As a nutrition coach, not much else comes up as often as the topic of alcohol. “How often can I have it?” “Please tell me wine is still ok.” “What’s the best kind to drink?” “How do I track it?”
The short and, sorry to say, honest answer is that alcohol, in relation to performance and body composition is nothing but a hindrance to progress. Here are some reasons why:
- Alcohol dehydrates
- Alcohol is calorie dense and, if untracked, can easily put you into a caloric surplus (you will gain weight)
- Alcohol can slow metabolism
- Alcohol can cause digestive distress
- Alcohol can cause inhibitions around food to diminish (sure, nachos, pizza, and taquitos sound amazing right now!)
Having said that, if you do incorporate alcohol into your life, and you do track your intake, log the total calories to account for the drinks. Tips on keeping it manageable are:
- Avoid sugary mixed drinks and stick to straight shots or zero calorie mixers like club or diet soda
- For every alcoholic drink you have, follow it with 1-2 glasses of water
- Do not snack while you drink. Poor choices will be made.
- Get right back on track the next day!
Below is a link I like for converting alcoholic drinks to trackable macros.