Can alcohol trick your body into thinking you’re working out?

Can alcohol trick your body into thinking you’re working out?

  • Read Time 1 min read
  • Date Apr 14, 2022
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When it comes to diet, moderation is key. By balancing the good with the not-so-good, we tend to come off feeling none the worse. However, when it comes to booze, most of us will overdo it at times, and we need to be aware of how this can affect our bodies when it comes to exercising.

Drinking alcohol can make you sweat like you’re working out  

It’s an interesting phenomenon but alcohol can make us sweat.
Alcohol is a vasodilator, meaning it can widen the blood vessels near the surface, encouraging the skin to feel warm and flushed which can trigger the release of sweat. Vasodilation also happens during exercise, as your core temperature starts to rise. Does that mean you can skip barre and head straight to the bar? Unfortunately, that’s where the similarities end. Most alcohol is high in sugar, so you’re consuming extra calories, not burning them.

Exercise can reduce alcohol cravings

The good news is that research shows that exercise can reduce our desire for an alcoholic drink.  A study by Loughborough University observed 60 binge-drinking students aged between 18-25, who were quizzed about their favourite drinks before being shown a video designed to increase their cravings. The students were then asked to do a five minute workout featuring push-ups, sit-ups, squats, mountain climbers, jumping jacks and heel kicks. The control groups were split into two, and given a colouring task or nothing to do.
The researchers found that the active students were significantly less likely to crave alcohol. In addition, they reported lower anxiety and a more positive mood compared with the sedentary group. Which goes to show that even a short amount of exercise can have a positive effect on our physical and mental health. 

Alcohol can make our sweat smell

Forget thinking you’ll be able to fool your personal trainer if you’ve had a big one the night before: “You can sometimes smell whether your client is hungover, they will sweat more and smell of alcohol or even of greasy food,” says Courtney Fearon, Nike trainer, boxing instructor, former professional sprinter and Gymspin ambassador. So, the next time you’re a few pints down and thinking of grabbing a kebab, spare a thought for the gym instructor you’ll be breathing over the next day.