Many people enjoy having a drink or two with friends, in social gatherings, on vacation – or just to unwind. But many people wonder if a responsible beverage now and then will ruin their workout routine.
It’s true – alcohol doesn’t really offer any nutritional benefits. Some beverages, however, can be more detrimental to your fitness regimen than others.
Mixed drinks containing fruit juices, sodas, and sour mixes, for example, are filled with sugar and particularly damaging.
As with most recreational activities in life, moderation is the key. In fact, some studies have even shown that a drink or two under the proper circumstances can provide certain health benefits.
Obviously, excessive drinking can impair judgment, balance, and reaction time. Alcohol has been linked to digestive issues, which can make it difficult for your body to absorb helpful nutrients such as Vitamin B and amino acids. It’s also a diuretic, which means it can lead to dehydration (a big exercise stopper).
So while a trip to the bar will probably never replace a trip to the gym, there are some healthier drinking choices you can make that won’t entirely ruin your workout.
Here are three tips, without getting tipsy.
- Hops to it. Beer, while not the most slimming of beverages, has been shown to combat everything from osteoporosis to high cholesterol. Lighter beers, which clock in at approximately 95 to 110 calories and have the lowest amount of carbs, are preferable – as weight gain is perhaps the biggest concern when it comes to enjoying a good brew and maintaining a narrow waist.
- Nix the mix. While it’s probably best to steer clear of hard liquor, overall, calorie-laden cocktails and mixed drinks are anathema to staying fit. Instead, order your drink straight up or on the rocks. Vodka and gin are also preferable to darker liquors. And sip, rather than slamming shot glasses down on the bar. Can’t stand straight liquor? Add seltzer water, which is void of calories but adds a little something extra.
- Red, White, and You: It is believed in some circles that resveratrol, a compound found in red wine, may boost the body’s energy production and help to ward off disease. The jury is still out on just how heart-healthy wine can be, but if you’re offered the Chardonnay at a party – maybe opt for the Cabernet Sauvignon instead.
And just a reminder: when it comes to healthier drinking choices, water is a great choice 100% of the time. It fits with every exercise program ever designed, and you literally cannot have a healthy body or lifestyle without it.
Any other fitness questions? Contact one of our certified personal trainers at (410) 750-2228.