Can I drink ORS during training?

Training & nutrition

Why consumption and pedaling do not get along

Alcohol is the number one people's drug in Germany. In other words, each inhabitant consumes over 130 liters of alcoholic beverages per year. We clink glasses in good company, make jokes, laugh (although unfortunately they are far too often not even funny) about it and have a good time. In the meantime, we don't worry about the effects of consumption on our health. We notice that we are not doing our body a favor by the next morning at the latest. But what does alcohol consumption mean for us cyclists? We would like to get to the bottom of this question a little.

Everyone knows, but countless people ignore it. Alcohol is poison for our body. More precisely, it is a cell poison. Ambitious cyclists in particular who really want to get ahead, slow themselves down by consuming too much barley juice, wine or other spirits.

Alcohol in cycling - a fragile connection

But alcohol is not only poison for competitive athletes, it does not stop at hobby riders and all those who do not even own a bike. Nevertheless, alcoholic beverages have their place in our society. If a state earns so much from a product, it happens that the health of the population is neglected, spirits are freely available in supermarkets, petrol stations or at the kiosk around the corner and a drink like beer even becomes a staple food.

The fact is: Nobody forces us to reach for the bottle and yet so many people give in to temptation day after day. But let's stop demonizing our tasty after-work beer. As long as the individual knows how much he can expect himself and his fellow human beings, a sip here and there is certainly justifiable.

Alcohol - the brake on your training

If you are one of those pedalists who do not want to give up alcohol entirely, you should limit yourself to an occasional glass of wine or a bottle of beer. This may even help one or the other to fall asleep and thus promote regeneration after an intensive day of training. Because nothing accelerates the regeneration process better than restful sleep.

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Anything that goes beyond a glass, however, disrupts restful sleep and stands in the way of proper regeneration. Too much hops cold bowl or grape elixir can even make us sleep so restlessly that the so important deep sleep phase bypasses us completely. However, it is not just sleep that is affected by consuming too much alcohol. Muscle building is also slowed down as the alcohol causes testosterone levels to drop. Since the consumption of alcoholic beverages does not leave our immune system unscathed, we also become more susceptible to diseases.

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The influence of alcohol on our liver

Added to this is the fact that our liver is busy breaking down alcohol after consumption and more important tasks such as the utilization of sugar, fat and protein are neglected during this time. Only about a tenth of the alcohol we drink is excreted through our kidneys or lungs. The rest of the work hangs on our liver. A rough guideline is that our liver breaks down 0.1 per mille of alcohol per hour. Depending on how much you have drunk, it can take a while before the liver can concentrate fully on its actual tasks again.

With regular and especially excessive consumption, you need not be surprised if your performance curve stagnates at some point and no longer seems to be able to find its way up. Especially if you looked too deeply into the glass the evening before, the training is often accompanied by heavy legs, listlessness and a comparatively too high pulse. How are you going to make progress in such a condition? However, a tour after a hard night can also help to shake off the hangover that has not left your side since the first glance.

Alcohol and Diet - Collision Ahead

In order to stifle all hopes in advance, alcohol has no place in a healthy nutrition plan. If you pursue the goal of losing a few grams, this only works if you have a calorie deficit. In order to supply your body with all the important nutrients during a diet and to always have the necessary energy reserves for training, you should draw up a nutrition plan. If you are already starting to think about how to best fit your beer into this plan at this point, you should give yourself serious thought.

The optimal diet for cyclists - a guide

How many calories are there in beer and wine?

Depending on whether you choose wheat beer, pilsner or pale beer, you consume between 40 and 50 calories per 100 ml. A drop or two of barley juice may even have a little more. So if you drink half a liter of beer, you can quickly get to 250 calories. On non-training days, this corresponds to more than ten percent of your daily requirement. If you want to save a few calories, you can use light or non-alcoholic beer as an alternative. We're talking about 20 to 30 calories per 100 ml.

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Wine and sparkling wine have a slightly stronger impact. Depending on whether we are talking about white or red wine, sweet, semi-dry or dry, 100 ml can contain between 65 and 90 kilocalories.

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Depending on whether and how much you exercise, you will need to add something between 2,000 and 4,000 calories a day to your body. A decent breakfast that provides you with enough energy for an upcoming tour, a snack in between to keep your energy stores full, isotonic drinks for a balanced mineral balance, a meal after training, dinner and your calorie limit should be largely reached. Everyone has to know for themselves whether there is still space for a beer or a glass of wine afterwards.

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By bike to the party? Not a good idea!

According to the law, pedaling is allowed up to 1.6 per thousand. The fact that motorists are not allowed to drive their vehicles from 0.5 per mille leads a frightening number of people to the following conclusion: I ride my bike to the party. So I can drink more and not risk my driver's license. An idea that, as long as you arrive home safely, may seem clever and well thought-out. However, anyone who has ever been in hospital because they or another road user was careless knows how fast it can go and how important it is to have a clear head on the bike. Even if you get out of a sticky situation unscathed, you certainly don't want to be responsible for harming someone else because of you. Keep both scenarios in mind before you get on your bike.

Cycling rules - you should never forget that as a cyclist

In addition, the actual blood alcohol limit for cyclists is only 1.6 if the pedalist moves unobtrusively. If it runs serpentine, is otherwise noticed or is involved in an accident, a fine or even a criminal complaint can threaten from 0.3 per thousand.

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Conclusion

As I said, a glass of wine or a bottle of beer after a hard day of training is certainly justifiable and will not destroy the training success immediately. Anything that goes beyond that, however, slows down our training success considerably and damages our health.

If you follow a strict training plan and follow a nutrition plan, you should limit yourself to the sparkling wine or champagne shower, which a place on the podium often entails. In addition, it is definitely a bad idea to use the bike just to avoid jeopardizing your driver's license if a beer or two is on the program in the evening.

On the other hand, you don't have to worry about any of this at all if you completely renounce alcohol. However, we do not want to open up a probability calculation at this point. You know best the odds of reaching for that bottle of water at a party.

Have a safe journey!

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