We’re human which means we’re far from perfect and we all make mistakes, intentional or unintentional. There will be days or nights that we go to social events with the intentions of boozing or eating our faces off. Look, I’m a huge fan of letting loose and having a good time. You just won’t see me doing it every weekend.
Having too many “crazy” nights out will inhibit you from getting the results you are working towards at the gym, so try to limit them to no more then one time a month. Balance is key to stay happy, and moderation is key to being able to enjoy yourself. Below I share some of my tips I’ve practiced the last decade to have a good ol’ time with friends but not let it offset all my hard work and gains.
I have found these tips work best for me to prepare for a night of drinking while not letting it completely sabotage my hard work.
Limit the amount of carbs you eat
I’m not saying to not eat carbs at all for the day, all I’m saying is limit the amount you eat because if you eat too many, you’ll most likely exceed your carbs for the entire day. Alcohol is converted into sugar which is a carb and when we don’t burn those carbs they then are stored as fat in your body. I like to eat my carbs earlier in the day on nights I plan on going out and eat little to none as the night gets closer. Plus, the less carbs we eat, the faster the booze will get into our bloodstream allowing us to feel the effects faster and hopefully drinking less in total.
Stay out of the sun that day!
If I plan on going out hard, I try to limit my time in the sun that day. The chances of me getting way too wasted are a lot higher if I’ve been in the sun all day. Why? That little thing called dehydration. If we are dehydrated, the booze will get into our bloodstream a whole lot quicker and we will not only get a lot more drunk due to the lack of water to mix with it, but the hangover the next day will be crushing.
Hydrate yes... but avoid over hydrating
Let’s say you typically drink three liters of water on a daily basis. The idea is you don't want your body to be dried out of water completely, but you also don't want to be your usual super hydrated self. The reason for this is you want to find that sweet spot where you don’t need to drink excessively to feel a buzz but not be so sick the next day from a horrible hangover. I would recommend cutting your water intake down by at least ⅓ from what you usually drink in a given day. So if you usually drink 3L of water a day, drink 2L.
Sleep 6 to 8 hours the night before
I try to get as much rest as I can the night before. Lack of sleep can affect us hormonally and we all know alcohol is a depressant. If we are sleep deprived, believe it or not, we are more likely to get hammered faster and fall into a not so happy drunk kind of mood if our bodies are tired and worn out. Try to rest up a few nights leading up to the big night to feel the best you possibly can and to attain that happy drunk most of us are going for. :)
Feel free to workout the day of, but skip the day after
I mean it’s best to avoid alcohol if you are working toward a specific goal. We get that. Especially if you are looking to reach that goal within a given time frame. You can’t expect to have a killer workout session the day after a big night out. Therefore, I would recommend taking off the day after. If you need to get your gym time in, lift the morning of and take the next day off to recover, hydrate and sleep. Get back to normal two days after your night of recklessness. There is no use in trying to get into the gym and putting your body through that stress of lifting, sweating, getting your heart rate up, etc. The reality is your body and central nervous system is going through a mild form of withdrawal. That’s all a hangover really is...withdrawal from booze. So yea, just suck it up and rest! My mom always said,
“If you’re gonna play you gotta pay!”
She was right, I hate admitting that by the way! Resting the next day would be the best thing to do despite your guilty feelings of missing the gym. Hopefully, in the end, it was all worth it and you have some fond, fond memories to get you through the next week's lifts.