Remember What You’re Working For, Don’t Drink If You’re Training For A Fight
With St. Patrick’s Day right around the corner, it’s important to talk about the harm excess alcohol can have while you’re training. Friends and family will want to binge-drink all night, but real boxers should understand the consequences before getting wasted.
Although some kinds of alcohol can likely benefit the body due to their anti-inflammatory compounds and antioxidants, Professor David Cameron-Smith says broccoli and brussels sprouts have even more health benefits.
Therefore, he believes that consuming alcohol for its antioxidants is not a justification. “Some forms of alcohol are indeed full of excellent and beneficial antioxidants and anti-inflammatory compounds that have interesting biological effects,” he stated.
“But the same can be said for broccoli, brussels sprouts and a whole host of fruits and vegetables. Drinking alcohol for antioxidants is an excuse – plain and simple. Eat better and eat your veggies and fruit.”
Professor David Cameron-Smith of the University of Auckland studied the effects of alcohol on athletes. He says that although most people are aware of the harmful impact alcohol has when consumed the night before a sporting event, that not everyone understands the effects it has on your when training.
“One of the key determinants of success is not just event-day performance, but the continuous gains and improvements that are made through the long, arduous grind of training,” he said.
Drinking alcohol can make you more likely to get injured because it alters your sleep cycle, reducing your body’s ability to store glycogen. It also increases the levels of the stress hormone cortisol in your body, disrupting the healing.
The levels of the human growth hormone decrease by as much as 70% when introduced to cortisol. Alcohol also releases a toxin from your liver that attacks your testosterone.
Any alcohol will dehydrate your body for days when binge-drinking. Dehydration leads to strains, cramps, and muscle pulls and strains, plus you’ll feel a lot less hungry, which will take away from the calories you need to train at full throttle.
In the case that you do get drunk this St. Patrick’s Day, drink tons of water the next few days because the alcohol will hurt the water balance in the cells of your muscles.
Research also shows that alcohol affects the body’s most significant tissue – the skeletal muscle – the most. Alcohol reduces the muscle protein synthesis up to a third, which should alarm any determined boxer.
When celebrating this holiday with your loved ones, remember all your hard work and determination. Remember all the hours you’ve put in at the gym to be the best boxer you can be.
Drinking for one night is not worth ruining weeks of preparation for that next time you step into the ring. There might be a moment during your training when you feel like giving up and having a drink, but just know that a six-pack could make you lose months of progress.