Why Booze & Exercise Don’t Mix.

Via Hayley Hobson
on Jun 26, 2013
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Come Friday, the vast majority of America wants to booze it.

There’s nothing like taking a load off after a long week of work, but the truth of the matter is that alcohol does not serve people with active lifestyles.

Alcohol is a drug and for whatever short-term benefits we feel, the repercussions are not pretty.

In my former life, I was addicted to caffeine. I also used to booze it up like the rest. I’ve been there. Looking to have a good time. Waking up the next day in a fog.

Then one day, I became serious about my health. Alcohol and caffeine no longer fit into my lifestyle.

It became pointless to feel like a piece of crap, continually reeking havoc on my body. Drinking alcohol became counter-productive.

I couldn’t sleep well. My workouts sucked. My body felt toxic.

I’m not here to tell you not to drink. ‘Cause we all now everything in moderation is fine. I just want  you to consider why booze and exercise don’t mix.

All I’m going to say is, if you are going to hit it hard, make sure you don’t have an active day planned when you wake.

Alcohol in your system may loosen you up and let those dance moves kick in, but the next morning it may not be your best advocate for any kind of fitness activity.

Here’s why alcohol is not the best choice when it come to your exercise routine.

1. Fatigue and Sleep Deprivation

After a night of boozing, do you rise with the desire or will to conquer the world?


Unless you are Superwoman, you most likely feel exhausted from lack of decent sleep. Have you ever been knocked out cold from drinking only to wake up at 4 a.m.? It’s called The Hour Of Your Liver. Sugar is being processed in your body and guess what? It actually wakes you up! Even if you fall hard, your sleep won’t be restful.

Boozing it also inhibits your muscle recovery, which will will affect your performance.

“Disrupting the sleep cycle can reduce your human growth hormone output—which builds muscle—by as much as 70 percent,” says Tavis Piattoly, R.D, dietian and Nutrition consultant.

2. Alcohol Dehydrates and Zaps Your Nutrients

Drinking makes you pee. Yep, bottom line: You urinate more.

When you are replenishing fluids with booze versus water, your body becomes dehydrated, your skin looks awful, and you get a whopping headache, which leads to a nasty hangover.

Alcohol also disrupts your stomach lining—hence the reason you can get a stomach ache after too much alcohol.

3. Prohibited Recovery

As if lack of sleep and dehydration weren’t enough to slow you down, trying to work out after a night of boozing? No friggin’ way. It’s way too hard on your already tired muscles.

Working out and then drinking depletes the glycogen stores (carbs stored in the liver and muscles) and leaves your muscle tissue in need of repair. High levels of alcohol displace the carbs, leaving your stores 50 percent lower than normal even eight hours later.

If you must drink before or after a workout, you better make sure you eat protein. It will give you a little more energy, cause you’re going to need it.

4. Alcohol Makes You Fat

Bottom line: Alcohol makes you fat.

Don’t you wake up feeling bloated and fat after a night of boozing it? I know I did.

When booze is on board, your body, besides having to deal with the surplus of calories, prioritizes metabolizing the alcohol over burning fat and carbs. Alcohol also breaks down amino acids and stores them as fat.

“For some reason this process is most pronounced in the thighs and glutes,” says Piattoly. “Excessive alcohol consumption really chews up muscle in those areas.”

It also increases levels of cortisol (a stress hormone), which further encourages fat storage, particularly in the midsection.

It’s a well-known fact that booze works against you if you want to slim down, lose that gut, or maintain optimal health. So, before you down all those vodka Red Bulls, martinis or beers, think again about the impact that alcohol has on your body.


I have given you some insight into why alcohol and exercise don’t make a good cocktail. I would love to hear your experiences. Please leave your comments in the box below. If you found this blog inspiring please spread the love. Share it with friends via FB, Pinterest, or Tweet it.


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Ed: B. Bemel


About Hayley Hobson

Hayley Hobson is an author, speaker, business coach, yogi, Pilates and holistic nutritional expert based in Boulder, CO. Hayley creates lifestyle transformations by coaching her clients to strengthen, nourish and evolve through the cycles and shifts in life. Combining cutting edge understanding in all three disciplines due to years of anatomical study and dietary theory, Hayley’s approach leverages their blended benefits and results. Her unique and intelligent style promotes strengthening while softening–empowering her client’s to heal not only their physical bodies, but their hearts and minds as well. Hayley studied at the Institute for Integrative Nutrition, continues her studies with David Wolfe, raw food expert and is an essential oil expert in her own right.  Her insights and articles can also be found on her blog, Mindbodygreen and Islaorganics. She has also been featured in Pilates Style magazine, Natural Health magazine and Triathlete Magazine.  She has fun running and playing in the mountains with her husband, former world-ranked triathlete, Wes Hobson and their two beautiful daughters, Makenna and Madeline. To learn more about her nutritional courses, events she's hosting and custom programs go to her website or follow her on Facebook or Twitter or Pinterest.


4 Responses to “Why Booze & Exercise Don’t Mix.”

  1. Donovan says:

    I'll drink to that.

  2. tom rapsas says:

    Hi Hayley, I wrote about drinking, exercise and spirituality on these very ej pages in a piece titled: "Drink, Pray, Run: One Man's Search for a Good Buzz." (See: http://www.elephantjournal.com/2012/11/drink-pray… ) I do believe these endeavors can co-exist. While, I'm in agreement that drinking and exercise are not the best mix, and drinking taken to excess is not good, I do think it's possible to be healthy, spiritual and like a good drink. And when you do overindulge–well those are the times you need to pay for your sins with some extra time in the gym, the studio–or for me, out on the road. Love your posts, thanks. ~Tom

  3. hayleyhobson says:

    You may be right. Some people need a drink now and again. I didn't mean to say no one should every drink. The message I meant to get across was "take it easy" if you want to be productive the next day. 🙂

  4. ella says:

    what about the buzz of really good pot at night? I'm interested in if either of you see a healthy, mindful, authentic life, with lots of yoga and meditation, and a nightly pot habit as being viable and healthy.