Okay, your wedding is coming up and you’re in bridal fitness mode!
Wedding bells are chiming “bridal fitness” and ringing “bridal body” but you’re fearful you have to completely give up wine! You don’t need to be reminded of how prevalent alcohol is in society right now. In fact, I’m sure you’ve seen the wine memes/gifs! (You’ve most likely even shared them).
You might even call it the mommy sippy cup or another euphemism to describe your vino. After all, you wanna give it a punchy name because it’s not just alcohol
Sometimes you need to unwind and it’s your reward for a long day. On other occasions
But of course… Too much of anything can have a downside.
When it comes to your bridal fitness plan, too much Chardonnay, Pinot,
Rosé or whatever your drink of choice is can decrease your ability to recover/replenish and skew your performance.
Let’s get into how alcohol impacts exercise, recovery and energy balance.
3 critical components to any fitness goal, namely a bridal fitness plan and even how it affects your psychological health.
Alcohol’s Impact on Exercise and Recovery
Hello… First off, dehydration!
Wine will lower your antidiuretic hormone levels(ADH) which helps to keep fluid and electrolyte balance under control. Since alcohol compromises that ADH’s function, you feel an increase to urinate and it can happen in less time than it takes to for you to finalize an outfit worthy of going out in(less than 20 mins) after your first drink.
So here’s the equation…
ADH levels dropping + plus needing to pee more frequently= DEHYDRATION and it’s SO important to be properly hydrated to get your best bridal body
This dehydration may be dry mouth, feelings of thirst or the ever annoying hangover.
Now let’s say you’re exercising the next day after a night of drinking
Alcohol impairs judgment, speed, balance, focus and information processing for 1-3 days so that workout will not likely be one that sets personal records, especially since you will fatigue quicker and your endurance will suffer. This will make the workout harder than necessary!
What about exercise AFTER drinking?
Drinking after exercise will impair repair. Alcohol is a vasodilator, which widens your blood vessels. This could increase swelling in muscle tissues that are damaged and hinder the healing process, along with preventing rehydration and the synthesis of glycogen-crucial processes to recover. For example, sore muscles retain glycogen and water..
Putting it together? Alcohol making it difficult to rehydrate + impairing your glycogen synthesis = delayed results.
Alcohol’s Impact on Energy Balance
What is energy balance?
Briefly defined, it’s the relationship between the energy you take in through food and drink and energy you use in your body for daily requirements. You may have heard it referred to as “calories in, calories out” but it gets FAR deeper than that. Like, throw the bouquet deeeeeeeeep.
Here are a couple of factors that affect “energy in”
- Your stress levels
- Sleep quality
- Appetite regulation hormones
- Calories you actually ABSORB and use, not just consume
So needless to say, just “calories in” as it relates to what you eat or drink isn’t sharing the entire wedding picture here.
Knowing multiple factors that impact “energy in” and metabolism will allow you to enjoy that much-coveted wine guilt-free while on a bridal fitness plan.
Drinking regularly can increase midsection body fat in some women and make it harder to lose fat in others. Ethanol makes it so that the body converts any excess energy into stored fat.
Factors that specifically affect alcohol metabolism include…
- Production of the enzymes such as ADH and ALDH to break down alcohol
- Your age
- Your lean muscle mass
- If there’s food in your stomach
- Normal consumption habits/tolerance
- Pre-existing liver health
And being a woman? It gets EVEN MORE specific.
Women on average have less lean muscle mass than men and have a different hormonal make up. This results in women getting intoxicated sooner with less alcohol.
Women have even been more likely to develop alcohol-related liver disease from similar alcoholic intake when compared to men and the long-term effects of chronic intake can be worse.
After all, alcohol is a toxin.
When we start sippin alcohol, your lovely liver uses enzymes to break it down into less harmful byproducts that we get rid of.(acetaldehyde to acetate to acetyl-coA)
The body can’t store acetate or acetyl-coA, so it uses them as fuel BEFORE being able to use other fuel sources such as fat or glucose.
As the body detoxifies the alcohol you consumed, other processes(such as fat burning) are put on the waitlist like that friend you kinda wanna invite to your wedding but only if someone better can’t attend.
