Alcohol, it’s the favorite drink of many. Try convincing one of its many fans that it’s the wrong choice and you’ll find just how touchy of a subject it is. People love their alcohol! So, I am not here to tell you to stop drinking. Really, I’m not. However, there are a few basic facts you should know. Or maybe you already know, but have tried to forget the truth. Perhaps a refresher course is in order.
• All alcohol has 7 calories per gram. Compare that to carbs and protein which are 4 calories per gram.1
• There no nutritional value in alcohol and it impedes digestion of nutrients from food. The body cannot store alcohol, which may slow your metabolism since it has to focus on metabolizing the alcohol first.2
• Alcohol will affect your blood sugar, which also will slow your metabolism. When your blood sugar spikes and drops, you tend to have more cravings and eat more food or drink more sugar filled drinks. What does all of this mean? Weight gain, feeling lethargic, and of course moodiness.2
• Red wine contains resveratrol, which is an anti-oxidant and is good for you. You can also get resveratrol in grapes, peanuts, blueberries, cranberries and pistachios.3, 4
The problem with “facts” and studies is you can read one headline that says one drink a day is good for you, and without another thought, you pour that glass of wine and drink it down. Many studies say that the benefits from resveratrol are only shown in animals and not in humans. Other studies say that the risks outweigh the benefits of alcohol, so you are better off eating fruits and nuts.
As I said, I’m not here to convince you to stop drinking. I certainly do not plan to quit drinking. This is just something to think about when setting your goals, or when you are wondering why you are not achieving your goals. Here’s a place to start. Maybe you cut back to having just one drink on the weekends or special occasions. Some people have success giving it up for a month and then having just one drink here or there. Just do not lie to yourself when you struggle getting up in the morning and your workouts are suffering. It may have seemed like a good idea the night before, but getting dropped on a ride or run is no fun at all! If you do choose to drink alcohol, please, do so responsibly.