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Take the Guilt Out of Your Summer Cocktails

 

Your training is going well so far this year, your diet is on point, motivation is high, the gains are… gaining; now the weather’s glorious, you’ve found a little time to yourself, you’re feeling happy. It’s time to relax.

Pic: t-nation

You fancy a little drink or two; the perfect accompaniment to a successful week. The problem is, you can’t quite switch out of training mode. You’ve got the bug. That little niggle just keeps eating away at you; creating pangs of guilt with every wayward thought.

This is totally normal. Training can become a borderline obsession… OK, forget the borderline bit. As long as you don’t find yourself rocking back and forward, hugging an array of supplements while sniffing dumbbell collars, you’re doing fine. There are millions in your shoes. Wanting every aspect of your life to conform to your goals and dreams, is OK. In fact, it displays a level of determination and commitment that mere mortals can only ever hope to accomplish.

But… you’re only human. You still want that drink, but you need to feel OK too. You need to justify it and make it a part of the master plan. Well, it’s more than doable. Armed with knowledge, and a few clever tricks, you can enjoy a tipple, totally (well, almost) guilt free.

Let’s go…

The Facts

Training and diet are a science. Everything is a science. The modern world has tweaked even the tamest of hobbies into a fine science. Competitive science. We’ve never been armed with so much science right at our fingertips. Now for some science…

Pic: nutritionunlockedllc

Take a look at the table to the left. It’s time for a major myth to be smashed into oblivion.

Vodka is NOT calorie free. It may be carb free but smell those solvent, fattening, empty calories. Alcohol actually contains almost as many calories per gram as fat; almost double that of carbs and protein. So…

If a bottle of vodka is 40% alcohol by volume, one ounce shot of said vodka has, at minimum…

28 x 0.4 x 7 = 78.4 calories!

Every standard ounce measure of strong spirit you add to your drinks will add AT LEAST 78.4 calories to your intake. Bear that in mind. But, we’re here to take the guilt out of having an occasional fun drink, so this must be seen as an inevitable cost.

HOWEVER, alcohol is essentially a toxin, it isn’t going to do any system of your body any good at all, at least in high doses. SO, how much alcohol can you consume in one session without starting to wreak havoc on your body, not to mention those guilty pangs? Everyone is different. Body mass plays a large role, as does alcohol sensitivity, and a whole range of other factors. But, let’s say that over the course of a relaxing evening, you could consume SIX of these shots without putting your body into any real deficit. This is roughly the equivalent to THREE pints of standard strength (less than 5%) beer, or FIVE or SIX SMALL (5oz) GLASSES of table wine (under 12%).

Note. Even the intake above should NOT be a regular occurrence, training or no training. But, if you’re hell bent on celebrating something big… the best advice is just to get on with it! Fill your boots! A one-time celebration is great for stress relief.

If you go over this, you start throwing all sorts of body systems into disarray. Without going into it too deeply here (because we all want to get the drinks recipes fairly soon) your major problems will be.

  • Dehydration. Never good for recovery, and it can persist for days. Not good.
  • Total shutdown of testosterone production. Nightmare. No or low testosterone means no recovery and no gains. Again, it can persist for days.
  • Digestive issues. Lower nutrient absorption rates than usual due to aggravation of the gut lining.

Now, let’s not get into the amount of calories in beer. Beer is off the menu. Five or six glasses of wine? Headache central. Nope. We’re playing with the lower calorie spirits here.

Alcohol and the empty calories that go with it will deplete the body’s reserves of essential vitamins and minerals. Beginning your morning after with Sheer Total is the perfect way to begin recovery and give your body the helping hand it needs.

The Drinks

Pic: melbournecocktails.com

We’re there, we made it. Let’s go. Lots of tasty, guilt-free (and arguably even healthy) recipes and tasty-looking pictures!

Hard Green Iced Tea

Green tea is something of a ‘superfood’. Its antioxidant properties are well known, as well as its ability to boost the metabolism and burn body fat. In fact, you will find a purified extract of green tea, alongside many other potent ingredients, in Sheer Shred, our platinum series fat burner.

