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Why You Should Abstain From Alcohol Before A Big Race



Look, it's highly unlikely that you give up booze before running a marathon (or half-marathon, or even a 10K) is coming to Eliud Kipchoge's come race day. Matthew Barnes, a professor of sports and medicine, and a researcher on alcohol and exercise at New says: "And while the research is not cut and dry Zealand's Massey University.

"Alcohol is detrimental to pretty much every tissue in the body," he explains.

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2. You'll Keep Stable Blood Sugar Levels

If your blood sugar drops, you're likely to experience reduced energy output, early fatigue, and overall loss in performance enjoyable.

"Your muscles need glucose to contract, even during low-to moderate-intensity exercise," says Barnes.

The easiest way to make sure your blood sugar levels stay up pre-race? Avoid alcohol.

"Alcohol is high in sugar, so it increases your blood sugar," explains Ceus.

3. You'll Sleep Better

A night of drinking may make you pass out of the cold, but because of alcohol distress sleep patterns, you probably will not get any sleep (or enough of it), according to a study published in the journal Alcoholism: Clinical and Experimental Research . And research shows that sleep deprivation in athletes can lead to poor performance in training and competition.

That's because "disrupted sleep can affect cognitive function, which could affect performance," says Barnes.

Plus, athletes are more likely to experience poorer sleep than the average person Scandinavian Journal of Medicine & Science in Sports which causes them to exert more effort to compensate for that deprivation. Add alcohol to the mix, and you'll be in rough shape come race day.

4. You're Less Likely to Gain Weight

Alcohol contains about seven grams of grief, "zero of which is toward effective fueling exercise," says Harrison. Sure, most alcohol is sugars and carbs-which may or may not provide fuel for training in the form of glycogen.

Plus, "alcohol can disrupt other metabolic processes, As its metabolism is prioritized ahead of other macronutrients, Barnes explains. "That can lead to fat being stored instead of metabolized in both the liver and adipose tissue. And any gain in fat is likely to be detrimental to athletic performance. "Reduced body fat can improve race pace by 2-3 seconds per mile, per pound of body weight lost," says Harrison. Cutting out those excess, empty calories in alcohol could be the fastest way to shed some weight pre-race day.

5. You Will not Get So Dehydrated

The reason you get dehydrated during exercise is because of water loss through sweat. "Alcohol has this diuretic effect, so you urinate more frequently," says Ceus.

"If you start an event dehydrated, you may be losing more water, you are losing blood to your muscles and losing weight." your gastrointestinal system wants to be less able to absorb needed fluid, "explains Harrison. 75 minutes. "

5. Your Muscles Will Stay Strong

To run strong, you need to be strong. And if you dehydrate your body weight more than three percent of your body weight, "your muscular strength may be the next day-even if the alcohol is out of your system," says Harrison. Drink too often, and you'll be weaving your body, which means you're not getting the most out of your training plan. Plus, "alcohol can affect the body's process of building new muscle, known as protein synthesis," says Ceus.

"One study showed that alcohol is the production of human growth hormone," Ceus adds. "In another study, alcohol consumption in larger doses, which has shown a negative effect on testosterone production. Both testosterone and human growth hormones are important components of the skeletal muscle regeneration and growth system. "

6. You'll Be Less Stressed

You know what's stressful on your body? Training for (and running) a race.

"In times of stress, cortisol-the stress hormones-aids in the necessary energy to be made available for movement," says Ceus. "Heavy alcohol consumption, even in small bouts, can actually dampen the production of cortisol, which could potentially impair performance." And if you're dehydrated as a result of drinking, your heart has become labor harder because of the decreased blood volume, says Harrison. When you're dehydrated "-not when you're already panting and your muscles need all the oxygen they can get to keep you moving forward.


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