By following some or all of the tips below, you can minimise the adverse effects that alcohol can have on your health and fitness and still enjoy your drink of choice this festive season.
1) Drink earlier: More lunchtime tipples and fewer nightcaps! One of the ways alcohol sabotages our health and fitness efforts is the negative impact it has on our sleep and the flow on effect this has on the following day. Enjoy a drink or two at lunch, and it will be out of your system before bed with minimal to no negative impact on your sleep.
2) Drink lower calorie options. Choose vodka, lime and soda waters instead of beer and wine. White spirits (then regular spirits) come with far fewer carb calories than beer, wine, mixed drinks, and cocktails.
3) Don’t lose the plot with your food. Marriages such as wine and cheese, beer and pizza, alcohol and bad food in general…, often cause havoc. Minimise the damage if you enjoy a drink, by not letting your food choices go out the window every time.
4) Pre-hydrate: Given the well known diuretic effect of alcohol, the last thing you want to do is start drinking when you’re already dehydrated which is often when people like to have a drink … i.e., after a long training session on the weekend, after doing some garden work or after a long hard day in an air-conditioned office. Start with a glass of water and alternate alcoholic drinks with ones of H20.
5) Stick to 1 or 2: Generally, at this number of drinks there is no hangover, the effect on sleep is minimal, you can get up and function the next day without a problem, and what’s more, you can drive home from wherever you’ve been. It’s usually the first 1 or 2 drinks that taste the best and are most satisfying anyway!!
Unfortunately, there’s no magic ‘healthy’ way of having a drink though there are certainly ways to minimise the damage.