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  • Writer's pictureJonny Slick

Alcohol and Exercise

When it comes to living a healthy and active lifestyle, many people wonder whether they can still enjoy alcohol in moderation. The answer is yes! Moderate alcohol consumption can be incorporated into a healthy and active lifestyle, as long as it's done responsibly and in balance with other healthy habits such as regular exercise and a nutritious diet.

Here are some tips on how to enjoy alcohol in moderation around your healthy eating and exercise habits:

1. Set limits: The first step in incorporating alcohol into a healthy and active lifestyle is to establish clear limits. The recommended daily intake of alcohol for men is two drinks per day and for women is one drink per day. However, it's important to note that these limits can vary based on age, body weight, and other health factors. So, it's always a good idea to check with your doctor before deciding on your personal limits.

2. Plan ahead: If you know you're going to be consuming alcohol, plan ahead and make sure you've eaten a healthy meal with a mix of protein, fat, and fiber and are well-hydrated beforehand. This can help prevent overconsumption and mitigate some of the negative effects of alcohol on your body. For each alcoholic drink you consume, drink 8oz of water. The day after you drink, stay well-hydrated and eat lots of fruits and vegetables to support your body's natural recovery process.

3. Choose wisely: Not all alcoholic drinks are created equal. Beer, wine, or spirits mixed with low-calorie mixers such as soda water or diet soda are better choices than sugary cocktails and drinks that are high in calories. If you do want to enjoy a heavier beer or higher calorie cocktail, think of it the same way you would fast food or dessert: just enjoy it in moderation and don’t make it a daily occurrence.

4. Don't drink and drive: This one goes without saying, but it's worth repeating. If you plan on drinking, make sure you have a designated driver or plan to use public transportation or ride-sharing services to get home safely. Being healthy is more than just working out and eating correctly, it also includes making smart decisions like not putting yourself and others at risk by drinking and driving.

5. Exercise intelligently around your drinking: Regular exercise is a crucial component of a healthy and active lifestyle. If you plan on drinking more than 1-2 drinks, make sure you don't overdo it with your workouts the next day. Excessive exercise can lead to dehydration, which can exacerbate the negative effects of alcohol on your body. Stick to moderate-intensity exercise, such as a brisk walk, easy hike, or light jog if you drank heavily the night before. If you know you’re going to have a tough workout the next day, stop after 1 drink so you know you’ll be able to put forth your best effort the next day. As for drinking AFTER workouts, excessive alcohol can negatively affect your recovery, so stick to 1-2 drinks on the days where you’re recovering from a tough workout.

6. Take Rest Days: Just like taking rest days from exercising, it's also important to give your body time to recover and recharge after a night of heavier drinking. If you do overdo it with the drinks, maybe skip the workout the next day and go for a walk. I know I keep stating this over and over but if you consistently practice moderation in your drinking, it’ll be so much better for you and your body along with your exercise program. It may also be beneficial for you to take periods of time to completely abstain from alcohol consumption, especially if you’ve had several days in a row of more than 1-2 drinks. Just like your muscles need a break when they’ve been overworked, your liver needs a break sometimes too!

I hope these tips can help you find a healthy balance between your alcohol consumption and your healthy eating and exercising. Just make sure to set clear limits, plan ahead, choose wisely, don't drink and drive, exercise intelligently around your drinking, and take rest days. Remember, moderation is key, and always prioritize your health and safety above all else.

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