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  1. #26
    Senior Member SanDiegoSteve's Avatar
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    For years I've drank a lot. By this crowd, way too much. 1-2 with dinner and another 1-2 after; we sit and talk and sip something nice. Every night? Almost. When I go out with friends to bars, I don't keep track. I drink to the point of a hangover once or twice a year; there is a Christmas party coming that usually causes that.

    The sugars give you false energy, so you need to compensate for it. You also dehydrate with it. Coffee does the same.
    It has calories so you will end up being heavier.

    I ride a lot too. Compared to my other drinking buddies, I am very skinny. Compared to my cycling buddies, I'm average to big.

    If I compare a ride after a night with drinks to a night-prior with no drinks; I don't see a difference.
    Roadie in San Diego with a bad knee recovering from back surgery.

  2. #27
    just another gosling Carbonfiberboy's Avatar
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    There is no question that alcohol is a poison, no matter the quantity. It just becomes more noticeable as the quantity/day increases. If I have one drink or one beer the night before a serious ride, my performance is noticeably affected for the first 50 miles. After the first 50, it doesn't matter what you did the day before, but rather what you did the month before.

    That said, I do like a drink or a beer now and then. I have a social beer after the weekly group ride, drink wine with dinner guests or hosts, maybe a whiskey or two on occasion with family or friends who are into good whiskey. I used to drink the occasional beer during the week, but I've cut that out. I don't need the calories, the demotivation, or the poisonous effects on my health and fitness.

    I know, stories about the positive effects of alcohol on longevity are popular in the media. I tried it. A glass of wine with dinner every night put weight on me like I couldn't believe. Of course I was adding carb calories to what I was already used to eating. Drinking any alcohol noticeably affected my training. Just one drink, and I noticed that I didn't feel like doing much of anything except sitting around and playing.

    Everything I've noticed plus some other things is mentioned in this article, footnoted with studies:
    http://bodybuildinglive.blogspot.com...your-body.html

    OTOH, on my tour of the Czech Republic, I drank about a liter of beer/day and felt OK. That's fairly low alcohol beer and subject to beer purity laws, though. I rode off the lunch beer and the dinner beer was hydration and recovery calories which I needed anyway. I guess riding for several hours every day at a touring pace was OK, though who knows, I might have been stronger had I not had the beer. But I like Czech beer a lot, so I drank it anyway and frankly didn't give a hoot about my fitness because I didn't have to. The beer in the US is not so tempting.

  3. #28
    Senior Member wolfchild's Avatar
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    The problem with modern beer is that it's very estrogenic because of the hops. Hops is one of the most highly estrogenic plants, a lot more estrogenic then soy.

  4. #29
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    Quote Originally Posted by Carbonfiberboy View Post
    I know, stories about the positive effects of alcohol on longevity are popular in the media.
    You mean stories about peer reviewed scientific studies that show moderate alcohol consumption is associated with longer life-span and a reduced risk of developing heart disease and type 2 diabetes?

    There are apparently a lot of people like you who would love nothing else than to be able to say, with authority, that alcohol is bad for you. I call it the modern day temperance movement. Unfortunately for these people the scientific research is very clear that moderate alcohol consumption is beneficial to one's health.

    IME, if you have a drink or two more frequently your body would get used to it and you don't notice it the next day on a ride.
    Last edited by Dunbar; 12-11-13 at 11:11 PM.

  5. #30
    Wheelsuck Fat Boy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by wolfchild View Post
    The problem with modern beer is that it's very estrogenic because of the hops. Hops is one of the most highly estrogenic plants, a lot more estrogenic then soy.
    I know this is true, but it seems like you'd have to drink a hell of a lot of beer on a consistent basis before it was a real issue. I've brewed before, and you really don't use _that_ much hops, even in a fairly hoppy beer. You figure that amount is spread over ~5 gallons of beer. Maybe I'm wrong, but I just think you'd have to be a pretty serious beer drinker before it started to affect hormone levels.

    I don't know why I don't drink more that once every week or two. I guess I just don't get around to it. A drink doesn't affect me for 50 miles of cycling, that's for sure. About the worst effect I have would be not wanting to get out of bed, but once I'm rolling, I'm rolling.

