think is likely quite different, ha.

50637dfd7dc7a7e811d82283f4f5fd10

(5838)

on June 10, 2011
at 05:55 PM

Ha, I agree Ben. It's definitely fun, just kind of want to know what I'm working with ya know? Cheers :)

50637dfd7dc7a7e811d82283f4f5fd10

(5838)

on June 10, 2011
at 05:53 PM

Funny, the 2 season I did this, I led the league in scoring. Lol

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14 Answers

3
Fe87afa634afe26f4f6fd956abe0b46a

(565)

on June 10, 2011
at 08:19 PM

The body views alcohol in a similar way it does sugar. It will burn the alcohol for fuel before anything else, so if fat loss is a goal, alcohol is like pushing the "stop" button on fat burning. It will also cause any carbs waiting to be used as fuel, to be stored as fat.

Second, it is a central nervous system depressant. Max lifts, speed bursts, and general high body performance require a ramping up of the CNS. So alcohol effectively keeps your engine from running at top speed. Obviously, the amount of alcohol is proportionate to the decrease in performance.

Intense bouts of exercise also produce toxins that are processed by the liver, so you're essentially double taxing your liver if you exercise intensely while drinking alcohol.

So, bottom line is it's definitely a physical drawback on a lot of levels, but it is fun.

B1859f696e88d25460a6b8a333412ea3

(837)

on June 12, 2011
at 06:23 AM

So what you're saying is, don't drink until 4 hours after a meal, and don't eat until it's burned off? ;-)

Fe87afa634afe26f4f6fd956abe0b46a

(565)

on June 13, 2011
at 02:23 PM

Actually Robb Wolf recommends eating a meal with plenty of fat after drinking. And don't drink before bed. Generally speaking, the body metabolizes alcohol at the rate of one drink every two hours.

3
531db50c958cf4d5605ee0c5ae8a57be

on June 10, 2011
at 05:40 PM

I take a shot of vodka before every soccer game.

Also two shots of pickle juice.

I can't attest to the health benefits (the ritual started as an uncontrolled experiment and persists as a superstition).

I get a lot of positive comments on my game so it can't be too bad!

50637dfd7dc7a7e811d82283f4f5fd10

(5838)

on June 10, 2011
at 05:53 PM

Funny, the 2 season I did this, I led the league in scoring. Lol

2
667f6c030b0245d71d8ef50c72b097dc

(15976)

on June 10, 2011
at 05:46 PM

Ah I used to do this too! Bt it was only before aerobic stuff like Ultimate, soccer, etc. Cycling too: we'd stop for a pint every X miles etc. It's fun.

If you're working out with an actual goal, like be able to lift X weight, go x distance in certain time, etc I'd prolly think completely sober would be wise:)

50637dfd7dc7a7e811d82283f4f5fd10

(5838)

on June 10, 2011
at 05:55 PM

Ha, I agree Ben. It's definitely fun, just kind of want to know what I'm working with ya know? Cheers :)

1
1c67bc28f4e44bbb8770b86df0463df3

on June 12, 2011
at 02:53 AM

Couple of interesting things about alcohol. One, alcohol is broken down almost the exact same way, by the liver, as FRUCTOSE is. Mentally we know alcohol consumption is problematic, since our bodies handle it the same way as fructose, FRUCTOSE is also problematic. Good search - the truth about sugar and watch the Dr. give a lecture on fructose metabolism and you will never want to eat fructose again.

Alcohol also interferes with protein synthesis, can increase dehydration, and lead to unwanted side effects, like children.

0
25a149e6dde5c77cbd80b5a7741d96e1

on April 17, 2012
at 10:46 AM

I do it every once in a while. I will have a 24 ounce beer and then a hour later I will jog for 30 minutes. Seems that the running stops the effects of the alcohol after 8 minutes, but I jog fine and feel great. Seems that moderate drinking is ok, but I'd imagine heavy drinking would be problematic. I never heavy drink and hate hangovers so I never do it, but I have 2 drinks a day for health though.

0
D0d5362846297bad45410c3a4076bb88

on November 10, 2011
at 12:08 AM

Great post! I love to go have a drink after work every now and then, but it's difficult when I'm trying to exercise and maintain a figure. It's so frustrating sometimes. I found a humorous take on drinking and working out and stumbled on your blog searching for more thoughts.

Thanks for the post! Loved it. Here’s the post I read before I end up finding yours if you’re interested: http://www.tchuddle.com/2011/04/my-old-friend-alcohol/

0
4290b251413da20f5524202e302625b6

on June 17, 2011
at 06:02 AM

What I always noticed back in the days I had a couple of drinks more often was the effect it had on your heart rate. My resting hr would typically be about 20 beats per minute higher than without alcohol. So you would max out sooner. I do remember however that when playing darts or pistol shooting a drink could help in having a more steady hand.

