I like to drink. Red wine, Jack Daniel’s, and beer from Belgian to Budweiser – I like to drink. Unfortunately, alcohol health fitness doesn’t really mix too well.
If for no other reason than to remind myself that sunny early summer is not a license to make Mojitos and Corona a staple in my diet, I’ve listed 7 ways that guys lose when they booze. I’ve pulled this information from reports by the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism and the Centers For Disease Control and Prevention where men were the test subjects, but I think we can all agree that much of it will also apply to women.
Alcohol Health Fitness…
Alcohol consumption increases the risk of cancer of the mouth, throat, esophagus, liver, and colon in men.
Alcohol consumption can alter blood sugar levels and exacerbate or cause diabetes. Chronic alcohol abuse can reduce the body’s responsiveness to insulin and cause glucose intolerance in both non-alcoholic and alcoholics with liver cirrhosis. It is estimated that 45% – 70% of people with alcoholic liver disease are also diabetic.
Alcohol is directly toxic to bone-forming cells. Also chronic heavy drinking can adversely affect bone metabolism indirectly by contributing to nutritional deficiencies of calcium or Vitamin D.
Excessive alcohol use can interfere with testicular function and male hormone production resulting in impotence and infertility.
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In a study of normal healthy men who received alcohol for 4 weeks, testosterone levels declined after only 5 days and continued to fall throughout the study period. Prolonged testosterone deficiency may contribute to feminization of male sexual characteristics including breast enlargement.
Alcohol may interfere with normal sperm structure and movement by inhibiting the metabolism of Vitamin A which is essential for sperm development.
It is estimated that about 17% of men will meet criteria for alcohol dependence at some point in their lives.
I didn’t even go into how the excess calories from alcohol contribute to weight gain, that the resulting reduction in testosterone hampers muscle gain, or how the disrupted sleep patterns from drinking wreck your recovery. The referenced studies didn’t discuss these elements, but I can tell you from experience training myself and my clients that eliminating or greatly reducing your alcohol intake is an important step to getting lean and strong. Even if you don’t quite you should at least research on how to get rid of your hangovers.
What’s your take on how alcohol impacts your health and fitness? Let us know in the comments below.