Also, alcohol adds an extra 7 calories per gram(which will add up rather quickly). And while intoxicated, people tend to make less than ideal dietary decisions. The very decisions that are in opposition to your goal, and when acted upon, can make it more difficult or ultimately put a halt on that body you’re looking to build for your wedding day.
You know I don’t need to tell you that alcohol lowers inhibitions.
It can make you less aware of what you consume and your behaviors also change. This means things that may not appeal to you normally, sound like amazing ideas(such as greasy diner food, parkour off that park bench or karaoke when you KNOW yo ass can’t sing!)
Alcohol’s Psychological Impact
As I just wrapped up, your inhibition is lowered while under the influence of alcohol but it can have other affects on you that you may not know.
Most people enjoy their wine to improve their psychological state and act as an escape from their current reality.
You may fit in the camp where it’s easier to partake in social situations with your newfound confidence gained from your trusty friend alcohol.
There are many other reasons and they are all personal to you. But no matter what your reason(s), it’s important to know
Alcohol acts as a depressant on the brain and all the pleasures are temporary
Drinking more than 3 drinks per day or more than 7 drinks per week is defined as at-risk drinking by The National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism.
Depending the role alcohol plays in your life, whether it’s only celebratory, coping mechanism(stress relief, dealing with loneliness or sadness) or just merely social, it’s important to identify what the reason(s) are.
Our society promotes drinking in a way that may not be congruent with your own desires and you may feel pressure to partake, but consider this.
If you thoroughly enjoy it and it adds value to your life, by all means, keep it in.
If you have a compulsory need and feel dependent on it, it could be telling of other, more deep rooted issues that are unresolved.
So how can we enjoy our wine while sticking to a bridal fitness plan?
So where does wine fit in?
If you’re able to be moderate, be it how often you drink or how much you drink in a sitting, go getcha wine glass!
Can you enjoy a glass or two during the week? Sure, enjoy that pleasure guilt-free.
Can you obliterate a bottle night after night? See, that would make your bridal fitness plan increasingly difficult.
However, one thing that I wouldn’t recommend is trying to overcompensate exercise for the amount of alcohol you’ve consumed.
See that gif just above? Yeah, you don’t need to do that.
Exercise isn’t the magic eraser and unless it’s intense, it has less impact on fat loss than you think.
To learn how to add Majestic Movement and put in the footwork to escape The Diet and Exercise Chaotic Circle, grab The Best Badass Bride Bible.
Trying to “burn off” calories from a binge, usually ends with fostering an unhealthy relationship with nutrition and exercise. You don’t wanna burn yourself out running that hamster wheel.
As if the “I’ll just burn it off by increasing exercise” mentality isn’t detrimental enough, thinking about stuff you “can’t” have is also a dangerous territory to step in.
Feelings of deprivation oftentimes cause binging or quitting altogether.
Instead, if you focus on everything you are gaining when it comes to drinking(or even eating healthier and exercising), it’s much easier to stick to. Plus, you won’t need to consult with your inner “Miss Perfectionist Patty” or that bitch’s sister “Miss Judgy Jenny”. (I prefer Miss Independent by Kelly Clarkson. AMIRITE y’all?)
As previously stated, drinking more than 3 drinks per day or more than 7 drinks per week is defined as at-risk drinking by The National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism.
So now you’re asking, “well what’s a drink?” 5 oz glass of wine(12% alcohol) will constitute a drink of the
Isn’t life meant to be enjoyed? If you want to incorporate the special grape nectar in it, DO IT!
But remember that wine affects 3 critical components of a fitness goal- exercise, recovery and energy balance.
When you have a fitness goal you’re looking to attain, especially one tied to a deadline like a wedding, you need to be as smart as you can be! Having an accurate account of your wine consumption and limiting where applicable is the goal here.
When it adds value to your life and is in a moderate window, go for it!
If you have a need for it outside the moderate window, ask yourself “is it to cope with something”? Is it to act as an escape?” If so, consider exploring other behaviors that could replace alcohol.
The trade-off will be worth it.
If you find yourself on the confused side of exercising for your wedding health and fitness goals, grab The Best Badass Bride Bible
In it, you’ll learn how to go from The Overwhelmed Bride-To-Be to The Best Badass Bride by ditching diets, enjoying empowering exercise and busting body image.