All drink, no drive?

By Douglas Pieterse, Co-Founder & Head Personal Trainer
"It may be simple but not always easy"

 Is drinking booze slowing down

your fitness goals?




General Intro and Opinion 

Alcohol is too often overlooked when it comes down to how it affects training and nutrition. I see so many people go wrong when it comes to really understanding the actual effect it has on your body.


There are a host of negative outcomes from booze. Your body is less able to build muscle as muscle protein synthesis is blunted, and you can stop feeling smug about that grilled chicken and wholemeal pasta at lunch because alcohol loads your body with additional empty calories: any food you have eaten will most likely go towards fat stores. The reason this happens is that alcohol is a preferred energy source for the body, a bit like a super carb, so instead of the body using excess fat or food intake for energy, it ends up using the alcohol to supply it with the energy it needs. 


The good:

There has always been some research that shows that very moderate amounts of alcohol can have some health benefits. The key is moderation of course. Most of the benefits have to do with cardiovascular advantages as well as stress release. 


Watch out:

It goes without saying, once you have had a good couple of drinks you are not going to be in the mood or state of mind to push yourself through a tough workout. If you spent your night knocking back afterwork drinks, try some long distance cardio work the next day. A hike or long row is a great way to help you burn any excess calories you accumulated up the night before.


If you are going to drink a lot it is worth staying away from the very sugary types of drinks. But to be clear, there are 200 calories in 1 gin and tonic but only 64 calories in vodka soda, so pay attention to what may seem like a healthier option.


Excess alcohol is too often responsible for poor decision-making, whether that's who you bring home or what you put in your stomach. Quite often people will follow a night of boozing it up with a kebab or other hangover food, which only serves to add another layer to your winter coat.


Give yourself a booze budget for the night, try eating little to no carbs on the day and say no to calorific shots if weight loss or muscle gain is your goal.  



A drink here and there will not kill you and may offer limited health benefits, but as with most things in life, drinking must be done in moderation.

The Verdict:

If you are looking for optimal results, then put boozing on the back burner for a short while.


What others say: 

“ Too much drinking is quite often a sign of being undersexed.‚Äč

Dr Prawee