Workout of the Day:
Complete two cleans or power cleans on the minute, every minute, for 25 minutes.
Record and report the total amount of weight you clean during the 25 minutes.

The challenge: Can you clean 10,000 lbs. in this workout?
Trinette of CrossFit Invictus San Diego

Alcohol and Your Health & Fitness Goals
Written by Nichole DeHart

In no way am I advocating for or against alcohol in this post. I do, however, think it is important to be well informed when making decisions about your health. The consumption of alcohol seems to be a question that comes up often, so I will use this as a platform to write a few facts about alcohol and its effects on your body. Remember that if you do enjoy having an alcoholic beverage, then moderation and balance is the key.

  • Alcohol drastically effects the amount of fat your body can and will burn for energy. Here is the deal – when alcohol goes through the liver it creates a by-product called Acetate. Acetate is no good when trying to burn fat. Acetate does the opposite of fat burning; it puts the brakes on it. How so? Your body uses many types of fuel (protein, carbohydrates and fat) but the fuel used by your body is dictated by its availability. When you drink alcohol your acetate levels increase, therefore your body burns more acetate as fuel and stores the excess calories from food as fat.
  • Alcohol decreases testosterone and increases Cortisol.
  • Vitamin and mineral absorption is decreased. Your liver is too busy converting the alcohol to acetate to be concerned about the vitamins and minerals you have just consumed.
  • Decrease in protein synthesis of Type II fibers – these are the fast-twitch fibers that make you strong and explosive. No! We love Type II fibers and want to avoid the possibility of ever decreasing the creation and accumulation of Type II fibers.
  • Dehydration – dehydrated muscles are weak and more prone to injury.
  • Osteoporosis and some forms of arthritis can be advanced by alcohol abuse. Alcohol can also lead to muscle atrophy.
  • Prolonged exposure to alcohol can erode the stomach lining and cause chronic blood seepage into the stomach.

Alcohol has a significant effect on the body and your possible health goals. So next time you go out for a drink or pour yourself a glass of wine, consider some of the effects that alcohol can have on your fitness goals.

  • M

    So sad.

  • Brad

    Let’s not leave out the benefits of moderate alcohol consumption:

    “Alcohol and wine intake has been shown to have a positive effect on blood triglyceride profiles and lowers blood pressure. In turn, moderate drinkers have a lower incidence of atherosclerosis, heart attack and stroke.

    Moderate alcohol consumption can counter insulin resistance and lower the risk for type 2 diabetes. Alcohol has also been shown to decrease the risk for certain types of cancer such as lymphoma and kidney cancer. Also, the health benefits of the relaxation effect of moderate drinking cannot be ignored.

    Additionally, it has been shown that people who consume moderate amounts of alcohol actually have a decreased risk for illnesses and death compared to those who do not drink and who abuse alcohol.”

    Of course adherence to “moderation” can be a bit tricky.

  • CJ Martin

    Interesting points Brad. From what are you quoting? I would be interested in looking at the definition of moderation and the parameters of the studies that led to these conclusions. I don’t doubt a correlation between an ocassional glass of wine – perhaps for the stress reducing benefits alone and the resveratrol, but I wonder exactly how they monitored these tests to get their findings and conclusions.

  • Gavin

    I’ve done quite a few studies on myself and stand-by the old addage, coined by Oscar Wilde, of “Everything in moderation, including moderation.” Of course, Oscar Wilde died penniless in Paris at forty-six. Maybe I should start listening to Nichole more.

  • courtland

    I am the king of immoderate moderation and have been fighting with this problem for a long time. What is moderate by society’s general standards is for me, well, let’s just say it’s a Tuesday and leave it at that. I went one week without a single drop and felt ok, maybe things were a little less fun, but it was not miserable. I had intended on going for a 60-day break, but when I had a terrible head cold I dipped into some Irish whiskey, which helped, but also broke my run. So now looking for the right timing to reset so that I can realistically work toward yeard-end goals like 13-15%, 400# dead lift, and (pie-in-the-sky) a 280# 1R front squat.

  • courtland

    13-15% body fat (in case that wasn’t clear)

  • Brad

    CJ, I just did a Google search on “Health benefits of alcohol consumption”, as I have read several articles over the past few years on the health benefits of moderate alcohol consumption, particularly wine and beer. A number of articles surfaced, but below is the article I chose to quote, since it conformed to my bias view. Plus, the author listed several reasonable references. I believe “Moderate” is defined as 2-3 drinks for men and 1-2 drinks for women (not during pregnancy) per day.

    http://www.2basnob.com/effects-of-alcohol.html

  • Cynthia

    Party til you puke!!!!!!!!!!! wooooooooo hooooooooooooooo!!!!!

    Health benefits or not, those of us who struggle with weight issues can’t afford the extra calories that a daily drink or two contain.

    Is pot fattening? 🙂

  • POS

    Don’t think Pot is fattening but I believe the munchies might be.

    Now moderate beer consumption? Isn’t beer like liquid bread? And we all know about avoiding grains. Just fodder for this thread today.

    Also hasn’t the Paleo style diet been shown to lower triglycerides as well? I am not adverse to having a few drinks every blue moon, but using studies to validate my “drinking”……. ?

  • Brad

    Cynthia,
    It can be, especially if you live above a 7-11.

  • CJ Martin

    Thanks Brad. I’m in SF on my way to Calgary now, but I’ll take a look at some of the referenced studies. I can tell you, however, that I love the note regarding the author being a researcher hired to write the article for a website that caters to wine afficionados. I’m not implying anything…yet, but it doesn’t exactly bode well for the objectivity of the author’s conclusions.

  • Brad

    Oh I am sure the article is bias. There does appear to be legit positive effects from consumption of alcohol, when prescribed like a dietary supplement (in controlled moderation). I personnally don’t know anyone who consumes alcoholic beverages in controlled moderation.

  • Gavin

    How could we forget increased awesomeness, dancing and karaoke?

  • Krazy K

    I like “increased awesomeness”!! It has a nice ring!

  • DRS

    POS, beer is not exactly like liquid bread. It has nearly 1/3 less carbs than an actual slice of bread does. Although it is made from mostly grains which would more than likely throw off a strictly paleo diet… But it sure is delicious!!! :))

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  • Ryan Brown

    I just like to get hammered everyday and lift heavy weights.

  • Really, it’s a interesting post!

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