Alcohol and Fitness



Alright ya'll, Merry Christmas, Happy Holiday to ALL of you! For real, this is a topic I avoid like my Aunt's fruitcake because I tend to think super black and white when it comes to alcohol.

I'm like, "you choose... your GOALS or your GIN?!?"

However, tis the season to be less Grinchy... so here we go...

Human beings need to be social and have some fun on occasion. Around this time of year when the Holiday parties are popping all over your agenda, it can feel like you're slowly watching your goals go bye-bye one hors d'oeuvres and martini at a time. However, even as Vanilla as I tend to be, I still let my hair down on occasion and have a drink or two, so let me share the skinny on how to 'pop some bottles' and keep your fitness in check.


  • Food (protein, carbs, fats) in the presence of alcohol may not get metabolized and is more than likely going to be stored as body fat. (1) Meaning Ethanol/Alcohol gets burned first as energy and retards gastric emptying.
  • Alcohol also raises estrogen in the body. Alcohol lowers the free testosterone in the body, depletes zinc levels, negatively impacts the thyroid, and over time can lower overall testosterone production. (2)
  • Alcohol has been shown to change muscle protein synthesis in a negative way. (3) This can slow your ability to add quality muscle to your frame.
  • Lastly, alcohol impacts liver function and can have a hormonal cascading effect on the removal of processed hormones in a timely manner. (2)

Knowing what your beverage of choice is made from matters... Going to grain-free? Might wanna stick with wine... and so on.

Okay, now that I've dumped an ice-cold bucket of water in your lap, let's talk about how to best minimize the impact that alcohol has on our healthy efforts

  • Get a sweat session earlier in the day
  • Set your personal limit prior to the event
  • Eat balanced meals protein/veggie/complex carb throughout the day.
  • Choose high-quality alcohol. The quality of ingredients matter
  • Don't get sucker-punched by the mixers. Meaning, you can easily down 80-100+ grams of sugar within two fun and flirty cocktail drinks if you're uninformed.
  • Eat an hour before the party. Keeping food and alcohol separate insures that your food won't be stored at fat. However, that also means that you're more likely to be a cheap drunk... sip with caution.

Here is a quick chart to show how to map out your calorie intake and log it if you're tracking those fitness goals:

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