When you begin an exercise program or diet should you refrain from drinking alcohol? I have mixed feelings on this. Next to bottled water beer is the most sold beverage of any other in the America. So where does beer fit in to a nutrition plan?
It well documented that moderate drinking can have health benefits. According to the Mayo Clinic alcohol consumed in moderation can reduce your risk of heart disease, reduce your risk of strokes, and reduce your risk of diabetes.
On the other hand the American Heart Association acknowledges that 1-2 glasses of alcohol per day for men and one drink a day for women may be okay, but they also acknowledge the same benefits that may come from alcohol consumption can be achieved with regular exercise as well. The AHA also points out the moderate drinking can lead to alcohol abuse which has detrimental health effects.
When it comes to drinking and working out, I like the way it has been stated in Beachbody®’s newest program P90X2®:
“(Some fitness programs are like) detoxifying boot camps. And seriously, if you can’t go 90 days without a beer or a latte, maybe it’s time you reevaluate your relationship with those beverages.”
I feel the same way. I think it is a good idea to abstain from alcohol if you have a fitness goal in mind. Give it rest; it certainly is not going to help you in your goals. While it may provide some benefits to your heart it can actually hinder muscle growth and fat loss. If you choose to drink after going through a 90 day program or getting to your goal, be sure to do so in moderation. Despite what Arnold says, have your milk and your beer. A glass or two of each in a day and you should be fine.
If you do drink, are some beers better for you than others? Should light beers be consumed over dark beers? Stay tuned for part 2 of Beer Drinking and Weightlifting.