How much do you love alcohol?
On a recent trip, a man in his fifties, wanting to get back into shape and into the dating pool said he’s going to bike a little bit more to shed the extra pounds. He’s a person we see with a group of friends every season. He’s a great guy but he drinks a lot of beer and eats a lot of fried and fatty foods. You would never know it by looking at him that, aerobically speaking, he’s in great shape; he runs, surfs and/or bikes every day. He’s also 30 pounds overweight. I shook my head and told him, “You don’t need to exercise more, you need to drink less, and only on the weekends, and only a few drinks on those nights. You also need to eat healthier. No more beef burgers. Switch to turkey.” He pouted like a child about to have a tantrum and complained, “But that’s hard!” Yes, it is hard!
You know what’s even harder: recovering from a stroke, or cirrhosis of the liver, or cancer, because drinking in excess will increase your risks of these life-threatening conditions (1). Alcohol suppresses fat burning and increases appetite so you end up eating more too. (1). For those of you who are body building or want to build muscle, alcohol negatively affects bone (1). Per Dr. Sampson, “In adults, alcohol consumption can disrupt the ongoing balance between the erosion and the remodeling of bone tissue, contributing to alcoholic bone disease” (2). Don’t put those weight sessions to waste! So, before you open that can or that bottle, ask yourself if it’s really worth it. Hint: it isn’t!
1 Sport Nutrition for Health and Performance, 2nd ed. By Manore, Meyer, Thompson. Pages: 9, 139, 470.
2. H. Wayne Sampson, Ph.D., professor in the Department of Human Anatomy& Medical Neurobiology, Texas A&MHealth Science Center, College of Medicine, College Station, Texas. article titled “Alcohol’s Harmful Effects on Bone” Link: http://pubs.niaaa.nih.gov/publications/arh22-3/190.pdf