Oct 06

Alcohol Free Days, AKA “AFD’s”

Everyone wants to go out for a drink with their friends every now and then. It’s always nice to celebrate the end of a long work week with a tasty alcoholic beverage such as the one of the finest glasses of wine from the Napa Valley, a delicious craft IPA, or an awesome cocktail from one of the Napa’s fanciest restaurants.  Let’s face it, alcoholic beverages taste good. And they sure as hell make you feel good too. However, there are some important things to know about alcohol and how it effects the physiology and chemistry of the human body. If you’re looking to achieve important goals through your Lifetime Fitness routine, educating yourself on what alcohol does to the human body is critically important toward your progress.


Losing weight can arguably be one of largest goals mentioned that we deal with over at Napa Tenacious Fitness with our Personal Training clients here in the Napa Valley. Something that’s usually brought up is eating habits. It is argued that abs are made in the kitchen. This is actually very true. What you put in your mouth and what metabolizes in the human body is very important toward the distribution of fat in the human body. However, what some of our clients don’t touch on is the amount of alcohol that they consume throughout the week.  Time and time again, we will see clients who are looking to lose an extra 5 to 10 lb. after their diet is very meticulously designed and organized. Clients will report that they are eating salads, decreasing carbohydrate consumption at night time, and not eating as many breads. And then they state that they are still hanging on to a few extra pounds from their goals that are important to them. An important question to ask would be “how many times a week are alcoholic beverages consumed?”


This is a critical component toward weight loss. Not only does alcohol give excess calories and spike insulin, which will lead to unused calories being stored as body fat and telling subcutaneous fat cells to grab onto excess calories that are not utilized for resynthesis of lean muscle, but alcohol is a huge diuretic.  A diuretic response is very similar to the body detecting a poison. Once the body detects something that is not synthesized and broken down correctly to aid the functions of the human body, the body detects it as a poison and then goes through a process called fermentation. When fermentation occurs, the body will excrete the alcohol and will also flush out proteins that are responsible for rebuilding cells in the human body in the urine.  Essentially, the body is being stripped of vital nutrients that are critically important for losing weight, building lean muscle, and increasing the immune system. Therefore, when alcohol is consumed, not only are you urinating more, but within the urine there are substances that are vital for helping you obtain your Lifetime Fitness Goals, such as losing weight, building lean muscle, and creating revolutionary decisions in  living a happy, strong, and healthy lifestyle.


In addition, diuretics will truly dehydrate body. When the body is dehydrated past the point of standard hydration, it takes a ful three days of over-hydration to ensure that the body is properly hydrated. The human body will not recover hydration in just one day. Therefore, it’s important to know that when alcohol is consumed, these detrimental things will be occurring in your body.  Rehydration takes a full three days of over-hydration. The body detects alcohol as a poison, and is treated as a diuretic by eliminating positive building proteins and other minerals throughout urine.


We’re not saying don’t drink at all. Life is short, and alcoholic beverages put a lot of joy in certain people’s lives. However, what we are saying is that it would be helpful to your Lifetime Fitness Goals to monitor the amount of alcohol that you drink for a week. For instance, a good solution for individuals who are not tracking the amount of alcohol they are drinking per week, would be to make sure that there is a three-to-one “alcohol-free day” to “alcohol indulgence day” ratio.  “Alcohol-Free-Days” are also known as AFDs!  And we can call “alcohol indulgence days” AIDs… This means that for every day in which alcoholic beverages are consumed, try to abstain from alcohol for 3 days after that. This will ensure balance that your body is not only recovering from the diuretic and poisoning effects of alcohol, but this will also curb the excess calories from going into your body.


So as a 3:1 “AFD” to “AID” Ratio, think:  3 AFDs/1 AID.


So go enjoy life, have a few drinks if that’s within your morals and ethics. However, it’s important to be educated on what alcohol actually does to the human body and how it can actually have her some of your lifetime fitness goals.