What to avoid

Alcohol

The numerous side effects of consuming alcohol outweigh the possible benefits to anyone.  In recent years several studies have shown that consuming small amounts of alcohol daily helps to decrease your chances of heart disease. Let’s see if this small benefit outweighs the associated side effects of it’s consumption.

Alcohol is a toxin, and because of this several abnormalities can arise from its consumption.  Reduction of strength, reduced recovery capabilities, reduced aerobic capacity, reduced ability to metabolize fat, and reduced muscle growth.  Alcohol can damage your muscle cells and will result in increased muscle soreness following training causing your recovery time to increase.  It causes a release of insulin that then increases the metabolism of glycogen, sparing the fat, and resulting in more difficult weight loss.  It also acts as a diuretic and large amounts of antidiuretic hormone (ADH) is secreted which can result in elevated water retention.

The rest of the side effects everyone should already be aware of: deterioration of your CNS, reduced eye-hand coordination and balance, gastric and digestive irregularities, liver stress, sexual dysfunctions and mental deterioration.  Any person serious about their physical fitness and even overall general health should avoid consuming alcohol.  You can decrease your risk for heart disease through proper nutrition and resistance training.

Nicotine

The active ingredient in tobacco is nicotine and although this stimulates the adrenal glands for increased energy, the long term side effects again outweigh any possible benefits.

Inhalation of smoke makes the lungs work harder.  The heart beats faster and harder and can cause irregular heart contractions.  It increases your blood pressure by constricting your arteries and increases the resistance in the airway. All these effects also happen in the arteries of your heart.

The by-product of smoking is carbon monoxide, which we all know is very poisonous.  Carbon monoxide easily attaches to oxygen and leaves less oxygen available to your muscles and reduces your endurance.  The oxygen that is in your lungs decreases by almost half.  Not to mention the known effects of cancer, heart disease and many other degenerative illnesses.

 

 

Source:  ISSA (International Sports Sciences Association)