Remember when you could sip an ice cold VB (or five) after a hard game of footy? Well, if buzz-killing scientists get their way, those days might be numbered, because ~alcohol~ isn’t good for you. Or something.
A recent report by Chris Stevens, lecturer in Sports and Exercise Science at Southern Cross University, recently concluded
the obvious as much. Whilst it’s easy to poke fun at a scientist presenting something common-sensical as groundbreaking, his explanation of how alcohol impacts your recovery is worth a read.
For a detailed breakdown on why your body will resent being fed VB rather than a Powerade after your next half marathon, read on.
Fatigue and recovery after serious exercise is, like, a thing. But for some reason, instead of denouncing sport’s real problem—running, jumping, sweating etc.—scientists have gone after the end goal. The reason we do any of it in the first place. The well earned beer.
According to our friends at The Conversation, “Athletic qualities such as strength, power and endurance can be depleted for several days after an intense workout. This can be improved with appropriate and timely nutrition and hydration.” As it’s a diuretic, beer hardly qualifies for this post-workout scheme. But what about a refreshing Vodka soda? We can feel the condensation on our fingers already. Further study is necessary, surely.
Impact On Sleep
According to Chris Stevens, “Alcohol consumption is also known to decrease sleep duration when consumed after a rugby match, either directly through alcohol’s negative influence on falling asleep and staying asleep, or indirectly as a result of a late night on the town.”
With poor sleep comes impaired muscle repair, energy restoration and delayed rehydration, all of which significantly impair your recovery of both strength and power in the following days after a workout.
“In one study, when drinks containing 4% alcohol were ingested following exercise, there was an increase in urine output and a delay in the recovery rate of blood volume. Drinking nothing at all would be better.”
What this doesn’t take into account is the team bonding and mental benefits of hitting the reset button after a big win (or heart-breaking loss). But in terms of your weekly after-training tins—maybe this one could be some food for thought.
What Should You Drink?
If this article has convinced you of the errors of your ways, sports drinks and chocolate milk have been demonstrated to better assist muscle repair and rehydration. And you can’t go wrong with h2o, either.