So, you have trained 3 times this week, you’re feeling good about yourself and you decide to go out for a few drinks with friends.
These few drinks turn into a few more drinks and before you know it you are squat thrusting all over the dance floor with occasional interludes of unscheduled press-ups… we’ve all been there.
But what effect has this little “stress relieving” activity had on your body (apart from making your head feel like it being crushed by Thor’s Hammer… if you know your Nordic mythology)
Firstly, alcohol may make you feel better in the short term and make you feel relaxed, however, in the long term, it is a depressant. This is because the alcohol that we ingest reduces our bodies’ supply of omega 3. A lack of Omega 3 causes a serotonin deficiency (serotonin is a neurotransmitter in the brain responsible for pleasure). So from this, we can see that after a night out on the town our omega 3 levels will be severely reduced, meaning our brain’s ability to produce a feeling of pleasure will be reduced.
Even ten hours after you sober up, you will still have limited reasoning ability, movement control, and reaction speed. This is mainly due to the massive dehydrating effect that alcohol has on your body. Dehydration causes the blood to thicken and places excess strain on the cardiovascular system.
Exercise raises body temperature and so water is used to regulate this (through sweating). This excess sweating added with moisture being exhaled at an increased rate causes further dehydration making the risk of over-heating increasingly severe.
Vital electrolytes (for metabolic reactions) are also likely to be in short supply in the body. This in turn means that the body will struggle to convert energy properly and may lead to rapid fatigue, nausea, cramp, vomiting.
So, after a night out;
- Drink a lot of water.
- Pop a cod liver oil or Flaxseed oil pill
- Have an electrolyte drink
- Drink tomato juice
- Don’t exercise before your hangover has subsided.
NB. Studies have shown that there is a direct correlation between athletes that drink alcohol and injury.
Tip: add water to your alcoholic drinks. Your muscles and brain will thank you for it the next day