How to Drink Alcohol and Still Hit Your Fitness Goal

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  1. #1
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    How to Drink Alcohol and Still Hit Your Fitness Goal

    How to Drink Alcohol and Still Hit Your Fitness Goal

    Drink Like James Bond and Still Reach Your Fitness Goal.

    It’s possible to get into the best shape of your life all while enjoying your favorite drinks. You may have heard the notion that alcohol is horrible for your health — especially for your fitness goal —, and well, while that’s true to an extent, alcohol is fine in moderation, won’t impact your fitness goal, and even has some health benefits.

    Fitness should enhance your lifestyle not consume it. If reaching your fitness goal makes you sacrifice your favorite foods and activities, it’s not worth it. Sacrifices including social activities and enjoying your favorite alcoholic beverages with your family, friends, or significant others are still possible while hitting your fitness goal.

    Like Jame Bond himself, you can still have a physique that’s athletic with strength and endurance that’s capable of fighting off a beer all while being able to throw back some beer with your friends on the weekend.

    If you enjoy drinking, but also want to build the best physique of your life, learn how you can make alcohol a part of your diet below.

    Too Much Alcohol is Bad for You
    Drinking alcohol isn’t inherently bad for you. Of course, if you drink too much, then yes, alcohol is detrimental to your health, body, and fitness goal. Before diving into the positive effects of alcohol, it’s first important that we cover why you shouldn’t drink too much.

    Alcohol can cause several negative effects if you don’t drink with caution. Below is a list of the negative side of alcohol if it isn’t controlled.

    Negative Effects of Alcohol
    • High blood pressure and other heart diseases.
    • Cancer of the breast, mouth, throat, esophagus, liver, and colon.
    • Weaker immune system.
    • Impaired memory and cognitive functioning.
    • Mental health issues.

    I know all these side effects sound daunting, and they are and shouldn’t be taken lightly. However, these are only the effects of drinking TOO much alcohol. If you drink responsibly and in a controlled manner, it can be beneficial for you and still allow you to hit your fitness goal.

    Moderate Drinking is Healthy
    Aside from the long-term consequences of drinking too much alcohol, alcohol in moderation isn’t unhealthy for you, and in fact, can have some benefits and help you reach your fitness goal. Let’s take a look at some of them below.
    • Positive Effects of Alcohol
    • Healthy for your heart.
    • Prevents kidney stones.
    • Increased testosterone.
    • Better brain health.
    • Improve blood sugar levels.

    Better Health
    Light to moderate drinking lowers your risk for heart disease. It can raise your “good” HDL cholesterol in your bloodstream and decrease your blood pressure (1). Also, it reduces your stress and temporarily decreases stress and anxiety (2). Moderate drinking keeps your immune system strong and lowers your risk of catching the common cold (3). Moderate drinkers are also 23 percent less likely to develop Alzheimer’s diseases (4).

    This study found that moderate drinking is linked to a reduced risk of dementia (5). Studies show that drinking 1-2 glasses a day decreases your chance of developing type 2 diabetes (6).

    Increases Testosterone
    A low dose of alcohol — approximately 4-5 drinks — actually increases men’s testosterone (7). Interestingly, a 2009 study published by the Journal of Sexual Medicine found that the chances of erectile dysfunction were reduced by 25 to 30 percent among alcohol drinkers (8).

    Drinking Doesn’t Impair Your Muscles
    A common myth is that alcohol diminishes your muscular gains in the gym, however, that’s only true if you overdrink. Moderate drinking does absolutely nothing to your muscle gains, so if building muscle is your fitness goal, you don’t have anything to worry about (9). (Of course, drinking too much alcohol decreases your muscle’s ability to regenerate, hindering your muscle growth potential.)

    Funny enough, bodybuilder, Ronnie Coleman, won his first 1997 Grand Prix Russia after sharing a few drinks (vodka) with bodybuilding legend, Kevin Levrone. What this did is that it made his physique stand out further by making his muscles pop out more. That’s because his muscles were dehydrated, so he looked leaner, more muscular, more chiseled, and more of the freak of nature that he was.

    Needless to say, Coleman went on to become one of the greatest bodybuilders of all time after sharing a few drinks that night with Levrone.

    Alcohol Isn’t Fattening
    Alcohol isn’t fattening, calories are. There’s not a single food in the world that makes you more fat than others, as long as the calories are equal. What it comes down to is how many calories you’re consuming. If you’re in a caloric deficit while enjoying a few drinks, you’ll continue to lose fat. On the contrary, if consuming alcohol puts you in a caloric surplus, you’ll gain fat. So as long as the amount of drinks you have is still within your nutritional targets, it will be fine.

    In fact, this study shows that moderate drinking leads to a reduction in weight gain (10).

    How Much Alcohol is Too Much?
    Now, you may be wondering just how much alcohol is considered “moderation.” Well, there’s no one size fits all answer for that since everyone is built differently and has a different tolerance for it. In general, most experts agree that one drink a day for women or two drinks a day for men won’t affect you negatively. However, it’s safe to say that for most people it will be 4-5 drinks for men and 2-3 drinks for women (drunken over a long period though, not all at once, of course).

