If you’re having difficulty losing or maintaining your weight, alcohol could be an important issue. There’s around 110 calories (light beer) to 150 calories in the average bottle or can of beer, and 130 in a glass of white wine. Depending on how much you drink, you can easily put back on the weight you thought you’d lost through exercise. For instance, if you just ran for 30 minutes, drinking a few beers or a couple of glasses of wine will put those calories right back on. Plus, the way alcohol is absorbed by the body reduces the amount of fat you’re able to burn by exercising. Because your body isn’t designed to store alcohol, it tries to expel it as quickly as possible. This gets in the way of other processes, including absorbing nutrients and burning fat. Alcohol also negates some nutritional benefits derived from eating healthy.

Effects of Excessive Alcohol Consumption on Your Body

  • Muscles—Reduces blood flow to the muscles, causing weakness and deterioration
  • Hormones—Reduces testosterone in your blood and increases conversion of testosterone to estrogen, causing increased fat depositing and fluid retention
  • Liver—Creates imbalances that can cause hypoglycemia (low blood sugar), fatty liver and hyperlipidemia (build-up of fats in the bloodstream)
  • Brain—Cuts off the supply of oxygen to the brain, resulting in a “blackout” caused by a lack of oxygen supply to the brain that can kill tens of thousands of brain cells

Effects of Excessive Alcohol Consumption on Physical Performance

Alcohol is a known depressant that suppresses the brain’s ability to function. Even though you may feel a “high” after several cocktails, the truth is that your reaction time, accuracy, balance, hand-eye coordination and endurance all decrease dramatically. The after-effects of a night of excessive drinking can be detrimental to your fitness goals. Alcohol is a diuretic that may result in dehydration. Dehydration is known to decrease physical performance.