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6 Ways Drinking Alcohol Impacts Your Fitness Routine

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If you’re doing dry January, now is generally the point when you find yourself casting around for any reason to keep going. For today, let it be this: avoiding alcohol is unequivocally a good thing when it comes to your health and allows your body to reap all possible rewards of each workout you do. Ditch the booze, and you’ll notice better performance and a more enjoyable workout all around.

Here, some expert insights into how alcohol affects our workouts.

Dehydration Stations

When your skin is akin to the Sahara, you know that last night’s mojitos are catching up with you. “Alcohol is a diuretic and drains moisture from the body,” says Caroline Wilson, nutritionist at health and nutrition brand Kitchenistic, adding that 90 percent of hangover symptoms present as a direct result of dehydration. Water is key for keeping our bodies in healthy working order—that’s not breaking news—but it also helps to regulate its temperature, which can make exercise tricky if we are dehydrated.

“If alcohol is in your system, your heart rate will increase faster than usual, and your body’s temperature will significantly rise, making exercise uncomfortable. You’ll also sweat…

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