0
Ed71ab1c75c6a9bd217a599db0a3e117

(25472)

on June 10, 2011
at 10:46 PM

alcohol is one thing I can not tolerate on paleo. Two glasses of red wine and my sleep is shot. Its has curbed me hitting the wine cellar. The effect it has on my sleep is rather shocking.

50637dfd7dc7a7e811d82283f4f5fd10

(5838)

on June 10, 2011
at 11:03 PM

Doc, I was hoping you may have some input on what it does re leptin / insulin on either the muscular level, liver or both? I agree re: the sleep. Anything over 2 drinks and I wake up at 2am like clockwork and am unable to fall back asleep until 330 - 400. Very strange

Ed71ab1c75c6a9bd217a599db0a3e117

(25472)

on June 11, 2011
at 01:23 AM

its main effect is on the brain and liver. So far I have not read one paper that it effects leptin. The hepatic effects raises IL6 and TNF so I think the potential is there. I do know raging alcoholic I have had the pleasure of taking care of for free in ER's over the years have some of the highest reverse T3's. That is a sign of severe malnutrition.....they actually had fat one them but they tend to destroy there own muscle because of the cortisol effects and the disordered glucagon response.

Ed71ab1c75c6a9bd217a599db0a3e117

(25472)

on June 11, 2011
at 01:24 AM

The sleep angle i think I have worked out. Sleep is gonna be a favorite for me since it is so hard to study

50637dfd7dc7a7e811d82283f4f5fd10

(5838)

on June 11, 2011
at 05:26 AM

Awesome, I figured it would have some effect. Thank you for the input. Looking forward to your info on the sleep in the future.

0
0aeded52de19408eecc55f69c31aa1d5

(115)

on June 10, 2011
at 09:11 PM

Isn't "horrible" a strong word? I like a jog after dinner with vodka sometimes. I'm comforted to read here that I'm not alone.

50637dfd7dc7a7e811d82283f4f5fd10

(5838)

on June 10, 2011
at 09:27 PM

I'm not looking for justification, I'm wondering what affects on the body it has

0
345c1755efe005edd162b770dc6fb821

(8767)

on June 10, 2011
at 08:40 PM

I once attended a club event of margarita madness on the tennis court, it was scarey!! I think the goal was the last man standing won....but I'm barely coordinated sober!!

0
Af9537cfa50562b67979624e9007e12a

(1334)

on June 10, 2011
at 07:24 PM

I quite often drink a 24oz Bud Lite as I do a weight lifting workout, sometimes I even think it helps a tad, because by the end I am a little braver as far as pushing to new PRs. Damage wise or any of that junk I have no idea. I think I read somewhere that your body has to metabolize the alcohol before anything else, so it might delay your PWO meal from getting into your system.

0
D9032e4f6540f9e6bcbb07143002bedd

(449)

on June 10, 2011
at 07:14 PM

i'm not sure i know how to ski without a few beers in me...

alcohol taxes the liver, which is a major user of calories. so even if you feel better with some booze in you your output will decrease.

it really comes down to what you're doing. surfing in small summer waves? have a pina colada. trying to PR Grace? booze is not your friend.

0
8a4ce6a9e1ab27616920b828df08b259

(354)

on June 10, 2011
at 06:06 PM

Lol, good question! I'm going dancing tonight, (and when I dance, I dance long and hard, like a madwoman) and I WILL be drinking alcohol. Now I'll be paying attention, from a paleo perspective, to the effects. And I'm sure my poor husband and friends are going to hear all about it.

Ok, so to try to add to the discussion...Maybe activity while having imbibed helps "burn it off" more efficiently? (Uber scientific statement there, I KNOW.) And well, from a different view, your lowered inhibitions may help you play better by taking more risks, and your mad skillz allow you to pull it off.

That's certainly what I'm hoping for tonight, anyway.. ;-)

50637dfd7dc7a7e811d82283f4f5fd10

(5838)

on June 10, 2011
at 06:40 PM

3 drinks and I think I'm the next "Usher". What others think is likely quite different, ha.

8a4ce6a9e1ab27616920b828df08b259

(354)

on June 11, 2011
at 08:17 AM

Oh god, I'm britney spears, lol. And the gogo dancers got NOTHIN on me.

-1
C528e9e0aeef9b9479a3a360e51fe513

on June 11, 2011
at 07:20 AM

seriously if your not an elite level athlete but are worried about putting on body fat. follow the leangains guide and piss on, have fun and live your life, yeah bunji.

50637dfd7dc7a7e811d82283f4f5fd10

(5838)

on June 11, 2011
at 02:20 PM

This completely misses the point. yeah bunji

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