Ingredients

  • Green tea bag (Try different flavors for variety)
  • 1.5 oz tequila
  • 3.5 oz cucumber juice
  • Squeeze of lemon juice

There’s a little prep necessary for this one. Infuse the tea bag in the tequila for about half an hour to release the flavor and goodness, before giving it a gentle squeeze and tossing it aside. Now just add the remaining ingredients over ice, with a lemon and/or lime garnish. Voila.

Red Wine Spritzer

Pic: foodnetwork

Here’s a recipe that will also leave you with a healthy snack at the end.

A little red wine is good for you. That is virtually an indisputable fact nowadays. By a ‘little’ this means the occasional 5oz glass of low strength table wine, without too many nasty additives. The specific antioxidants in red wine have been shown to regulate fats within the blood, and specifically, it lowers bad cholesterol.

This refreshing recipe gives red wine a little fizz and extra flavor… and it’s not just for the girls.

Ingredients

  • 4-5 oz red wine
  • A small handful of mixed berries. Blackberries and raspberries are perfect.
  • Sparkling water

Add the wine and berries to a glass and leave for at least 10 minutes. You may stir and gently muddle occasionally to release the flavors. Top up with sparkling water and add ice if you wish. Keep a spoon handy for the vitamin-filled berries in the bottom.

Remember, alcohol causes dehydration. Drinking water between drinks, and knocking back a large glass of H2O before you hit the sack helps you rehydrate. It’s also a good idea to keep another glass by your bed.

Old Favorites Turned Good?

Pic: healthyfoodhouse

Standard, old favorite cocktails are generally packed with sugar syrups, and other sweet and calorie filled additives.

But do they have to be?

Take the standard mojito for example (right). The recipe for one glass is…

  • White rum
  • Lime juice
  • A few sprigs of mint
  • 2 teaspoons of sugar
  • Soda water

Isn’t white rum, lime juice and mint sweet enough. Assuming you’re used to unsweetened foods anyway, why not try it without the sugar?

Go for it. Mix it up. Knock out the empty calorie sugars and see how those old favorites go. What you got to lose?

Eating before and with alcohol is a great way to ease the stress alcohol can cause to the digestive system, as well as slowing its release into the bloodstream. A small bowl of mixed, unsalted nuts will also provide some great, muscle building protein and good fats.

Alcoholic Smoothie

Pic: yummly

Speaking of mixing food and drink… here’s a great idea. One to start out the night.

As a reminder, drinking heavily blitzed, pure fruit smoothies all the time, is not good for you. Yeah yeah, it may be all the rage right now, but it’s a fallacy. When you blend fruit, you end up with a glass of sugars. If these sugars constantly hit your bloodstream at once, you’re in the ballpark for a fat tummy and possible diabetes.

Add more complex foods, such as milk and oats to your smoothies to slow the absorption of the fruit sugars. Also, don’t pulverize them to a watery death, leave the fruit a bit chunky.

Now, from telling you about how bad drinking too many smoothies is for you… to telling you to add booze to them. Go for it. How about…

  • Mixed berries
  • Banana
  • Milk
  • VODKA

Some Other Ideas…

Let’s finish with some rapid fire, super tasty, low calorie drinks ideas.

Look left, that’s vanilla vodka and diet ginger ale. 80 calories for a single, 160 for a double. Not too shabby. Pour over ice and finish off with a lemon, lime or orange garnish.

How about a simple vodka, or rum, and soda water? Add a squeeze of lime. Why not?

Now for a hard, but soft sounding drink. The Manhattan. Bourbon, vermouth, bitters. You’re looking at about 150 calories.

Fancy something different? Bloody Mary. Vodka, tomato juice, horseradish, Worcestershire sauce, Tabasco, celery, salt, and pepper. A little fire in your belly, and the odd vitamin too.

As previously mentioned, alcohol can lower or even temporarily stop, testosterone production. Taking a testosterone boosting supplement will go a long way to remedying this effect. Sheer Alpha+ is jammed with potent ingredients helping your body increase testosterone production. Without the big T, you have no muscle. It’s as simple as that.

 

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