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In this science episode, we discuss alcohol. It’s a topic that comes quite often when I deal with my clients. They ask whether they can consume alcohol in their health and fitness journey. The answer, that isn't really an answer for this question is “it depends.”
A March 2013 study found that the chronic alcohol consumption reduces testosterone and increases cholesterol, both of which are not good for muscle growth and muscle retention. Therefore, chronic use of alcohol is not recommended. Moderate alcohol consumption may be okay. But you need to understand what is moderate. Just to give you a number, something less than 7 drinks a week should be okay.
There are other studies that may help you set your strategy. A March 2015 study on “Alcohol, Obesity and Loss of Strength” found alcohol use reduces our strength. Another 2015 study on “the lifestyle factors in associated with successful weight-loss” found that losing weight is co-related with a healthier lifestyle which includes drinking less alcohol.
After seeing results like this, it may seem like it is best to quit drinking entirely. But that may not be practical. So, the goal should be to build healthy habits that we can keep over time. Gradual changes of habits are more sustainable, which will lead to a healthier lifestyle.
So, an individual needs to determine what is going to work for him or her. One perfect way to deal with alcohol is treating it like sugar. Sugar is one of the things that create fat in our body. Alcohol works almost exactly the same way.
Links for further reading:
Now you are better informed of how you should deal with alcohol in your health and fitness journey.
Music used for the podcast Intro and Outro: http://www.bensound.com/royalty-free-music