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    Alcohol and fitness?

    This site has done many things for lots of us, mostly beneficial. One thing it did for me was to encourage me (if only loosely) to keep a vague food diary. Some of the more experienced members may remember that day when I realised just what I was eating - and more specifically, drinking; and I shared that with this beautiful community.

    They say the first part to working out a problem is recognising that you have one; and I certainly did that, so I've been cutting down. I'll share more of what I've been up to at a later date.

    My question, therefore, is this: how much alcohol is "acceptable"? Obviously, alcohol is a product of sugar fermentation. Sugar is not good for you in excess. Alcohol also has other evident effects when drunk to excess (like not being able to stand up, poor speech coherence, aggression...). It's not difficult to work out that getting to that stage on a regular basis (no, I didn't!) isn't going to help. We've seen the news stories of sports teams out painting the town red and some of them getting drunker than is perhaps considered acceptable... but they're at a different level to us.

    I think Damer knows what's coming: Has Darebee done any kind of study into this?

    The same question to this community: how much do you drink/consider acceptable?

    #2
    It definitely depends on what you're drinking and how regularly you want to drink. Spirits such as vodka generally have less calories than say, beer but then spirits also have a higher alcohol content. It also depends on your own body; how tall you are, how much you weigh, muscle and fat mass, kidney size, man or woman, etc. For me, I tend to go with only enough to get 'buzzed' and that's only every now and again (like maybe once a month) but I'm not much of a drinker and I only drink spirits or occasionally cider

    I would consider occasional social drinking acceptable (probably no more than once or twice a week) and as a general rule stay under the drink-drive limit, whatever that may be where you are because unless you don't have a law restricting it, it tends to be a fairly sensible amount. There are also studies that say that a glass of red wine is beneficial when drunk in moderation (no more than around a glass a day), I would consider that acceptable too
    Last edited by JordanSR; July 3, 2015, 02:20 AM.

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      #3
      Martyn great question and one that's often asked. Few of us in the Darebee Team drink to any serious level but that is reflective more of personal choices than anything else. A recent study, carried out by a couple of Italian researchers found that if you drink while exercising so that intoxication begins to take place your performance level (once you discount the loss of physical coordination) is affected only marginally. I suppose that's to be expected so some degree. Alcohol is a carbohydrate-rich source and it metabolizes quickly so to a degree it allows the body to find a ready-made, easily ingestible source of fuel.

      A slightly more detailed article in the New York Times showed that at least exercise and a fit lifestyle make the damage to brain cells that alcohol causes way less serious. Now the real issue with alcohol (apart from getting drunk) is that it adds extra calories to a meal without filling you up so you could easily drink a few beers or a bottle of wine along with normal food without realising just how many calories that is, which then makes it harder to regulate one's weight. Provided some degree of moderation is maintained alcohol and exercise should not be prohibitive. I hope this helped.

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        #4
        This is my only bane. With a reduced level of activity, alcohol finally caught up with me. I would love to cut it out entirely. I know that if I did, the pounds would come off like shingles on a bad house. But alas, living in New Orleans, and my own preference for it make it extremely difficult. Advice, encouragement, help would all be appreciated.

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          #5
          I drink much slower now but I've traded quality for quantity. I'll go through a 6 pack in about 2-3 weeks depending on stress and events but I'm a big tracker of food so I always fit it into my calories.

          The one beer/exercise thing I do though is I always drink a pint before I do obstacle runs, I would prefer one along the way on some of the longer ones but oh well. I really like the energy boost it gives and besides a few burps I've never had an issues with it.

          I think this is another moderation topic, if used in moderation alcohol can be beneficial but if too much is consumed there goes all the benefits.

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            #6
            I think if I were to drink beer or wine, I would not have issues. When I drank beer (and if I drank beer I would go back to brewing my own) there was a point where I physically could not drink any more, its done. But vodka, a good one, a nice 17 dollar tank of Sobieski? I'm a pit, I'm a chasm, a echoing grotto in the Mayan rainforest.

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              #7
              I feel your pain, Valdus - it's such a problem in NOLA! I've been cutting back quite a bit since Mardi Gras this year, and think it's helping me feel better overall and making it much easier to hit fitness goals. I like drinking, so I'm not interested in giving it up entirely, but I've set some solid ground rules: no more than one drink a day during the week (recently, I skip it entirely most days), and no more than one tipsy/drunk night out a week. If I'm out and have already had my drinking night, I'll have one cocktail then switch to soda water and lime. For me, it's a good balance, and considering that I was probably averaging at least 3 drinks a day before (non New Orleans people, I realize that sounds horrible, but truly it's a moderate amount down here!), it's a huge improvement and cuts a TON of calories out of my diet.

              Of course, the most difficult part is keeping the self-control to follow through with the rules. Working hard here on Darebee is the biggest help there - I just think, "do I really want to negate today's entire workout with a couple of drinks?" Usually, the answer is no!

