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Food and nutrition, Health and happiness

How Alcohol Affects Your Workout Recovery

By Laura December 04, 2015
Glass of wine, pint of beer and shot of whiskey on a bar.jpg

So you've just completed a killer workout and you and your gym buddies are heading to the pub for a few celebratory drinks. 

Surely this is fine - after all you've certainly worked for it and the odd beer never harmed anyone, right?

Maybe not. 

A recent study has found that even moderate alcohol consumption after resistance training can decrease your ability to recover. It's worth keeping in mind that as hangovers dehydrate our bodies, it won't do muscle soreness any favours either (which is why it's so important to hydrate before, during and after exercising). It can also decrease our motivation to workout and can send our eating habits off the rails. So if you're training for something serious it may not be a great idea. However if you stay active because you want to live a happy healthy life then it's just about being aware.

But surely if you lead a healthy lifestyle and are dedicated to keeping fit then you're less likely to succumb to alcohol? Interestingly, another study from Penn State University has also found that you're more likely to hit the booze if you regularly hit the gym - even after the study controlled for age, sex, seasonal and social calendar influences. So don't worry if you do fancy a drink after your workout - you're not alone! (Probably because we're a social bunch and can't stop the fun vibes pouring from us post workout!)

So as always, if you fancy a drink after a particularly tough session then just be aware even in moderation it will impact your efforts. However if you aren’t training for anything serious then there's no harm in occasionally joining your friends at the bar, socialising and sharing those positive vibes your session has just given you!

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