Any high intensity activity – running, team sports, lifting weights, all cause temporary muscle damage. Over time, our glycogen stores start to deplete – this is the fuel stored in our muscles.
Sweating also means the fluid in our bodies is depleted.
Alcohol slows down the muscle’s ability to repair, by inhibiting the function of hormones like testosterone which help with this. Alcohol also causes us to make bad food choices, and after exercise is when you need to be making the best choices for refueling.
Alcohol is high energy, low nutrition, and as a diuretic it promotes fluid loss. The worst thing for when you’re dehydrated.
When given an option of drinking alcohol or drinking nothing after exercise, then drinking nothing would be a better option, as drinking alcohol causes a delay in the recovery rate of blood volume.
Alcohol also has a negative effect on sleep, and when we sleep our muscles are repairing, so good rest is crucial following exercise.
Rather than reaching for the beer or wine after exercise, try getting a healthy mix of carbohydrate, protein and electrolytes straight after your workout.
Sports drinks are created for this very purpose.
If you are going to drink alcohol after sport, keep it to one beer, and avoid wines and spirits completely.
I would agree with non-alcoholic beer. That, or a chocolate milkshake!
interesting that alcohol is actually worse for hydration than no liquid at all! The point about bad food choices is also not wrong - I confess to cocktails followed by kebabs followed by some serious 'never again' in the morning.
My solution - a non-alcoholic beer after a workout. it tastes just the same, is very refreshing, and it's cheaper too!
Personally, a cold beer after a tough workout is a real treat lately. My trick is to drink water, and then to have a beer so I get to enjoy a reward too.
Water water water is your best option, every time. That or skimmed milk. Nothing else is worth paying the extra for.