Skip Nav
Breakfast
Try These Overnight Oats Recipes — All Under 400 Calories
Healthy Living
At Under 400 Calories, These Slow-Cooker Meals Equal Weight-Loss Success
Healthy Eating Tips
Protein: You're Eating It All Wrong

Is It Safe to Exercise After Having a Couple of Drinks?

You Asked: Working Out Buzzed?

Hey Fit,
I had post-work appetizers and drinks with a girlfriend last night, and as we departed she said she was heading to the gym. Granted, we each had two light beers over maybe an hour and 20 minutes, but it surprised me that she'd go work out after a couple drinks. She said she doesn't do it all the time, but if she's not feeling too tipsy it actually helps her kind of zone out and get into her workout, and by the time she's finished any possible buzz is gone. Is this healthy to do?
mamasitamalita

There are days when we try to pack it all in: work, catching up with friends, working out. With the recent news that folks who drink regularly tend to exercise more, I suspect this dilemma is increasingly common. To see what I have to say on the matter, keep reading.

While alcohol can make you feel giddy after a few sips, it is a depressant. Alcohol affects your nervous system and acts as a mild anesthetic and tranquilizer. Essentially it slows you down, negatively impacting your reaction time, and impairs your balance as well as your hand-eye coordination. Alcohol also reduces your strength, endurance, and aerobic capacity. It will also interfere with your body's ability to metabolize fat and create muscle growth. Having alcohol in your system when exercising can also increase your recovery period, making you more sore post-workout. Alcohol is a diuretic, which means it will increase your need to urinate, and combined with sweating while working out, can lead to dehydration.

ADVERTISEMENT

Add this to the list of reasons not to knock back a few drinks before hitting the treadmill: the effects of alcohol peak about 40 to 90 minutes after drinking, and it will stay in your bloodstream until the liver can process it. Your friend might not have felt too buzzed when she left the bar, but she probably wasn't feeling the full effect of the alcohol.

Bottom line: I don't think it is a good idea to have a couple of drinks before hitting the gym. You are more likely to injure yourself due to lack of coordination, and alcohol interferes with your body's ability to reap the benefits of the workout.

Image Source: Getty
From Our Partners
Best Fitness Gear at Nordstrom on Sale
Fitness Tips From an Olympic Athlete
How Did Brie Larson Get in Shape For Captain Marvel?
Eating Disorders and Mental Health in Female Athletes
Halle Berry Yoga Practice
Is It OK For Kids to Be Obsessed With Fitness?
Why You Shouldn't Work Out With Your Kids
Black Panther Dora Milaje Stuntwoman Double Interview
How to Spend $100 on Fitness
Loud Music in Workout Classes
What Is the F45 Challenge?
David Kirsch Workout Tips
From Our Partners
Latest Fitness
All the Latest From Ryan Reynolds