Alcohol, Training, Recovery during the Silly Season
Its that time of the year again in Australia, temperatures rise, people make their way to our wonderful coastline and many of us get out on our bike, surfboard, take a run, swim, hike etc.
Because the country is slowing down with school holidays and many places of work closing, we have more spare time and do more of the activity we love!
On the other hand, we are having some late nights celebrating with colleagues, family, friends, eating naughty foods and possibly drinking more alcohol than usual.
These late evenings are then coupled with early mornings exercising to beat the summer heat...
Everyone will agree, after a hard workout doing the sport you love, you also may have that feeling of rewarding yourself with a beer or maybe a few... why not? its hot, you have done a massive amount of good to your body, you are dehyrated and very often, very hungry!
Put this all together and the holiday period can be somewhat taxing on your body, so please keep in mind the effects on alcohol on your training, recovery and overall performance.
We are all Human! We drink alcohol; social, taste..... whatever, do have fun, do enjoy, but in moderation, do take care of your body, you need that for the sports you love..
- Metabolism: Yes alcoholic drinks have calories which your body processes for energy, but they can block the metabolic process, imparing glycogen synthesis, blocking your muscles from their energy source, hence affecting your muscle recover
- Muscle Function: Your body has lower access glycogen, hence your tired muscles have less available energy. If you suffer from cramping, recall there is a proven direct correlation with alcohol ( though the exact mechanism is unclear), although dehydration associated with alcohol may play a role. So keep hydrated!
- Thermoregulation: do recall, continuing from above, alcohol is a diuretic, it forces the body to urinate out excess fluid and is a vasodilator which means an increase in fluid loss via evaporation. Drinks, hot night, increase in core temperature, increased evaporation.
Neurological Function : recall alcohol is also a depressant, leading to 'slower cognitive ability' Bascially impairing vitamin B absorption, critical to neurological function. Sleep quality can be affected, important also to your muscle recovery.
Recall, the effects of alcohol can affect your recovery due to the fact that your body is not working optimally - it affects several of your body systems due to dehydration, poor delivery of glycogen, the cardiovascular system working in over drive....
'This will lead to your performance the next day, a 'hangover still exhibits symptoms of your body working sub-optimally'.
'Your body is still recovering from the effects of you essentially poisoning it'.
'One night of five drinks can lead to three days of recovery for your body from the drinking.'
Source: This information was extracted from I Love Bicycling, you can read the full article here