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Friday, 23 December 2016 11:29

Alcohol and the holiday season.

Christmas is right on our doorstep and with the year wrapping up, begins festivities and celebrations. With the celebrations comes food and with the foods come drinks. While there is nothing wrong with having alcohol, having too much can leave you with more than just a pounding headache. On average people gain between 0.8-1.5kg over Christmas – weight that is usually never lost afterwards. If you don't usually drink, there's no reason to start now!

Alcohol:

 

  • Is liquid calories – it doesn’t make you feel full or satiated and is not nutritionally beneficial to the body
  • Dehydrates the body
  • Impairs hormone regulation
  • Disrupts sleep (meaning recovery is delayed)
  • Can make you want to reach for ‘hangover’ food – usually high in calories!
  • Impairs your decision making and willpower – meaning those off-limit foods might become not so off-limit.
  • Is usually served with other energy-dense foods

 

While alcohol is never inherently ‘healthy’ – it can help us to relax and unwind when drunk in moderation. If you’re hitting the grog to forget how awful your day or week has been, it may be beneficial to reevaluate your situation. To help you get through the holiday season and to assist with making the most informed decisions possible, here is a calorie breakdown of some common drinks –

 

  • Glass of wine (120ml) – 94 calories
  • Whisky/Vodka/Scotch (1 nip – 30 mL)  – 67 calories
  • Schooner of full strength beer – 160 calories
  • Schooner of light beer – 112 calories

 

While spirits may be the lowest in calories for a nip, they are usually taken with something sweet, soft drink, juice, energy drinks even, all which are laden with sugars, which can add as much as 100-200 calories to our drinks. Have a few of those and you’ve drank your day’s energy expenditure not even including food! As with anything, on their own, in moderate amounts (1-2 drinks), alcohol isn’t as bad as it seems. Here are a few tips to get you through the holiday season:

 

  • Try to make healthy choices away from the special occasions that you know you will eating and drinking more than usual. Have a smaller breakfast and lunch if you know you’re having a big dinner.
  • Be prepared – possibly have a snack before going to a feast so that you don’t gorge yourself too much
  • Alternate alcoholic beverages with water – this might mean you might half the drinks (and calories)
  • Avoid mixers (soft drinks, juice etc.) which can add a tonne of sugar you don’t need to your drinks
  • Make sure to rehydrate before you sleep and in the morning as soon as you wake up
  • Moderation is the key! Savour the few drinks you will have, to stop you from reaching for more.

 

 

Stay safe, stay healthy and we’ll see you in the New Year.

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