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                #8
                Hola fellow NOLA! So hard in this town, where the streets run with liquor and beer. (Funny, other people reading this will think I am lying). The thing that gets me about here is that EVERYTHING SOCIAL is drinking. I was once on a strict diet and could not think of an activity to do, that's fun, with other people, without filling your stomach or your liver. It was impossible, unable to be done.

                I have a major party on the 11th, 5 days in Miami (both my son and I's, and my parent's 50th) and I am worrying it will be a blow out. But fight the good fight we shall see.

                PS: Maybe we should start a New Orleans support thread on all this. Yes, its THAT hard to stay in shape here YES!

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                  #9
                  Martyn
                  My humble opinion on alcohol would be this:
                  Alcohol has a caloric content of 7 kcal/g which lies between carbohydrates (4 kcal/g) and fat (9 kcal/g). Those are easily drunk, unsatisfying calories that make you crave for more. No vitamins, no fibres, no amino acids, just plain energy. Already in small doses it "disinhibits" your behaviour and makes you more likely to not stick to your plans (if they're unpleasant). Also, alcohol stimulates your appetite. Working out under the influence (as slight as it might be) poses a risk of injury since your coordination is not as good and you tend to take risks (disinhibition).
                  Enjoy a beer or a glass of wine by all means but never mix exercise and and alcohol (especially never exercise in or near water while drinking).
                  cheers, Martin

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                    #10
                    I read a book on alcohol moderation, and it recommends no more than 1 unit a day/5 units a week for women, and 2 units a day/8 units a week for men. I have no idea how the author came up with that, but that's one expert's opinion.

                    My problem with alcohol is not so much the alcohol, but that drinking decreases my inhibitions regarding food. Even one unit of alcohol will often result in unplanned snacking. I'm currently trying to lose weight, and have decided to have one beer per week. I'll make it a good one, and take the time to really enjoy it. I'm substituting my regular Friday night wine with fancy, craft tonic waters, which also taste delicious and bitter, and feel like a treat.

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                      #11
                      Originally posted by Valdus View Post
                      Hola fellow NOLA! So hard in this town, where the streets run with liquor and beer. (Funny, other people reading this will think I am lying). The thing that gets me about here is that EVERYTHING SOCIAL is drinking. I was once on a strict diet and could not think of an activity to do, that's fun, with other people, without filling your stomach or your liver. It was impossible, unable to be done.

                      I have a major party on the 11th, 5 days in Miami (both my son and I's, and my parent's 50th) and I am worrying it will be a blow out. But fight the good fight we shall see.

                      PS: Maybe we should start a New Orleans support thread on all this. Yes, its THAT hard to stay in shape here YES!

                      Have strength! A few tips from my husband, who gave up drinking entirely for years: 1) At a party, always bring your own nonalcoholic special drink - sparkling cider, fancy sodas, whatever, will make you feel less left out 2) nobody else cares whether you are drinking alcohol, and if they do think that is negative that's probably not a good friend to have; and 3) you very well might find drunken activities boring without the alcohol, and if you do that's ok, find your own thing to do that is fun even when not intoxicated.

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                        #12
                        When I first started getting into shape a few years back, I put myself on a very strict diet, but I am in graduate school and so most of our functions or social events revolve around drinking. I didn't want to give it up completely, so I tried to cut calories etc where I could. That meant sticking to straight spirits without any chasers or mixers. This slowed my drinking down quite a bit because I sipped my drinks. And usually, I'd just set a limit for the situation. Two drink limit or something and then switch to a non-alcoholic beverage.

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                          #13
                          I once drank way too much, then I went T-Total for a while - then after controlling alcohol I have now come to a truce with it, as in I'll drink 2 days out of 7. I drink red wine which is about 600-700 calories per bottle, so it's workable in keeping it within your daily caloric intake (as in mine is 2200 cals a day, so if I exercise and burn 300 calories I only have to leave 400 calories of 'caloric room' for the wine - thereby allowing me to still eat food up to 1800 calories). It's not ideal, as when I do drink I certainly go over the recommended units per day - but at least I give my body/liver a 5 day break alcohol free. Better at least than drinking every day and the calories don't stack up.

                          Beer on the other hand usually works out double the amount of calories compared to wine if you compared them both on how much you need to drink to get merry.

                          I have the utmost respect for your husband Zinner giving up alcohol completely. That's a much better example of self control than I've given here and clearly the healthiest path.
                          I just wish blue cheese on crackers, olives and red wine didn't taste so darn good and make me feel so relaxed and unwound

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                            #14
                            Здоровому организму алкоголь не повредит

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                              #15
                              Originally posted by SlavaBros View Post
                              Здоровому организму алкоголь не повредит
                              'All things are poison, and nothing is without poison; but the dose makes it clear that a thing is not a poison.'
                              Paracelsus

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