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Does Alcohol Negatively Affect Your Training?

Consider these tips before downing that next post-workout brew.

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How Alcohol Affects Your Training
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Question: Does drinking alcohol negate the benefits of my workout? 
—Justin F., Manchester, CT

Answer: One or two beers won’t destroy your results, but before you crack open a cold one, consider these effects. First, drinking can increase urine output, which inhibits the amount of nutrients your body can absorb and encourages excretion of stored minerals like calcium and magnesium. If you do indulge, choose a brew with a lower ABV (alcohol by volume) percentage, about 4% or less. The higher the ABV, the greater the adverse effects, which also include disrupted sleep patterns, weight gain, and decreased muscle protein synthesis. So, is it worth it? You decide.

Kelly Pritchett is a spokesperson for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, Los Angeles, CA.

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