Beer and exercise, do they mix?

Brandon Hahn December 26, 2012 Nutrition Articles
Beer and exercise, do they mix?

College. It’s a mix of books, girls, beer, and exercise. You study when you can, lift for the ladies, and the weekends are all about partying. Does beer have an effect on your physique? I mean, they say a beer a day is healthy, but what about 2? What about 12? College is all about partying, it’s the best 4 to 5 years of your life. Why worry today about what can be put off until tomorrow? Well, those beers on the weekend can make your weekly training efforts a waste. Why? It’s time to put down the red solo cup and listen up!

Beer and the body

Alcohol is an entirely different animal than any other food or beverage. Alcohol actually possesses its’ own level of calories per gram. It’s interesting that it’s not listed with the other three, and probably for good reason. Alcohol is 7 calories per gram, however calories are not the big issue.

When you consume alcohol, the body recognizes it as a toxin. The body decides to clear out the alcohol before anything else. If you’ve consumed food prior to, or after alcohol, the alcohol is digested first. So much for that whole “have a few slices of bread to absorb the alcohol” theory. The liver can process about 1/2 ounce of pure alcohol per hour. That translates to around a can of beer or short glass of wine per hour. The body must process all alcohol prior to anything else. This means any food gets stuck at the red light, while alcohol has the green light until fully processed (and out of your system).

Beer and exercise

The occasional drinker may not see many of the harsh issues that are seen with heavy drinkers. This does not mean that drinking every weekend will not lead to deteriorating health and a fatty liver. However, there are some consequences for choosing to party. You need to think about short and long term goals. Drinking a few weekends out of the year may not lead to much. However, week in and week out drinking leads to wasted efforts in the gym. You are drinking your calorie allotment for the day. Not to mention the extra cash that gets sent to Taco Bell at 2:30 in the morning.

Over time this all adds up. Alcohol wreaks havoc on your physique with continued use. The occasional party may be fine, but binge drinking has got to stop. You should not be exercising for hours on end, just to throw off your shirt for beer pong. You should respect your body. Once college is over, what will you have to show for it? You might have a few hundred facebook photos, but you’ve also lost your precious physique. It’s time to wake up and start realizing that downing beers should be something you do occasionally, not nightly.

About The Author

Brandon has been in the fitness industry for over seven years and has trained over 1,000 clients. He has competed in several bodybuilding competitions and continues to improve his physique with hardwork and dedication. With a Bachelor's Degree in Exercise Science, Brandon has the knowledge and skills to get you on the fast track to fitness.