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Running and Alcohol

by Dan Hinckley » on Jan 22, 2014 0

Drinking and running may not cause high-speed fatalities and you most likely won’t have to call a drunk driving lawyer if you get into trouble for it. But that doesn’t mean there aren’t negative consequences involved with drinking and running. Now to be clear, I’m not talking about taking a few shots and then running a 5k. That should be avoided at all costs. But even drinking after a run can be harmful for many reasons.

First off, alcohol is a powerful diuretic, and that leads to dehydration. Any runner will tell you just how important it is to stay hydrated, especially after a run. Dehydration after a run can lead to cramps, muscle pulls, and strains, as well as a decrease in appetite, making it difficult for you to get all the fuel you need for a race.

Drinking also messes with your ability to get a good night’s sleep. Sleep is essential after a run for healing and recuperating muscles and it’s also important before a run to be sure you have enough energy.

In addition, alcohol releases toxins from your liver that hinders muscle growth and development, which could erase weeks of hard work and training.

Alcohol also holds no nutritional value, yet still holds 7 calories per gram, it is stored like fat in the body, so too much will go straight to all those bad places that runners are trying to avoid.

Now all this doesn’t mean that as a runner, you have to avoid alcohol altogether. Red wine actually has a chemical in it that reduces blood pressure. Although, you are better off just keeping with a good diet to do this. Like all good things, moderation is what needs to be practiced. As long as it is paired with plenty of water and it can be planned around proper sleep and recovery time, a drink here and there won’t be overly harmful.

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