What is the Interaction Between Alcohol and Fitness?

  • 17 months ago
3 minute read.
What is the Interaction Between Alcohol and Fitness?


Alcohol is the main ingredient in alcoholic beverage consumed worldwide for recreational, medicinal, social, and religious purposes.

Alcohol has many effects on the body. For example, acute alcohol toxicity and chronic intoxication affect overall health. The effects are different for everyone as their tolerance threshold varies. Still, alcohol addiction has negative impacts on the body.

A significant part of staying healthy is exercising and following a balanced diet. If you exercise regularly, you should limit your alcohol intake because of the ill effects of sustained consumption.

Calories in Alcohol

Wine, beer, and all other fermented drinks contain natural starch and sugar. They increase your calorie intake. Here are some of the alcoholic beverages and their calorie contents.


Alcoholic Beverage





100 ml

220 calories


100 ml


220 calories


100 ml 

220 calories


Half liter 

184 calories


100 ml

126 calories 

Vodka, tequila, and cider 


1 shot (1.5 ounces)

97 calories


100 ml


70 calories

Relationship Between Alcohol and Fitness

Alcohol has a close relationship with fitness. It impacts several aspects of our physical health, including the following.

● Metabolism

Alcohol has three characteristic features. First, it is an energy source, psychoactive drug, and toxin with lot of calories but few nutrients. It increases fat absorption in the body and slows down metabolism. Also, as it contains a toxin, the topmost priority of the body is to eliminate it from the body. However, due to its toxic effects, it slows down liver function and diminishes the liver cell's ability to regenerate.

● Performance Training

Alcohol consumption reduces the sensitivity of the central nervous system and its activities. It impairs our balance, accuracy, reaction time, and motor activities, such as holding an object or doing an exercise carefully. The dizziness, tremors, and hangover from heavy alcohol consumption will impair your ability to exercise. Further, you'll be more susceptible to injuries when lifting exercise equipment.

● Muscle Soreness

While stretching and building muscles, your muscles are often damaged before they rebuild, which leads to soreness. However, after alcohol consumption, the recovery of these worn muscles slows down and delays muscle development.

● Weight Gain

Consumption of alcohol inhibits fat digestion, which leads to fat being stored in the body. It slows down your weight loss efforts. Also, alcoholic drinks are rich in calories, and regular drinking promotes weight gain.

● Muscle Strength

Alcohol inhibits the calcium transfer between the membranes, and this action impairs the contraction and relaxation of muscles, decreasing muscle strength.

● Injury Recovery

Alcohol consumption slows down the inflammatory responses required in the recovery of an injury. If you are training and have suffered an injury, alcohol prolongs the recovery period by impairing the anti-inflammatory cytokines.

● Muscle Growth

A hormone called testosterone is responsible for muscle growth. Testosterone increases protein synthesis and stimulates muscle growth. However, alcohol slows down testosterone production. Further, it releases another hormone, cortisol, which stimulates protein breakdown and reduces muscle growth.

● Dehydration

Alcohol is a diuretic agent known to increase urine output, which interferes with hydration and leads to dehydration. It is especially harmful since our body is already in need of hydration after working out.

● Sleep

It is a misconception that alcohol consumption before going to bed relaxes the mind. In truth, it leads to an interrupted sleep cycle, midnight awakening, and disturbed sleep.

Everyone needs proper sleep to perform optimally. After alcohol consumption and sleep deprivation, fatigue increases and reduces the energy levels, ultimately affecting our performance.

Long-term Alcohol Effects

Some effects of alcohol consumption affect us in the long term, as follows.

●  Inflammatory damage to the liver and increased chance of liver disorders, such as alcoholic hepatitis, alcoholic liver cirrhosis, and alcohol-induced liver disease

● Hypertension

● Heart-related diseases

● Stroke

● Pancreatitis

● Cancers

Manage Your Alcohol Intake

If you are concerned about your drinking and you want to limit it, you can follow these steps provided by the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism.

● Set a limit for your drinking intake.

● Keep track of how much you drink in a week and the amount that you consume.

● Be persistent in slowing down the intake of alcohol.

● Keep yourself busy and pick up a new hobby. You can walk or engage yourself in sports.

● If you are unable to cut down your alcohol intake, seek medical guidance.


Alcohol consumption, whether short-term or long-term, may cause an imbalance in the body. So, to maintain optimum fitness levels, it is necessary to follow an adequate diet, get regular exercise, and cut down or stop the consumption of alcohol.

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