If you’re a social drinker but also love to run, there are some lesser-known ways to minimize the impact of alcohol on your running.
It’s probably no surprise to know that a night on the booze is going to limit your running performance the next day. We probably don’t even need to tell you that.
But that said, birthdays, special occasions, and a good time with friends are always worthy of a social drink, and on occasions, one too many.
Ultimately, that will lead to a struggle the next day when you lace up your trainers, with alcohol reducing the body’s ability to store glycogen which has an impact on endurance and the recovery process.
For many runners, completely removing themselves from it is the best option, and it can be a catalyst to giving up alcohol for good.
Those who are heavily reliant on alcohol or suffer from addiction might need an alcohol detox prior to the sports event, be it a charity run, a marathon, or whatever you want to accomplish.
You need to give yourself the best possible opportunity to stay sober of alcohol and have a clean and healthy lifestyle during training.
However, for the more casual or social drinker, giving up alcohol completely might not be the easiest path. So check out these 5 simple things you can do to minimize the impact of alcohol on your running form.
5 Ways To Minimize The Impact Of Alcohol On Your Running
If you want to keep your workout routine and enjoy a few pints of an evening or a night out, here are five top tips to minimize the impact of it on your running:
1. Keep Yourself Hydrated
First and foremost, alcohol does have a dehydrating impact on the body, which naturally is a bad thing for your running. Therefore, alongside any alcohol you are drinking, it’s important to remember to stay hydrated.
Ordering a glass of water with your drinks is a good option (but do remember to actually drink it) while alternating an alcoholic drink and water can also be helpful. This will keep your hydration levels up and make you feel a whole lot better in the morning.
2. Think About The Alcohol You Are Drinking
While there’s perhaps no such thing as “good alcohol”, the alcohol you do choose to drink can impact performance the following day.
Sugary drinks like alcopops and cocktails will see blood sugar levels fluctuate and you’ll start to see energy dips and lapses in concentration, which will have damaging results on your running.
3. Up Your Electrolytes
While you should drink lots of water before, after, and during sessions with alcohol, you’ll also need to replace the electrolytes in your body.
Alcohol promotes the excretion of this nutrient, and therefore ahead of going for a run you need to replace these to balance your fluids.
Coconut water and energy drinks are useful for this, while you can also pick up tablets which are good for just dropping in a glass of water every couple of hours or so following a night on the town.
4. Eat Before You Drink
Many people line their stomachs before going out drinking alcohol, and with good reason. Having something to eat slows down the release of alcohol into the bloodstream and will lessen the impact it has on you.
Eating prior to alcohol is also a much better option than feasting on a kebab following a night on the town without eating, with this type of processed food having an impact on sleep and energy levels. If you are peckish following an evening drinking alcohol, opt for something a little healthier.
5. Aid Your Recovery
The body needs to recover from drinking alcohol and when you combine that with the recovery from exercise you’re leaving it with an awful lot to do.
You can aid this process by taking supplements. Milk thistle is one that many runners swear by as it acts as an antioxidant that can protect the liver – important after a session on alcohol – and is seen by a number of healthcare experts as a good supplement to take following a night on the booze, particularly if you are keen to get out exercising.
Running is fun, healthy, and affordable. So everyone loves this type of activity. But when you enjoy a drink from time to time, this can take its toll on your running form.
There are a few ways to minimize the impact of alcohol on your running, such as staying hydrated, eating before drinking, taking supplements, and more.