Do alcohol and fitness mix?

A few years ago I had to meet someone related to work for a drink. I probably had a scotch. At that time I was working out after work. I specifically remember that day was squats and deadlift.

When I got under the bar, I just couldn’t lift. I felt like I was pumping slush through my veins and I was thirsty. I realized that it was “that drink.”

My fitness performance was drastically reduced by a single scotch. When I was 23, I may not have noticed this, but as I entered my late 30s, it became obvious: alcohol and physical fitness don’t make for a favorable cocktail.

Don’t get me wrong. As of date, I’ve written more booze reviews for the Maccabees than any other to date. I love a glass of Châteauneuf-du-Pape with a ribeye. I’m known to linger over a couple of drams of Oban. But as I age, I realize that my will power, strength, and motivation are crippled by alcohol. I also tend to eat more or the wrong things if I’m in a context that includes alcohol.

Cameron Hanes on Alcohol and Fitness

I recently watched his video by Cameron Hanes on his diet and fitness and he stressed the same: “I can’t be the man I want to be if I’m drinking.” This guy runs 9 miles every day up and down a mountain in Oregon. Check it out:

I’m not as committed as Cameron Hanes. I don’t ever plan on being an alcohol abstinent teetotaler. But it raises the question: As we men age, how do we calibrate a balance between physical excellence and enjoying a drink among fraternal friends?

Is it weekends only? Social only? Only certain times per year?

Have you felt the effects of alcohol on your fitness goals? Leave a comment below with your experience and/or advice.