“Moderate” amounts of booze slow muscle recovery
My latest column in the Globe takes on a topic of seasonal significance: alcohol and exercise. Researchers at Massey University in New Zealand have been doing some very interesting research about the links between alcohol and recovery from DOMS; and there are some other factors like glycogen replenishment and dehydration that come into play:
Earlier this year, researchers in New Zealand published a surprising study that found significant delays in muscle recovery when the subjects drank a “moderate” amount of alcohol after a strenuous workout. The findings join a little-known body of research suggesting that alcohol can sap your morning-after strength even if you’re not hung over.
The subjects in the new study did a series of leg exercises, then had 90 minutes to drink either straight orange juice or a mix of vodka and orange juice before going to bed. Over the next three days, the alcohol group didn’t report feeling any additional leg soreness compared to the OJ group – but their loss of strength in a series of tests was 1.4 to 2.8 times greater.[READ THE REST OF THE ARTICLE...]
(So that I don’t get accused of being a Scrooge, let me give away one of the article’s conclusions: truly moderate consumption, i.e. of a drink or two, shouldn’t have any effects on your recovery.)