Our nutrition coaches receive this question frequently! I think we can all agree that alcohol is sometimes seen as a “social lubricant”. With the holidays rapidly approaching you may find yourself at frequent parties, social events, or birthday celebrations where alcohol is present.
Do you have a goal of maintaining a consistent exercise routine & eating healthy?
Have you noticed there are many obstacles in the way?
The key to obtaining a healthy lifestyle to find ways around, limit or remove those obstacles. The over consumption of alcohol and the chain of events that can occur after we drink can impact our goals long term. Alcohol tends to be a source of empty calories. Consuming excessive calories in any form - food or alcohol - leads the body to store extra fat and gaining weight, often in terms of excess belly fat, or the dreaded “beer belly.”
What about alcohol and its impact on exercise? A study from Barnes, Mündel, and Stannard (2010) suggests that a moderate dose of alcohol may impair normal muscle recovery after very strenuous exercise. If exercise and performance are goals for you, drinking alcohol in excess could contribute to injury and impact your attainment.
Here are some ideas for healthier alternatives:
- Go into a social event with a plan. If you know that you have to get up early the next day or have an exercise planned, reminding yourself of your goals may impact your decision to drink in excess.
- If you know that you are going to drink alcohol, similar to the idea of taking time to really enjoy and savor the taste of your food, pick an alcoholic beverage that you truly like. Pick 1 drink, and sip it slowly, being mindful of the taste and flavor, and pay attention to the social setting that you are in, enjoying the environment you are in, and the rad people you’re with.
- Make it a goal to have 1 glass of water for every alcoholic beverage consumed.
If you know that you will be drinking, here are some healthier alternatives:
- Vodka + seltzer with lemon or lime
- Bloody Mary
- One glass of red wine
- Scotch on the rocks
If you’re trying to avoid consuming alcohol, here’s some non-alcohol containing beverage ideas:
- Virgin Bloody Mary - omit the vodka
- Instead of a Margarita, try sugar-free lemonade with a salt rim and a wedge of lime.
- A dressed-up seltzer water - go wild and add a sliced cucumber.
- Flavored sparkling water- spice it up with added fruit, herbs, or a little fruit juice.
Stay healthy, friends!
If you are looking for an accountability partner, book your free intro with the nutrition coach here!
-The Cigar City Team
Barnes, M.J., Mündel, T. & Stannard, S.R. (2009). Post-exercise alcohol ingestion exacerbates eccentric-exercise induced losses in performance. European Journal of Applied Physiology, 108(5):1009-14.