Are you doing dry July?

As we kick off the month of July, there may be a few of you who are considering doing dry July and giving up alcohol for the month.

I thought I would put together some thoughts on why you might want to consider reducing your alcohol intake a little for more than just a month.  

First I Want to say that I am in no way suggesting that you give up alcohol altogether, just reduce your intake a little bit.

One part of alcohol that doesn't get talked about a whole lot is the calories that you are drinking with each glass.  Obviously there are drinks that are better than others in this area.  Here are some examples: a 330ml bottle of beer has around 130 calories, so if you had 3 beers after work last Friday that's 390 calories added to your weekly calorie intake.  A glass of wine has between 120-180 calories depending on what type (red, white, sparkling etc.).  So those three wines on Friday night just set you back up to 540 calories.

The British National Health Service advises that we consume between 2000 and 2500 calories per day, so those 400-500 calories for three drinks on a Friday night is between 1/5 and 1/4 of your daily intake.  Now, if you are already consuming your appropriate amount of calories for the day, those extra calories from your drinks will be stored around your body as fat if they are not burned off through an appropriate amount of exercise.

Another reason to reduce your intake is that it will impact your training.  Firstly, if you have a heavy session on a Friday night, the chances of you getting to that early morning training session on Saturday are dramatically reduced.  If you do make it, will you really feel able to put the same amount of effort in as you usually would.

Also, a big issue that comes with a hangover from a few too many beverages is the food that follows.  I'm sure most of us have been in the situation where we wake up the morning after a few too many drinks and all we want is something greasy to make us feel a little more human.  This again isn't too big a problem - I have always said, everything in moderation including moderation.  However it becomes an issue when it is done on a regular basis. 

If this is happening week after week it will add a lot of calories to your weekly intake.  Again this needs to be burnt off somehow or it will be added to your waistline.

Now, there are some benefits to alcohol - don't get me wrong it shouldn't be overdone, 1-2 glasses is considered moderate intake of alcohol which is what is considered appropriate by most studies.

Alcohol (especially red wine) has been proven to reduce bad cholesterol and increase good cholesterol.  It also contains antioxidants which can help in fighting disease.  So there are benefits to alcohol, just remember to not overdo it.  Maybe dry July could be a chance to see what helpful benefits you could gain by reducing your alcohol intake a little.

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