How to Fit Alcohol Into a Balanced, Healthy Lifestyle

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Here’s the thing about alcohol. It’s fun. It’s social. It’s a nightly wind-down habit for some. But, it can be detrimental to your health, fitness and waistline. Alcohol is a known toxin to our bodies yet most of us still choose to consume it regularly. For those of us who also pursue a natural high through exercise, evaluating our weekly (or daily) alcohol intake and its impact on our goals may be worthwhile.

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So, how much is too much, and how much is just right?

The answer to the second question is up to you. After some self-experimentation — cutting out all booze for two months, twice (I know. Call me crazy) — I got very clear about the consequences of using alcohol to manage my stress (Hint: It wasn’t working.) and its negative impact on my progress in the gym.

There were numerous benefits to “going dry” for two months. First: I experienced complete mental clarity. Second: I felt amazing the day after a wedding while all of my hungover friends couldn’t get out of bed. Third: I slept more deeply. Fourth: I felt an overall sense of increased energy. Fifth: I saved money. Most satisfying of all however was the realization that I didn’t need alcohol to manage my stress, wind down or have a good time.

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