Binge Drinking on New Year’s Eve: 3 Reasons Not to Drink alcohol
We’re in the midst of the holiday season. And where there are celebrations, there’s often alcohol involved. It’s true that we want to make the most of these festivities! However, alcohol consumption does have an impact on performance.
We had already drawn your attention to the harmful effects of excessive beer consumption, which, contrary to popular belief, isn’t as good for recovery as one might think. Just hours away from New Year’s Eve, here we are trying to dissuade you from drinking (too much) champagne. Or too much, more generally.
Ohhh… the party poopers at La Fabrique Verticale. Because even a small amount of alcohol can drastically reduce athletic performance and limit the effects of training. Of course, what’s important to remember is that one or two drinks can still be enjoyable. But all in moderation !
1. Alcohol Causes Weight Gain
Many people are unaware that alcohol leads to weight gain. However, it’s a fact. And it’s a fact that doesn’t bode well for climbers’ performance. For instance, a 5 cl glass of gin contains approximately 130 kcal. A 5 cl glass of whisky contains 125 kcal. A 10 cl glass of champagne contains 80 kcal…
On one hand, alcohol carries a lot of hidden calories that get stored as fat. On the other hand, it stimulates appetite! It has an effect on the hypothalamus, a small region in the brain’s core that plays a key role in appetite regulation. So, it’s doubly deceitful.
2. Alcohol Increases Cortisol Secretion
When consuming more than three glasses of per day, regularly for several months, it can be considered chronic and excessive consumption, leading to a state of dependence. This prompts the need to increase doses. Chemically speaking, disruptions occur in the production of hormones that regulate stress. One of these stress hormones is cortisol.
Now, cortisol is a hormone that acts in a catabolic manner. Meaning, it breaks down muscle development. The anabolic effects generated by training are, therefore, ultimately reversed or, at the very least, limited. In short, all that hard-earned musculature from physical preparation, strength training, and other workout sessions is compromised by excessive alcohol consumption. Quite a shame, isn’t it?
Many people drink alcohol as a way of coping with or managing symptoms of anxiety. While it may provide momentary relief, in the long-term alcohol makes anxiety worse by disrupting chemicals and processes in the brain. So there’s this feedback loop, this vicious cycle, where anxiety is increasing alcohol use, but alcohol use is also feeding back and increasing anxiety as well.
3. Drinking Lowers Testosterone Levels
Contrary (once again) to popular belief, alcohol is not beneficial for either training or libido. While it does have a certain disinhibiting effect, it reduces testosterone secretion. From the training perspective (as for libido, that’s up to you ;-)), testosterone is largely responsible for the natural anabolic process. Meaning, it contributes to muscle development and their reconstruction.
A study conducted over 3 weeks showed that consuming between 30 and 40g of alcohol per day led to a 6.8% decrease in testosterone levels in men. By increasing the alcohol dosage to 1.5g per 1 kg of body weight (which roughly equates to 128g for a man weighing 85 kg), there was a 23% drop in testosterone levels.