    I generally don't drink before a race, and I for sure wouldn't if it were a big race. That's almost more of a psychological thing rather than physiological.

    For the record, I think a little alcohol here and there can be quite healthy, if not on it's own accord, then because of the hormetic effect it may have. Saying that any amount is poison seems to be a bit overboard.
    Austin doesn't have hippies. They have slightly rebellious Methodists. - Racer Ex

  6. #31
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    O'Doul's NA after a good ride, a good run or a mile or two swim. Filtered water, good carbs, very little alcohol and I like the taste.

  7. #32
    just another gosling Carbonfiberboy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dunbar View Post
    You mean stories about peer reviewed scientific studies that show moderate alcohol consumption is associated with longer life-span and a reduced risk of developing heart disease and type 2 diabetes?

    There are apparently a lot of people like you who would love nothing else than to be able to say, with authority, that alcohol is bad for you. I call it the modern day temperance movement. Unfortunately for these people the scientific research is very clear that moderate alcohol consumption is beneficial to one's health.

    IME, if you have a drink or two more frequently your body would get used to it and you don't notice it the next day on a ride.
    1) I don't dispute these studies of the general population. Can you point to a similar study of endurance athletes? As one, I prefer to get my lipid improvements from exercise and a good diet rather than alcohol.

    2) The evidence is anything but clear. You haven't done your research, preferring to focus on what you want to believe and what the media has fed you: positive stories about drinking. Do you remember the huge media buzz a couple years ago about how beer is best for rehydration, better than water? Look it up if you don't remember. The stories were all based on an incorrect reading of one study which actually showed the opposite. But what did the media pick up?

    3) It's true that if you drink every day you won't know the difference: you won't know what it's like to train clean.

    4) Can you point to a single coach who says that your performance will improve if you add alcohol to your diet?

    5) Why not drink? Recommendations from coaches and other athletes:
    http://www.ccsd.com/2012/07/alcohol-...g-performance/
    http://semiprocycling.com/alcohol-an...ng-performance
    http://www.nmnathletics.com/attachme...DB_OEM_ID=5800
    http://runnersconnect.net/running-nu...rance-running/

    6) Studies which show that drinking and athletics is not a good combination:
    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/arti...ients-02-00781
    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15730339
    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/10840864
    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19079280

    On a positive note, want to drink something that's good for you? How about beet juice:
    http://www.theglobeandmail.com/life/...ticle12747831/
    Beet pulp has long been used as horse feed for endurance horse racing.

  8. #33
    Abuse Magnet arex's Avatar
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    A bottle or pint of good-quality beer, or else a glass of wine, once or twice a week. I almost never drink straight spirits, and I have a mixed drink (margarita or a G&T) maybe once every couple of months.
    "I must create a system or be enslaved by another man's; I will not reason and compare: my business is to create." -- William Blake

  9. #34
    Wheelsuck Fat Boy's Avatar
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    That's a bit of a different matter. I don't think many would argue that alcohol is an ergogenic aid. Life, for me, is not the fulfillment of some athletic goal even if I may put an athletic goal as one aspect of a fulfilled life.
    Austin doesn't have hippies. They have slightly rebellious Methodists. - Racer Ex

  10. #35
    Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by Carbonfiberboy View Post
    2) The evidence is anything but clear. You haven't done your research, preferring to focus on what you want to believe and what the media has fed you: positive stories about drinking.
    I think you're making a straw man argument. I never said alcohol benefited athletic performance, nor am I aware that moderate alcohol consumption hurts it either. I was talking about the health benefits of moderate alcohol consumption. The science is overwhelmingly clear on this subject. As much as I enjoy cycling it's not the be-all-end-all of my existence. Even though I have 7k miles YTD of cycling I do try to lead a balanced lifestyle which, yes, means I can have 1-2 drinks a day if I desire them.

