I get asked a ton about ALCOHOL.
(PLEASE NOTE….this is of course a discussion about “healthy” overall alcohol intake and a “healthy” relationship to drinking so if discussing alcohol is a trigger, please ignore this post and know I will love you for doing so.)
I get asked if I drink it…
Beer?…meh. Wine?…meh. Craft cocktails and margaritas?
Hells to the YEAH!
I also get asked about how it fits into the macro cycling program and a healthy lifestyle in general.
I’ll tell you right now…
NO alcohol is healthy.
Now don’t go trying to defend the health benefits of your wine…Cause that just really isn’t all that it’s touted to be.
First off, most of us DO NOT actually get those supposed benefits.
And secondly, most of us aren’t really consuming wine for it’s health benefits in the EXTREMELY moderate amounts it should be consumed.
Basically studies showed the healthiest amount of alcohol was ZERO.
Sorry to break it to you, but as I jokingly say all of the time – Alcohol is a toxin.
Drink it knowing this.
But that doesn’t mean there can’t be a reason to ENJOY alcohol.
I would argue the only real “benefit” of alcohol is that you ENJOY it and life is meant to be enjoyed.
And that by relaxing, and enjoying a couple of drinks with friends, you can lower stress levels, which may, in the end, do much more to benefit your overall health than a few drinks will do to negatively impact it.
Because STRESS does play a major role in our overall health. Much more of one than we give it credit for.
So if alcohol is a part of your lifestyle, it doesn’t have to be eliminated.
But how do you TRACK alcohol if you’re counting macros?
I do tell clients though that when they are starting out with tracking their macros to keep it to their “cheat day” or at least 1-2 set days.
Logging alcohol is an interesting thing.
While beer and wine will register a few carbs, alcohol will register as calories but not really a macro since it’s…well…it’s own macro.
So if you’re trying to track and log, you can count it as either a fat or carb, whichever you have more of with the ratio you are using.
You will then divide the calories in your alcohol by 4 for carbs or 9 for fat to get the grams of each you would have consumed. (No you can’t count it as protein :-P)
If you can, I do recommend counting it as a fat because alcohol suppresses fat oxidation.
So alcohol can fit into a balanced lifestyle even while you’re tracking to get a specific result.
I will tell you though that if you want FASTER RESULTS, eliminating alcohol, if even just for a time, can be key.
Let’s face it…most of us get a few drinks in us and want some not so healthy treats!
Plus, even if you avoid overindulging, alcohol can also negatively impact the benefits you see from your training done PRIOR TO drinking by inhibiting protein synthesis and lipolysis (or fat loss).
Not to mention it usually makes for a crappier training session the next day (hehe this picture below cracks me up)!
And dudes…you have it worse as drinking negatively impacts your testosterone levels too!
Plus, it can perpetuate and create inflammation, which can not only make you feel aches and pains more but be detrimental to your workouts AND your recovery!
So, while I’m sure this sounded negative, my overall feeling is that you can find a balance and that alcohol doesn’t have to be something you eliminate.
Just go in with your eyes wide open when you do decide to indulge.
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