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7 reasons to decrease your alcohol intake

Alcohol intake

I often get questions about alcohol and its effect on weight loss or muscle gain. While most people have an understanding that alcohol is high in calories, very few are aware of the other ways it can impact their health goals. Here are 7 reasons to decrease your alcohol intake and a few tips to help you along the way!

1. High in empty calories; 1 g of alcohol is 7 calories. To give you an idea of how high this is, carbohydrates contains 4 calories per gram. Plus, some drinks are mixed with soda and juice that further increase the calories.

Tableau drinks

2. Stimulates appetite, thus resulting into a high intake of calories from food.

3. Alcohol intake delays replenishment of energy reserves and muscle repair.

4. Decreases intake, absorption and usage of many vitamins or minerals.

5. Disrupts sleep cycle by reducing time spent in deep sleep, which is crucial for muscle growth and recovery.

6. Causes dehydration and can reduce performance by 10 % or more. Dehydration is also associated to hang over symptoms that decrease overall performance such as fatigue, nausea, and headaches.

7. Increases chances of muscle cramps, rapid heart rate, and increased core temperature thus decreasing your performance during exercise.

Tips to reduce your alcohol consumption:

  • Predetermine how many drinks you will have
  • Always opt for the smaller glass
  • Avoid cocktails or make your own low calorie version
  • Sip your drink and take the time to enjoy it
  • Stay away from drinking games
  • Alternate every alcoholic drink with a glass of water
  • Be the designated driver
  • Occupy yourself: socialize, dance, etc.
  • Do not drink more than the following recommendations:


What’s your technique to reduce your alcohol consumption?

By Alyssa Fontaine, nutritionist

American Dietetic Association. 2010. Alcohol and performace. Online. <http://www.scandpg.org/local/resources/files/2010/SD-USA_Fact_Sheet_May_2010_Alcohol_and_Performance_aa.pdf>. Page viewed on June 18, 2014.
Educ Alcool. 2007. Low risk drinking. Online.< http://educalcool.qc.ca/en/alcohol-and-you/health/low-risk-drinking/#.U6sDcY1dWW4l>. Page viewed on June 18, 2014.
Irish Nutrition Dietetic Association. 2013. The truth about alcohol and excercise. Online.<https://www.indi.ie/fact-sheets/fact-sheets-on-sports-nutrition/518-the-truth-about-alcohol-and-exercise.html>. Page viewed on June 18, 2014

Alyssa Fontaine, Dt.P.

Nutrition supervisor at Nautilus Plus, member of the Ordre professionnel des diététistes du Québec and holder of a bachelor’s degree from McGill University, Alyssa joined the Nautilus Plus team in January 2014. She developed an interest in healthy nutrition at a very young age, inspired by her grandmother’s large vegetable garden and her iron health still going strong at over 90 years of age. Proper nutrition and an active lifestyle are the secrets to a long life. An avid outdoor enthusiast, Alyssa exercises regularly and shares her tips to living a balanced lifestyle acknowledging that she does have a sweet tooth. She is the proud spokesperson for the «Zero Diet» brand and she is being followed more and more on social networks.

7 reasons to decrease your alcohol intake is a post from I'm taking charge. I'm taking charge is a blog that aims to help people in their journey to fitness through articles on training, nutrition, motivation, exercise and healthy recipes.
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