$5 Long Island Ice Teas , 2 for 1 Margarita specials are the kind of words you like to hear after work. The taste of an adult beverage hitting the back of your throat at 5pm amongst friends and colleagues is second to none. However, happy-hours can unintentionally promote overdrinking in short amount of times. The temptation of cheaper drink prices, the rush to take advantage of the specials before happy hour ends and the natural inclination to grab “just one more” leads to harmful side effects. Alcohol in even in moderation impairs your performance. The more alcohol you intake the more your risk for injury or impairment increases.
But what happens if I go to happy hour and then go workout the alcohol I just consumed ?
A lot of people try to be faithful by still going to the gym even after they’ve attended happy hour. As much as I would love to tell you that’s a noble thing to do, you’re setting your body up for failure. When alcohol is present in your system it impairs a variety of things, energy and metabolism being two of those things. Impairment means to diminish, weaken or damage.Your energy and metabolism are both negatively affected when you drink. Your mind will have you believing that you just had the most amazing workout after happy hour because your shirt is wringing wet. In reality your body is working double and triple time to work off that daiquiri you had at 6pm. When you workout with alcohol in your system you’re causing an undue amount of stress on your body.
Drinking also puts you at risk for dehydration which increases your risk for injury and even worse, a heat stroke. It’s best to curb your drinking until after your body has went back to a homeostatic level, so this means no drinking after your workouts either. Alcohol is a powerful substance that has lingering effects hours after you drink. The many different phases of your sleep cycle are affected by alcoholic consumption. When you’re asleep your body is storing glycogen, a much needed source of energy for endurance, and also regulating your cortisol (stress hormone) levels. Alcohol hinders the body’s ability to store glycogen is and increases the levels of cortisol. The most frightening thing is that it still lingers even if you stopped drinking six hours before bed.