Alcohol and exercise

So It’s not a secret that consuming Alcohol before or during a physically activity is not the optimal for health and may have very negative effects such as: impair muscle growth, dehydrates tissue and prevents muscle recovery. Obviously it’s not recommended working out intoxicated but also it’s usually not recommended drinking at the same day that you workout or engage in any intense physical activity, however a major part of the western population is physically active on a weekly basis, and cutting out alcohol consumption totally is a bit harsh, just like quarantine for an entire country do to a pandemic seems quite harsh.

The benefits of alcohol

On the benefits of exercise I don’t think I have to add much more, it’s safe to say that there is a general consensus in the scientific and medical community
that incorporating some low to medium intensity of physical exercise in your routine has many health benefits for the majority of the population.
However we can easily forget that alcohol along with it’s significant downsides such as 7.6% of males and 5.3% of females become alcoholics and each day there are 6 deaths in average  due to alcohol poisoning  it also has some upsides and positive effect on our lives such as:

When is it advised to totally avoid alcohol

Native Americans; 16.43%, Blacks; 5.52%, Asians; 6.03%, Whites; 7.07% Hispanics; 7.93%
Alcohol onset by age 15 – by ethnic group
We all have different temptations and we all have different levels that we’re able to avoid temptations and delay gratification, moreover different ethnic groups are more or less prone to addictions, according to an NIH study the rate of drinking onset is different:
  • Native Americans 16.43%
  • Blacks: 5.52%
  • Asians: 6.03%
  • Whites: 7.07%
  • Hispanics: 7.93%
It doesn’t mean that the differences are genetic or cultural, but for the individual it still helps because he should be aware that he might be in a higher risk for alcoholism due to his ethnic group regardless of the deeper reason.

Balancing between physical activities and social life

Physical activities and social life are two dimensions out of the eight dimensions of well being (Physical, social, Financial, Occupational, Intellectual, Emotional and Spiritual. Focusing on one dimension such as the Physical dimension at the cost of neglecting other dimensions such as the social is OK up to a certain point where the lack of social activity will harm your over all well being.

Practically speaking you can find time to socialize even if it includes drinking and parting which is perfectly normal and healthy when done moderately especially in young people (20-30 Years old), taking every other weekend off and allowing moderate drinking will cause a minimal damage to your physical endeavors and will have a positive effect on your social well being.

Types of alcohol preferred to consume

Usually it’s common to hear the least harmful types of alcohol are dry red wine, or low sugar alcohols like Gin or Whisky, how ever it is also important to take into consideration the genetics of the individual, like many other of human evolution also the consumption of alcohol is an act that is part of human history for approximately 9000 years, so the alcohol was manufactured from the local produce which has some biological adaptation to the natives in each region, for example the most common drink in Mexico (other than beer) is Tequila and rum which is made of agave which is a local produce that the natives are more adapted to, same thing in India and Nigeria where the most common drink (again other than beer) is palm wine which is just more available in those areas.


If we sum up it’s quite obvious that the downsides of alcohol are greater then it’s upsides (no surprise), however total abstinence of alcohol is harsh and not necessary in most cases. Adding the occasional drink not when you’re in a period of peaking in your physical activity could out weight the benefits for your all over well being, incorporating alcohol intelligently in your life is possible and more practical than total abstinence even when being physically active, drink mindfully.