Dear inquisitive and intelligent drinker,
Liquor is like cheesecake – rich and delectable, an extraordinary sensory experience if the quantity and quality is spot on; downright nauseating if the quality is poor and the amount gluttonous.
I can’t think of a single reason why a healthy minded and bodied adult of legal age shouldn’t enjoy these intense pleasures as part of a celebration or unwinding at the end of a long day. On the contrary, I highly encourage even the most fitness minded folks to relax and enjoy decadent foods and beverages with occasional regularity.
The problems with adult beverages, like with cheesecake, begin when they become habitual and overdone.
Throw back 4 Jack & Cokes at 280 calories a pop and you’ve ingested 1,120 calories, mostly coming from sugar. That’s the same number of calories you’d get from a Big Mac (550), large order of fries (453) and, just for good measure, a shot of vodka (97). Drinking like this once every ten days isn’t ideal, but I truly believe you can get away with a similar indulgence. Practice this routine habitually, and you’re going to be unhealthy and out of shape.
If I go out to grab an Italian meal, I’ll gladly partake in a few glasses of red wine. After a long day of beach football, there’s nothing better than an ice cold lager and a giant burger. A few times a month, I’ll drink 2 or 3 glasses of whiskey on the rocks or straight (Monkey Shoulder out of the UK is my current favorite.) I don’t mix it because I lose the exquisite flavor and because, for a 1.5 oz. shot, I’ll consume 72 calories. I might pour a little more per drink, so I’ll push that number to 120 calories. I get to enjoy three drinks for 360 calories, which is pretty innocuous considering the alternative.
I choose my drinks based on the enjoyment and toast the fact that there may be a peripheral benefit.
“It turns out that there’s no information to suggest that red wine is better than any other form of alcohol for your heart,” Dr. Steven Nissen, chairman of the Department of Cardiovascular Medicine at the Cleveland Clinic told PBS.org. “But there is information to show that moderate alcohol intake of any kind — red wine, white wine, beer or hard spirits — benefits patients in preventing heart disease. It does so by raising the good cholesterol, or HDL.”
I take into account that subsequent workouts will be affected by my choices, just like sleep and food. If I go out and get sloppy drunk, I’ll be hung over and won’t be prepared for a quality workout the following day. In fact, with my body’s sensitivity level, I might not be normal from a training perspective for several days. I pay close attention to what my body tells me, know my limits and avoid the temptation of “just one more.”
Enjoying some of life’s guilty pleasures appropriately is just about taking a long view. You can be in the moment and go a little crazy sometimes. But if you find said moments happening too often or get out of control, a refocus of priorities may be in order.
Sip pleasurably and logically,