    More than 100 prospective studies show an inverse association between moderate drinking and risk of heart attack, ischemic (clot-caused) stroke, peripheral vascular disease, sudden cardiac death, and death from all cardiovascular causes. (4) The effect is fairly consistent, corresponding to a 25 percent to 40 percent reduction in risk.

    http://www.hsph.harvard.edu/nutritionsource/alcohol-full-story/

  11. #36
    just another gosling Carbonfiberboy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dunbar View Post
    I think you're making a straw man argument. I never said alcohol benefited athletic performance, nor am I aware that moderate alcohol consumption hurts it either. I was talking about the health benefits of moderate alcohol consumption. The science is overwhelmingly clear on this subject. As much as I enjoy cycling it's not the be-all-end-all of my existence. Even though I have 7k miles YTD of cycling I do try to lead a balanced lifestyle which, yes, means I can have 1-2 drinks a day if I desire them.

    More than 100 prospective studies show an inverse association between moderate drinking and risk of heart attack, ischemic (clot-caused) stroke, peripheral vascular disease, sudden cardiac death, and death from all cardiovascular causes. (4) The effect is fairly consistent, corresponding to a 25 percent to 40 percent reduction in risk.

    http://www.hsph.harvard.edu/nutritionsource/alcohol-full-story/
    1) Since this is the Training and Nutrition forum, I don't think a discussion of the effects of alcohol on individuals who are training is out of place.
    2) If you are not aware that moderate alcohol consumption hurts performance, you are not reading my links. I read yours.
    3) As I said above, find a single coach who will recommend adding alcohol to the training diet.
    4) Once again, the science is not overwhelmingly clear on this.
    5) And the conclusion of the "full story" in your link is:
    Given the complexity of alcoholís effects on the body and the complexity of the people who drink it, blanket recommendations about alcohol are out of the question. Because each of us has unique personal and family histories, alcohol offers each person a different spectrum of benefits and risks. Whether or not to drink alcohol, especially for ďmedicinal purposes,Ē requires careful balancing of these benefits and risks.

    Your health-care provider should be able to help you do this. Your overall health and risks for alcohol-associated conditions should factor into the equation. If you are thin, physically active, donít smoke, eat a healthy diet, and have no family history of heart disease, drinking alcohol wonít add much to decreasing your risk of cardiovascular disease. (Bold added)

    If you donít drink, thereís no need to start. You can get similar benefits with exercise (beginning to exercise if you donít already or boosting the intensity and duration of your activity) or healthier eating. If you are a man with no history of alcoholism who is at moderate to high risk for heart disease, a daily alcoholic drink could reduce that risk. Moderate drinking might be especially beneficial if you have low HDL that just wonít budge upward with diet and exercise.

    If you are a woman with no history of alcoholism who is at moderate to high risk for heart disease, the possible benefits of a daily drink must be balanced against the small increase in risk of breast cancer.

    If you already drink alcohol or plan to begin, keep it moderateóno more than two drinks a day for men or one drink a day for women. And make sure you get plenty of folate, at least 600 micrograms a day.
    Since I have alcoholics in my family and among my riding friends, perhaps I am a bit sensitive about this issue. In any case, I think recommending or giving the semblance of a recommendation to drink alcohol is out of place on a Training and Nutrition forum. This is not a lifestyle forum.

  12. #37
    Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by Carbonfiberboy View Post
    If you are not aware that moderate alcohol consumption hurts performance, you are not reading my links. I read yours.
    Again, we're talking about moderate alcohol consumption. You seem to be conflating moderate with heavy alcohol consumption to make your argument. Here are a few excerpts (plucked at random) from you links which seem to implicate heavy drinking in reduced athletic performance.

    What is apparent is that a threshold exists at which point alcohol becomes detriment to aerobic performance. Cofan and colleagues describe an alcohol intoxication threshold of *20mmol/L of ethanol in both animal [12] and human [10] studies, beyond which did performance decrements become significant. Further research has elaborated that this cause-effect relationship may exist in a dose dependent manner [43].

    *This is above the legal limit for driving in most states.

    Most of the studies examining alcohol and athlete recovery have focused predominately on functional measures of muscle performance and blood borne markers of cellular tissue damage. To date, these studies have produced inconclusive results that fail to demonstrate a dose-dependency or critical threshold above which muscular recovery is compromised.

