Running on Empty
January 08, 2019
Running on Empty may be the name of a song from the 70's, but it also describes what happens if you try to combine alcohol and running on a regular basis. Of course, many runners enjoy a cocktail every now and then, but what does too much alcohol do to overall performance?
Alcohol is a powerful diuretic and dehydration is likely. You are more at risk for muscle pulls, cramps or strains when you combine too much alcohol with running. It also impedes lactic acid breakdown, so you may feel extra sore or fatigued after a strenuous workout. In addition, alcohol decreases reaction time leaving you more susceptible for possible injury on a run. Lastly, some people run to try to lose weight. Keep in mind that alcohol contains seven calories per gram and is high in sugar; therefore fat will more likely settle around your stomach area.
If you choose to have an alcoholic beverage, do so in moderation. Moderation is no more than one drink a day for women and two drinks a day for men. One drink constitutes 12 ounces of beer, 5 ounces of wine or 1.5 ounces of hard liquor. When deciding to have a cocktail or two, drink extra water to help regulate your body's fluid and temperature for the next run. Consider drinking light beer or alternating between an alcoholic drink and a glass of water or sports drink.
Drink sensibly and rehydrate.