Booze. Hooch. Vino.

No matter what we call it, we have been trained to believe that, when we’re training (to lost weight or to tone up), alcohol is public enemy number one.

Let’s face it, alcohol has a bad reputation: hangovers, excessive amounts of sugar, it’s been linked to certain health issues, we could go on.

But…what if we told you that you could still get your booze on (reasonably, of course) and achieve the fitness results you want?

We’re going to go one step farther: what if you could drink alcohol on a fairly regular basis and have it help you achieve your goals?

We know, we know. It sounds too good to be true. Is this some weird fad diet? Are you thinking “Well, wine is made from grapes, grapes are fruit, therefore wine is fruit salad”?

Not quite.

Why we’ve made alcohol our enemy

It comes as no surprise to you that many, if not all, fitness experts encourage their clients to avoid alcohol. There are lots of reports out there to support this idea: alcohol is filled with empty calories, it intoxicates us, potentially leading us to make bad decisions regarding our nutrition, and it dehydrates us.

One step forward, two steps back?

Because of the guilt associated with indulging in alcohol, we often assume that drinking it has somehow impeded our progress.

What research tells us is that drinking a beer here or there will not affect protein synthesis in our bodies. Protein synthesis refers to the amount of protein absorbed and used by the muscle tissue in our bodies.

The effect of drinking in moderation shouldn’t (and won’t) have a major impact on your body.

Moderation is Key

We all know what it’s like when you deny yourself something that’s considered a cheat. It’s all you can think about. Everywhere you go, everything you do makes you think about that cheat. What usually ends up happening when you completely cut yourself off from this? You cave and then overindulge. Allowing yourself a little bit of alcohol here and there allows you to control that craving and, as a result, control your consumption.

In the end, it’s important to recognize that you need to maintain control of your craving and, if it’s something you enjoy, allow yourself to indulge in a great glass of pinot noir or a crisp, cold beer on a hot day.