I'll make this short and quick. I'm challenging all of you to join me on a 31 day alcohol detox. This has been a challenge I've wanted to share with you all for quite some time and I'm finally following through with it!
I know that most of you have seen these challenges before and perhaps you thought/think that they're stupid. But I'm hitting you with a different angle! Those of you in the NYC fitness community train HARD. You train with INTENSITY. But one thing I've noticed is how we seem to neglect our bodies when it comes to recovery, which I'll be doing another post on soon enough. If you have no other reason to detox do it for your body!
It's super simple: THERE IS A NEGATIVE CORRELATION BETWEEN ALCOHOL AND ATHLETIC PERFORMANCE AND RECOVERY.
Laymans terms: more alcohol = poor performance .
When you drink you prohibit your body from recovering and repairing as quickly and efficiently as it should. If you're going to train at an elite level you need to treat your body as an elite body.
When I was a freshman in college I went out every weekend and most of those weekends included infinite amounts of alcohol. I remember my coach presenting my teammates and about how our nights of partying were really effecting us. I remember being absolutely disgusted with myself. I was already putting my body through a tremendous amount of stress due to the nature of my sport and now I was continuing to kill it with my alcohol consumption.
Think about all the hours a day, a week, a month you put into training. When you're constantly consuming extreme amounts of alcohol all that works goes to waste. It means nothing.
1. Alcohol makes you more prone to injury. This happens by different phases of your sleep cycle being altered which reduces the bodies ability to store glycogen (needed for energy) and increases the stress hormone cortisol which slows down healing. Cortisol reduces the levels of Human Growth Hormone by up to 70%. HGH is critical in order to repair and build muscle!
2. Alcohol is a diuretic which causes dehydration. This can last for as long as a week! Think about this. You drink Friday and Saturday night (working out both days), lets factor in being dehydrated from the summer heat, and then another week of working out. YOU'RE SETTING YOURSELF UP FOR FAILURE. Dehydration puts you at greater risk for muscular cramps, pulls and strains. If that isn't clicking picture this. When you're dehydrated the Cerebrospinal fluid that is between your brain and skull goes away and your brain is swelling and pressing against your skull. Cute....not.
3. Alcohol depletes your energy. This is due to the disruption of the water balance in your body. Water imbalance in your muscle cells hinders the production of ATP, a fuel that is crucial to help your muscles contract. A reduction of ATP can lead to a lack of energy.
4. Alcohol impairs memory and motor skills. So if you've been struggling at learning a new skill ex. a new play for Football practice, this could be a reason why it's not clicking!
These are just a few main reasons why as athletes no matter what level should really limit our alcohol consumption.
I want to reiterate that I'm not saying drinking and those who drink are terrible people. I'm just saying that when it comes to really being about that fit life you sometimes have to make lifestyle changes. So if you're game you'll join this challenge. There's not going to be any sort of material prize at the end, because I think giving yourself a chance at being the best you can be alone is the best prize you can give yourself.
For the duration of August I will be posting challenges to complete on my Instagram , the first one tonight, ranging from fitness activities to setting personal goals.
Lots of love as always!