If you’re committed to bodybuilding but still have a social life on the weekends, don’t worry: you’re not alone.
A lot of pro bodybuilders live their lives like monks: no smoking, no alcohol, barely any red meat, and lentils for days. Many of us are committed to leading a healthy lifestyle but still want to be able to enjoy a few drinks with our friends on the weekend or the other occasional indulgence. If you want to be committed to a healthy lifestyle without sacrificing a few beers with your friends now and then, here are a few tips that can help you be responsible and still maximize your time in the gym.
Tip #1: Always stay hydrated. Always.
Many pros in the bodybuilding world party and get absolutely crazy on the weekends. The truth is, alcohol is a diuretic and will always dehydrate you. If you are going to drink, be aware of the dehydrating effect and always compensate with water. Try to avoid hard alcohol if you are drinking on the weekends and always offset your alcohol intake with several glasses of water. Staying hydrated is important for muscle growth and you should always be drinking it even if you aren’t drinking alcohol.
Tip #2: Try to prioritize your sleep schedule no matter what.
Obviously, drinking can seriously disturb your sleep schedule. If you know you’re going to be drinking, make a plan beforehand for when you’re going to go sleep. Set an alarm if you have to. That way, even if you’re getting carried away or falling asleep before the time you set, you will know exactly when you should get to bed. It doesn’t seem serious, but the truth is, sleep deficits can catch up on you later in the week and affect your athletic performance for days. If your sleep schedule gets affected, it will take serious effort to get it back on track. So save yourself the trouble and always get to sleep at the same time you normally would, even if you’ve been drinking.
Tip #3: Set aside time for drinking, but not all of your time.
Obviously, you should not be drinking the nights before you train. If you are going to be drinking regularly with friends, make a plan for what nights and when. Moderation is key. Make plans to drink on the weekends or when you’re at a party you’ve been looking forward to, but don’t drink on occasions other than that. Make sure you don’t drink in the times you haven’t set aside for it.
Tip #4: Don’t be afraid to have a little wine with dinner.
Having one drink rarely affects athletic performance. If you tell yourself no alcohol ever, you run the risk of turning it into forbidden fruit. Feel free to indulge and have a glass of wine with dinner now and then. If you let yourself have it sometimes instead of strictly regulating yourself, you will have less problems down the line.