    Alcohol causes dehydration — Alcohol is widely reported as causing dehydration. This statement is true to a point, however it is largely dependent on the concentration of the alcoholic drink being consumed. Concentrated drinks such as spirits consumed in small glasses or shots, full-strength beers and wine will result in a net fluid loss. However low-alcohol choices such as mid-strength beers and spirits served in large glasses with a non-alcoholic mixer may actually assist athletes to rehydrate following exercise.

    Your health-care provider should be able to help you do this. Your overall health and risks for alcohol-associated conditions should factor into the equation. If you are thin, physically active, don’t smoke, eat a healthy diet, and have no family history of heart disease, drinking alcohol won’t add much to decreasing your risk of cardiovascular disease. (Bold added)
    Yes, if you're at low risk for heart disease already alcohol probably won't make a practical difference. I wonder what percentage of 50+ year old Americans are thin, physically active, has good genes and eats a clean diet? I'm going to wager that it's something well under 5%.

    This also ignores the reduced risk of stroke, reduced risk of developing alzheimer's disease and increased lifespan associated with moderate alcohol consumption.
    Last edited by Dunbar; 12-12-13 at 04:12 PM.

  13. #38
    Wheelsuck Fat Boy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Carbonfiberboy View Post
    ...perhaps I am a bit sensitive about this issue...
    Ya think?
    Austin doesn't have hippies. They have slightly rebellious Methodists. - Racer Ex

  14. #39
    Senior Member bmontgomery87's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Carbonfiberboy View Post
    Since I have alcoholics in my family and among my riding friends, perhaps I am a bit sensitive about this issue. In any case, I think recommending or giving the semblance of a recommendation to drink alcohol is out of place on a Training and Nutrition forum. This is not a lifestyle forum.

    That will definitely skew your opinion. I have alcoholic friends and family members, and I've had trouble with moderation in the past. I think it's easy to get caught up in the attitude of "i can't drink in moderation so others can't either" and just immediately demonize alcohol.

    Loads of people can have a glass of wine per night, and still look and perform awesome. And if they can do that, I have no business telling them it's detrimental to their health. For me personally, I can't do it, because within a few weeks I'd be drinking a bottle of wine instead of a glass. Daily drinking isn't something everyone can do without it becoming a negative thing. But for those that can,I say enjoy it.

  15. #40
    Wheelsuck Fat Boy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bmontgomery87 View Post
    That will definitely skew your opinion. I have alcoholic friends and family members, and I've had trouble with moderation in the past. I think it's easy to get caught up in the attitude of "i can't drink in moderation so others can't either" and just immediately demonize alcohol.

    Loads of people can have a glass of wine per night, and still look and perform awesome. And if they can do that, I have no business telling them it's detrimental to their health. For me personally, I can't do it, because within a few weeks I'd be drinking a bottle of wine instead of a glass. Daily drinking isn't something everyone can do without it becoming a negative thing. But for those that can,I say enjoy it.
    +1
    Austin doesn't have hippies. They have slightly rebellious Methodists. - Racer Ex

  16. #41
    7-speed doomsday prepper ThermionicScott's Avatar
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    I hope no one is actually expecting a consensus in this thread. The scope of the OP was too broad and unspecific for that.
    Quote Originally Posted by chandltp View Post
    There's no such thing as too far.. just lack of time
    RUSA #7498

  17. #42
    Long Distance Cyclist Machka's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Fat Boy View Post
    So I'm curious, what's everyone's philosophy on drinking alcohol? I have a couple drinks a week (1-3). My standard drink is tequila. I try to keep it mostly to spirits as they have fewer sugars for a given intake. I like beer, but haven't been drinking much lately.

    So there's my thoughts, how about yours?
    Were you hoping that everyone would come in here and agree with you that drinking is a good thing?

    There are those of us who don't think it is ... who don't see the point of drinking ... who don't see the point of spending all the money on drinking ... who definitely don't see benefits to drinking.

    I wonder ... why drink? Really ... what's the point? And have those of you who drink regularly ever tried going several months without in order to compare the difference?