    Drinking Guide to Reaching Your Fitness Goal
    If you want to have your cake and eat it too when it comes to alcohol and reaching your fitness goal, there are some rules and guidelines you’ll want to adhere to.

    For one, research indicates the red wine is the healthiest for your heart since it’s high in antioxidants (11). Although red wine is deemed the healthiest by researchers, the main thing you’ll want to monitor is how many calories you’re consuming when drinking (besides making sure you’re drinking in moderation as well).

    If you’re only planning on having a drink or two, then it’s fine to get a beer, some wine, or a cocktail because that will only end up being around 200-300 calories. With that said, if you intend to have 3-5 drinks, you’ll want to stick to low-calorie drinks.

    This would be your favorite liquor of choice (vodka, whiskey, gin) and some water — or you could drink it straight — however, having some water with your drink helps keep you hydrated since alcohol dehydrates you.

    Below, are some options for low-calorie drinks.

    Lower Calorie Alcoholic Beverages
    • Light beer – Miller Lite, Bud Light, Michelob
    • Vodka soda with lemon
    • Coke zero and whiskey
    • Mojito (without syrup)
    • Light bloody mary
    • Dry Champagne
    • Diet gin and tonic
    • Vodka Martini (James Bond’s favorite)

    Fat Loss and Building Muscle
    At the end of the day, losing fat and building muscle comes down to your training regimen and the number of calories you consume. As long as you drink in moderation — and your alcohol intake is still within your nutritional targets — you’ll still be able to hit your fitness goal and drink like James Bond too.

    If you enjoy a drink or two from time to time, you can still get into stellar shape and reach your fitness goal. As long as you adhere to the guidelines laid out in this article, you won’t have to worry about any negative impacts of alcohol and will even reap some extra health benefits alcohol can provide.

    What’s your favorite drink? Let us know in the comments below and follow us on Instagram and Facebook.

    1 – Ronksley, P. E., Brien, S. E., Turner, B. J., Mukamal, K. J., & Ghali, W. A. (2011). Association of alcohol consumption with selected cardiovascular disease outcomes: a systematic review and meta-analysis. BMJ (Clinical research ed.), 342, d671.
    2 – Nielsen, N. R., Truelsen, T., Barefoot, J. C., Johnsen, S. P., Overvad, K., Boysen, G., Schnohr, P., & Grønbaek, M. (2005). Is the effect of alcohol on risk of stroke confined to highly stressed persons?. Neuroepidemiology, 25(3), 105–113.
    3 – Cohen, S., Tyrrell, D. A., Russell, M. A., Jarvis, M. J., & Smith, A. P. (1993). Smoking, alcohol consumption, and susceptibility to the common cold. American journal of public health, 83(9), 1277–1283.
    4 – Loyola University Health System. (2011, August 19). Moderate drinking may protect against Alzheimer’s and cognitive impairment, study suggests. ScienceDaily. Retrieved April 14, 2021 from
    5 – Mukamal, K. J., Kuller, L. H., Fitzpatrick, A. L., Longstreth, W. T., Jr, Mittleman, M. A., & Siscovick, D. S. (2003). Prospective study of alcohol consumption and risk of dementia in older adults. JAMA, 289(11), 1405–1413.
    6 – Lando L.J. Koppes, Jacqueline M. Dekker, Henk F.J. Hendriks, Lex M. Bouter, Robert J. Heine
    Diabetes Care Mar 2005, 28 (3) 719-725; DOI: 10.2337/diacare.28.3.719
    7 – Sarkola, T., & Eriksson, C. J. (2003). Testosterone increases in men after a low dose of alcohol. Alcoholism, clinical and experimental research, 27(4), 682–685.
    8 – Chew, K.‐K., Bremner, A., Stuckey, B., Earle, C. and Jamrozik, K. (2009), ORIGINAL RESEARCH–ERECTILE DYSFUNCTION: Alcohol Consumption and Male Erectile Dysfunction: An Unfounded Reputation for Risk?. The Journal of Sexual Medicine, 6: 1386-1394.
    9 – Steiner, J. L., Gordon, B. S., & Lang, C. H. (2015). Moderate alcohol consumption does not impair overload-induced muscle hypertrophy and protein synthesis. Physiological reports, 3(3), e12333.
    10 – Wang, L., Lee, I. M., Manson, J. E., Buring, J. E., & Sesso, H. D. (2010). Alcohol consumption, weight gain, and risk of becoming overweight in middle-aged and older women. Archives of internal medicine, 170(5), 453–461.
    11 – Micallef, M., Lexis, L., & Lewandowski, P. (2007). Red wine consumption increases antioxidant status and decreases oxidative stress in the circulation of both young and old humans. Nutrition journal, 6, 27.

  2. #2
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    Interesting. Some value-laden stuff here, but is 4-5 drinks really a low dose of alcohol? Are you proposing 3-5 drinks each night? I would think most people would call that problem drinking. And finally, what does that do to your sleep. If I recall correctly alcohol-induced sleep isn't as deep or restorative as normal sleep.

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    thank for info. I always use 1 capsule of lecithin and 3000-400mg vitamin C after alcohol party
    And also warm or mineral warm water

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