Between Christmas parties, catching up with friends & the new year just around the corner, it's nice to let loose and have a few drinks. But how will it affect your training & nutrition?

And how can you manage it without having a big impact on your lifestyle? 

After a night of drinking everything from reaction time to your muscle development can suffer, and the effects can last from anywhere from a few hours up to a few days.

Depleted energy

Drinking alcohol reduces your liver’s ability to produce important blood sugars normally produced when glucose is released into the bloodstream, meaning you’re basically running on empty.

Bad nights sleep

Alcohol can cause you to feel tired but that doesn't mean you'll get the important restful sleep you need to allow your body for recovery.

Rapid eye movement (REM) sleep is affected.

Meaning you’ll wake up feeling tired and low in energy the next day.

Alcohol’s effect on sleep can also inhibit your body’s natural production of human growth hormone (HGH), which is required for muscle building and repair.


Drinking alcohol a day or two before training can contribute to a build-up of lactic acid, putting you at increased risk of cramping and muscle fatigue and slows down the repair and recovery of muscles.

Excess calories

Alcohol is a cornerstone to most social events. In the offseason, this can be monitored (7kcal per gram of ethanol. Ethanol= alcohol)

However, if you are in a calorie deficit alcohol can be incredibly calorie dense and one night can add up to a serious surplus so choose wisely.

So here are some tips to help lead a balanced lifestyle and enjoy the festive season.. 

1: Plan ahead 

Decide on a limit to how many drinks you want to have that night and what alcohol to have depending on your diet goals.

2: Have a goal 

Set a goal for the next day and make it something you enjoy, with this in mind you'll be less likely to go wild knowing you’re looking forward to the day ahead.

3. H2o Shots! 

Instead of having shots try to follow up every drink with a glass of water to avoid dehydration.

4. Little & Often 

If you enjoy a drink now and again then you can fit into your routine just allow yourself a night every fortnight or month and be sensible with the amount and what you consume that way you get to socialise and you won't be as tempted to binge and set yourself back with your training.

5. Run past that chipper! 

Along with the excessive calories hidden in alcohol, it's that post night out feed that can really do damage. Avoid that doner and try have something nutritious ready for you to enjoy at home. 


In a nutshell, yes you can enjoy alcohol in moderation and continue to make progress with your fitness goals, just be sensible and plan! 

Hope you all have an incredible Christmas.