Many of us with intensive training programmes are reluctant to miss out on social occasions that involve drinking but are just as unwilling to sacrifice workout gains.
Planning ways to minimise the effects of over-indulgence on your training is therefore essential.
Here, Built for Athletes explores 5 ways to do just that.
Hydrate Yourself Before & After
Alcohol is a diuretic, meaning it makes you urinate frequently which dehydrates the body.
Drinking a hydration drink or plenty of water in preparation for heavy drinking later in the night could make sure you don’t feel as bad the next morning and are able to function at a higher level.
While continuing to take on water in between alcoholic beverages throughout the evening could bring about some funny looks or comments from your drinking partners, it’s the optimal way to limit your dehydration.
Whether you’re brave enough to do that or not, you can replace the electrolytes you’ve lost at the end of the evening and the next morning.
Nutritious late night meal
It can be extremely tempting to stop off for a late-night fast food meal after a drinking session, but this will likely leave you feeling more sluggish the next day.
Instead, try eating something nutritious like nut butter on toast.
Avocado can also be a source of potassium, an electrolyte that will have been lost.
Alcohol famously disrupts your sleep, which of course is vital for an athlete’s recovery process.
If you know you’re likely to be drinking heavily in the near future, try to supplement your sleep with naps in the days leading up to it and afterwards if possible.
Switch Important Sessions
Being flexible with training is a good quality in any athlete.
If the session still gets done, it’s not the end of the world if it happens on the wrong day.
When you have a key workout scheduled the day after a big night of drinking and you know you’ll struggle to perform at your best, bring it forward.
Line Your Stomach
By eating a good meal before your drinking session, you’ll slow how quickly the alcohol gets into your bloodstream.
This will allow your body to process it better and, hopefully, reduce the effects of the hangover the following morning.