  18. #43
    Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by Machka View Post
    Were you hoping that everyone would come in here and agree with you that drinking is a good thing?
    The scientific consensus couldn't be more rock solid that moderate alcohol consumption is beneficial to one's health. In a free country you are welcome to abstain from drinking if you wish. I personally take issue with those who ignore all of the scientific evidence and continue to claim moderate drinking is unhealthy. Like I said earlier, I consider these people part of the modern day temperance movement. Your last sentence seems to suggest that any amount of regular alcohol consumption is tantamount to "problem drinking."

  19. #44
    Long Distance Cyclist Machka's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dunbar View Post
    The scientific consensus couldn't be more rock solid that moderate alcohol consumption is beneficial to one's health. In a free country you are welcome to abstain from drinking if you wish. I personally take issue with those who ignore all of the scientific evidence and continue to claim moderate drinking is unhealthy. Like I said earlier, I consider these people part of the modern day temperance movement. Your last sentence seems to suggest that any amount of regular alcohol consumption is tantamount to "problem drinking."
    You're just upset because I'm suggesting to try to go without drinking for a while.

    It's easier to attack the person making the suggestion, and to read things into what they're saying, than to try the suggestion and see if there is a difference.

    One might wonder why the idea of stopping drinking for a month or two is so upsetting to you.

  20. #45
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    I enjoy consuming micro brews there are huge in my town with a lot of breweries. Oskar blues out of Colorado just set up a new brewery in Brevard, NC they have a bike team. Consume maybe 6 a week not overkill though, as I am doing more riding I drink a lot less can't deal with the mornings after like I used to, I guess I'm getting older.

  21. #46
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    Quote Originally Posted by Machka View Post
    One might wonder why the idea of stopping drinking for a month or two is so upsetting to you.
    If moderate alcohol consumption is both A) by definition not "problem drinking" and B) considered beneficial to one's health than it seems, at best, your suggestion is gratuitous.

    BTW, I'm pretty sure everyone over the age of 30 (including me) has, at least once in their life, had little to no alcohol for months at a time. Which makes your suggestion that much more catty. It suggests that anyone who drinks regularly has a problem.
    Last edited by Dunbar; 12-13-13 at 07:51 PM.

  22. #47
    Long Distance Cyclist Machka's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dunbar View Post
    If moderate alcohol consumption is both A) by definition not "problem drinking" and B) considered beneficial to one's health than it seems, at best, your suggestion is gratuitous.

    BTW, I'm pretty sure everyone over the age of 30 (including me) has, at least once in their life, had little to no alcohol for months at a time. Which makes your suggestion that much more catty. It suggests that anyone who drinks regularly has a problem.
    I'm not being catty ... one wonders why you're so upset, however ... I am just making a suggestion. An experiment, if you like. You say you're fine drinking the quantities you do ... so go without for a couple months and see if there is any difference. If there is no difference to your budget, to your waistline, to your general well-being ... then perhaps you are indeed OK with drinking.


    If you can't face giving up the alcohol for a month or two, what about cutting down. Perhaps only consume alcohol ever other day, or maybe only once a week. That might be easier to start with than going cold turkey.

  23. #48
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    I've found that people severely understate their alcohol intake.

    I've also found that people who consume a lot of alcohol get very defensive when challenged about why. And some get aggressive to the point of nastiness.

    Personally, I find alcohol has too much of a negative effect on me physically irrespective of whether I am cycling or doing anything else.
    Dream. Dare. Do.

  24. #49
    just another gosling Carbonfiberboy's Avatar
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    It's called denial. They always deny they're in denial. That's how you tell. Everyone else questions. I also personally find alcohol has a negative effect on my performance the next day. If one never rides to one's limit or rides clean, it's very likely that one would not notice this. I had two glasses of wine this evening, Shabbat, no training tomorrow.

  25. #50
    Wheelsuck Fat Boy's Avatar
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    I wasn't really looking for validation, vindication, consensus or anything else in particular. I was just making small talk. Some of you are wound a little tight.
    Austin doesn't have hippies. They have slightly rebellious Methodists. - Racer Ex

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