By Cavino Johnson Athletic Xtreme
Well, well… Here it is. The most enjoyable Seasons of the year– Spring and Summer. You’ve spent all Fall and Winter covered up in hoodies, making those gains in the gym and now it’s time to peel the layers of cothing off and show those gains to the world!! What are we looking at on the agenda? Pool parties, beach vacations, some of you may even still be doing “Spring Breaks” (including those that aren’t even in school, anymore. Let. It. Go.). But, now we break out the tank tops and sleevelesses (it works), the board shorts, tanning oils (which I, personally don’t need as I maintain a good chocolatey brown year round)… On these vacations and at these party invites, there’s usually 2 common participants– food and liquor.
No more partying for me
Ok, so… let me take a guess… You have sworn off the party lifestyle for the healthy one, which means you probably neglect (yes, I said neglect) yourself of some of the simple pleasures in life. I’m talking about having a drink or slice of cake, or if you’re like me, a couple drinks and leave a slice of cake. But why? Why is it that, time after time and day after day, I see these “health” enthusiast demean these little treats? If you scroll back to some of their early pics during their progression or transformation, you’ll see them living it up!! The “At Da Club” photos, the shots of liquor photos, the “I Heart Cake” photos, and the photos of them holding a beer with the look on their faces as if they’d already had a few. But suddenly, they are anti-ALL of it and they talk about how it will “destroy you” or “kill you” or, my favorite “make you fat and lose all your gains”. Then they go on and on about how they have chosen this healthy life and how happy they are and blah, blah, blah… Spare me. Please.
Why so serious?
The truth of the matter is, when these people were partyin’ like it’s 1999, they were NOT active or exercising or being more attentive to what they were eating or how much they were drinking, hence the lack of muscle and the evidence of the gut. Fast forward. They have adopted the healthier lifestyle, swearing off all things that are not proper eating and training, as if to be more superior to people who manage to spend some time having other kinds of fun and letting loose. I call BS.
First of all, having a drink every now and then, or heck, having one every day, will NOT cause you to die or lose your gains or make you fat. Not if you are active and not if you have the right kind of drink. If you spend 95% of your time “eating clean” and training, tell me how a shot of alcohol or even a margarite will derail your progress? I don’t know about you guys, but my life does not revolve around training and nutrition, it evolves with it. If I had it in my home, I would take a vodka double on the rocks every day. I just don’t ever think to buy it and stockpile it in my house for the simple fact that I am too damn busy. We do keep an assortment of wines and champagnes, though. We have very active kids, my wife holds a high position in her company, I operate my own small business, bills, life, etc causes a bit of tension and a good bit of stress. Some days, a glass of wine or a shot or 2 of liquor takes the edge off. That’s real life. I haven’t lost an ounce of muscle… and I’m not dead.
Everything’s gonna be alright
Ok, I digress. Before this turns into a rant, let me try to stick to the subject. Alcohol and your gains. So, you’re at a pool party, shirt off, abs like POW! Others attending aren’t as shredded. They didn’t put in the work. It may just be that lifting is not their lifestyle of choice. Don’t hate on them. But look at them. Drink in hand, almost looking like they are having a bit more fun. Now, look at you. Standing over there holding your flex. Relax. Seriously. They all know you workout and you take it serious. But, relax. HAVE A DRINK. (Before I continue, do not take this content and think that I am telling you to go out and get ****-faced. Don’t take it as an obligation or a direct order to become an alcoholic. Don’t be a moron.) Where was I? Oh, yes… Relax. Yes, people are, as the term has been popularized, “‘Mirin’”, some may even hate on you a bit, but so what. Bottom line is, if you enjoy an adult beverage every now and again, I promise you, your abs and your gains will not suffer.
BUT… there’s always a “but” when it comes to healthier living. But, what should a person drink that is safe? For all you obsessed calorie counters, here’s a list of the calorie safe beverages you can enjoy without the guilt:
1) Red Wine, 5oz – 125 calories, 4g carbs, 1g sugar
2) White Wine, 5oz – 125 calories, 4g carbs, 1.5g sugar
3) 80 proof liquors (average), 1.5oz – 97 calories, 0g carbs, 0 sugar
4) Light Beer, 12oz (average) – 108 calories, 6g carbs, 0 sugar
5) Draft Beer, 12oz (average) – 153 calories, 13.2g carbs, 0 sugar
Now, based on those findings, we can all agree that these calories are not of the nutritious nature. They are considered as “empty calories”. Also notice that, 80 proof based liquors seem to be “safest” in terms of calories, carbs and sugars. Me, personally, enjoy taking a shot or 2 when I’m feeling like it or a scothch on the rocks. I am a lightweight, so, when I do indulge, I keep it to a 2 drink max. The liquors become sugar and carb laden once they become a part of a mixed drink, especially the fruitier ones or when certain liquers are added. That’s when that calorie/sugar/carb count goes from low to OMG!! For all you beer drinkers, there are so many low cal beers out there, these days, that still taste great! I tend to shy away from the darker beers, though.
So, tell me, again, how a little adult beverage every now in then is terrible… I don’t see it. Unless, of course, you’re in AA, then, no, stay strong and sober on. Enjoy the little things. Unhealthy is doing things without moderation or control. Pre-party, eat well all day, drink lots and lots of water (Jug Life) and enjoy a cocktail or two. Then, get right back on plan. Oh, and for the love of all things, don’t feel guilty about having a drink. That’s pointless. Enjoy the seasons and have some fun. I know I will.