Do fighters drink alcohol?
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As a professional fighter, it's key that you are in the best condition possible and we often hear many rumors around what fighters do and don't do. One thing we often get asked at Fight Platform is, do fighters drink alcohol?
The majority of fighters claim that they do not drink alcohol, and it's certainly recommended that you should abstain from drinking alcohol during a fight camp. As more research is done into the effects of certain substances on the body, as well as fighters employing nutritionists, fighters are becoming more strict on their diets and less and less will be consuming alcohol.
Drinking alcohol isn't all negative. I mean we've all had a stressful day and enjoyed a nice beer to help us calm down right?! In this article we'll also delve into some of the benefits of drinking alcohol.
Conor McGregor is a fighter who has famously be known to drink alcohol during a fight camp, especially his own Proper No. Twelve Whiskey.
The effects of alcohol on combat training?
The first thing to note when thinking about the effects of alcohol on combat training that that drinking alcohol does decrease overall physical fitness and performance. The reduce performance is going to have a negative effect on your combat training, and it'll make it harder for you to progress in the sport if you are someone who consistently drinks alcohol.
Alcohol is a sedative that slows down functioning. It weakens hand-eye coordination, impairs judgement, and slows down reaction time. All of these functions are imperative to high performance in combat training. Slow reactions and impaired judgement will only lead you unable to successfully defend and counter.
Alcohol is also known to dehydrate the body. This will lead to dehydration and fatigue when you are training which will impair your performance. The effects of dehydration include reduced blood volume, reduced sweat production, increase in overall body temperature, quick fatigue, increased rate of muscle glycogen use.
Should you drink alcohol in a fight camp?
Did you know that drinking alcohol prevents your body from being able to breakdown calories for up to 36-hours? Avoid drinking alcohol during your fight camp as it'll not only impact your performance but your weight cut too.
We advise ensuring that for the 8-week lead up to your fight you avoid all forms of alcohol to ensure that your body reaches peak performance.
Effects of alcohol on weight loss
Alcohol contains calories that provide no nutritional value, these are otherwise known as "empty calories". There are almost 155 calories in one 12-ounce can of beer, and 125 calories in a 5-ounce glass of red wine. By comparison, a recommended afternoon snack should have between 150 and 200 calories. A night out with several drinks can lead to consuming a few hundred extra calories.
Did you also know that your body priorities burning alcohol first before it does anything else? This means that your body will ignore it's glucose and carbohydrates which will end up being stored as fat due to them not being burned off.
Alcohol also has an impact on our ability to restrain from binge eating. We’ve all tucked into a takeaway after a heavy night of drinking haven’t we? Alcohol lowers your inhibitions and it changes how we would normally control our diet. By avoiding drinking alcohol, your avoiding breaking your diet.
The biggest effect that alcohol can have on your body and your weight loss is it’s effects on your kidneys. Drinking alcohol limits your kidneys ability to process sugar and even blocks nutrient absorption. Even tougher, alcohol can lower your ability to burn calories efficiently.
The benefits of drinking alcohol
Despite all the negative things we are told, it may be surprising to know that there are actually some benefits to drinking alcohol - when it’s done in moderation!
If your already an active and healthy individual, moderate drinking makes you 25% to 40% less likely to have a heart attack, stroke, or hardened arteries. Heavy drinking on the other hand will increase your risk of heart disease.
Other benefits of drinking alcohol include:
Better balanced blood sugar reducing the risk of type 2 diabetes
A boost in your sex life, leading too less stress and improved mood
A lower chance of suffering from kidney stones
Frequently asked questions
Are Muay Thai fighters fit?
Muay Thai fighters are extremely fit. Muay Thai is a high intensity sport which will boost your cardiovascular system. Muay Thai fighters will also run often to help ensure that they are boosting their fitness to improve their performance when they fight.
Will Muay Thai make me bulky?
Muay Thai is a very competitive sport, its training makes it one of the most intense and engaging workouts there is. Muay Thai combines strength and conditioning as well as cardiovascular endurance in their training, which makes it a great workout to remove excess fat and gain leaner muscle mass.
A person would typically burn 1000 calories in a training session, which would typically last for an hour or two. This means that Muay Thai should not make you bulky, but should help to loose weight and gain lean muscle.
Can you learn Muay Thai in 6 months?
The speed that you'll be able to progress your Muay Thai skills does depend on the commitment that you show to the sport. If you are consistently missing classes, not listening to your trainers and only being half committed to your training then you'll likely progress slowly and never really get good at Muay Thai.
Within 6-months of training you should have built a good foundation of skills however you will still be extremely early in your Muay Thai journey.
Is flexibility important for Muay Thai?
Flexibility is a major part of Muay Thai, improved flexibility will help you to kick quicker and more powerful. It'll also benefit you when your throwing head kicks.
Why not try Yoga to help increase your flexibility?
How much weight should I cut during fight week?
During your fight week weight cut, you shouldn't look to cut anymore than 10% of your body weight. To ensure your safety when cutting weight, we recommend not cutting anymore than 8% during fight week.
Ensure that you train hard and watch your diet during your fight camp to ensure that you don't leave too much weight to cut during fight week.
Although it's hard to know exactly how many fighters do drink alcohol during their fight camps, we know that many professional fighters do drink alcohol.
Our personal recommendations would be to avoid all forms of alcohol in the lead up to any fights.