Alcohol And Triathlon Training

Alcohol And Triathlon Training

Many amateur sportsmen can afford a pint of beer, and some professional athletes in various kinds of sports permit oneself even more. Even though, they manage to become world champions.

German national teams in football, cross-country skiing, biathlon and triathlon hold contracts with beer companies. For example, the official German partner Krombacher brought to the Olympic Games in Pyeongchang 14 tons of beer: 11 tons of classic and 3 tons of alcohol-free beer.

How Does Alcohol Influences Training and Sports In Reality?

Training and alcohol inhibit the immune system. In different ways, but in equal measure. However, one beer that contains about 0.05 lb of alcohol combined with a few portions of water after exhausting training in the heat or after the race has a positive effect: it restores salt balance, relieves muscle spasms and has a placebo effect. Camille Herron, an long-distance runner, drinks beer during 100-mile races and wins them with the world records.

Probably, it is the only positive physiological option of drinking beer before, after or during the course of training.

It’s another matter when you overstep the mark in the end of the season with friends and family in the pleasant atmosphere. The next day you skip the training because of the hangover. What happens to our body in such cases? Is there any use in training?


SleepAlcohol influences sleep patterns. It reduces the length of the deep sleep phase. This phase is crucial, as during it our body restores energy and strength, and everything that is connected to the growth hormone (STH). It is a key need of our body after any stresses, including training.  

Only therapeutic doses of alcohol can help fall asleep, but it does not work for all. You should not forget that people have different relationships with alcohol, and that depends on its type.

Muscle catabolism

Muscle catabolismSad but true. Here we should continue the previous topic about our sleep. Muscles grow and restore while we are asleep. If the night is bad, they are not able to restore.

The second fact is that there is a direct correlation between the protein production and alcohol consumption. Alcohol disturbs it even if the sportsman takes additional protein.


Alcohol and muscular glycogen production

It has been clearly shown that alcohol worsens muscular glycogen production after training. This side effect was induced by drinking alcohol without taking carbs, as it is recommended for proper recovery. The good news is that the direct effect of alcohol on muscular glycogen production is not clear. You should keep in mind that alcohol and its calories do not accumulate in muscles in the form of glycogen. The liver synthesizes it. In other words, alcohol cannot be a source of energy for the muscles.

The most permissible alcohol drinks are wine and beer. Both of them contain a good portion of nutrients and low alcohol level. In addition, they both suppose calm and thoughtful drinking with family. Nevertheless, you already know that.

What should we do when we have hangover?

If you had a great party, the morning after you should not train. However, if we look from a different perspective and put the clock back, you should not drink too much or just forget about training the next day. Here are some tips to decrease losses:

  1. Technical training or stretching at a low pulse. You have never had time for this before, but suddenly there is a chance under unusual circumstances.
  2. Caffeine does work in such a state. However, you should be careful: large doses cause dehydration. However, for a short while, for about a couple of hours. Do not forget that when you have a hangover, every minute you feel the pain in your head. During these few hours, you can create such a shortage of water in the already dehydrated body that you will come to life for the end of the day. One or two cups of medium-sized Americano or 2-3 cups of espresso maximum contain about 400 mg of caffeine. You can drink them, preferably not at once.
  3. There is an old point of view that it is good to do sports when you have a hangover, as training will make you sweat and remove toxins. Of course, that's ludicrous. The body is already dehydrated, and you want to take away more water from it. You will sweat even harder then usually, but the reason would be the higher temperature. Our body warms up when it feels health risks.
  4. Protein. Despite of the search mentioned above, it is better to be on the safe side and eat food rich in proteins when drinking alcohol. Before sleeping and in the morning you will notice that your body tries to revive and soon it will come off.
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