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Have any of you found that you need to limit or cease alcohol consumption in order to remain competitive? I'm trying to put in more and more miles every week and eventually get into racing, but I love to drink my microbrews or wine on Saturday's which doesn't help much on my Sunday rides for obvious reasons, even raises my BP some. Just curious as to what changes you all have made in relation to alcohol and racing...none in 24 hours, 48 hours before a race....etc??
 

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Joemero said:
Have any of you found that you need to limit or cease alcohol consumption in order to remain competitive? I'm trying to put in more and more miles every week and eventually get into racing, but I love to drink my microbrews or wine on Saturday's which doesn't help much on my Sunday rides for obvious reasons, even raises my BP some. Just curious as to what changes you all have made in relation to alcohol and racing...none in 24 hours, 48 hours before a race....etc??
I would stop drinking sometimes if I wanted to get in really good shape. It never seemed to make any noticeable difference in my performance whether I had a drink or two most days or if I totally abstained.
 

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Oh yes.... Absolutely get blitzed the night before a race and be sure to have a good "eye opener" the morning of. Bloody Mary's are good. Be sure to get into the first break so when you projectile vomit everyone gets to enjoy it.
 

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We had a speaker come to my college during the season to talk to all the teams. He spoke about the effect of drugs on athletes and why we all should be as clean as possible. He was preachy but his points held really well.

Basically he told us that every time you get totally blitzed you are less of a man. The amount of testosterone in your body can decrease significantly. Stack on a few days of partying a week with major rippers on the weekend and you're running near empty after a while.

Less testosterone with muscle damage = less endurance, strength, and decreased ability to recoup.

He also told us if we're responsible and keep hydrated properly drinking casually won't hinder us too much. A few good brews ain't going to ruin our week or training.

Get shyt faced on Saturday and you entirely erase all gains you made that week..Last time I checked I don't like spending time training to throw it away.

I quit drinking my senior year of swimming and was dry the entire season. Was the best season ever and I seriously improved in everything.

So... I've always kinda thought about that and how worth that pitcher really is..
 

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ZoSoSwiM said:
He spoke about the effect of drugs on athletes and why we all should be as clean as possible...
Oh, the irony!

As to the original question, I assumed we were talking about sensible, healthy drinking not binge drinking.
 

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I've been drinking a glass of wine or beer with dinner for the past 15 yrs. I've abstained for different periods (days-months) with no noticeable performance degradation. I suspect my system is acclimated to moderate consumption so no ill effects. I've noticed it is a detriment the night after a big effort, significantly hindering recovery.
You don't appear to drink regularly so I would suspect the effect on you, esp if done the day before a race might be detrimental. Only one way to find your own tolerance limits.....
 

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A lot of fake hype. . .

Joemero said:
Have any of you found that you need to limit or cease alcohol consumption in order to remain competitive?
. . On this topic. Unfortunately, most of the work on this is applicable to body builders and not cyclist or endurance athletes. Even when I was a racer in the '90s I always had a few drinks a night without any consequence ( a couple of glasses of wine with dinner and a night cap). Not that this is a barometer, but in Pantani's biography it was common knowledge he was drinking quite heavily even up until he came in 14th at the Giro. Moreover, read about Jacques Anquetil, and you will read he was quite the party guy on his time.
 

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ZoSoSwiM said:
Get shyt faced on Saturday and you entirely erase all gains you made that week..Last time I checked I don't like spending time training to throw it away.
The other points make sense but this sounds a bit over exaggerated.
 

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Dwayne Barry said:
Oh, the irony!

As to the original question, I assumed we were talking about sensible, healthy drinking not binge drinking.
Not binge drinking, but how about drinking in moderation regularly.

I guess for starters, one should watch their BP in relation to alcohol consumption and cycling. Mine tends to go up if I had a (regular) bottle of red the night before.
 

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Here's an old (1982) position paper from the American College of Sports Medicine. It basically concludes that *acute* alcohol consumption may not improve endurance and could hinder it. Interestingly, there does not seem to be much evidence that having a few drinks impairs your cardio functioning (VO2 max, etc.).

So having a few drinks in the days leading up to a race may not hurt you, but it probably won't help you either.

In my exhaustive (10 minutes!) search, however, I wasn't able to find anything on the long-term effects of having a few drinks every now and then. That would be an interesting study, but difficult to conduct, I imagine.
 

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I'm simply restating what I was told by a professional speaker. Depending on the amount you drank and your body I'm willing to believe that erasing a weeks worth of training is possible by getting wasted.


Drinking here and there won't kill ya. Live life and be happy. I wouldn't drink before a race but I will once I cross the line. haha.
 

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I once went out on the piss with a couple of current ProTour team riders... one of whom lasted till nearly 4am after switching from beer to vodka at about 1am. He spent 15 laps on the front of the 17 lap circuit race the next day, which was the final stage of a major international tour.

I had a hangover from hell and even spectating was a struggle... I guess that's why those guys are the pros.
 

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You're missing the point completly. .

ZoSoSwiM said:
Depending on the amount you drank and your body I'm willing to believe that erasing a weeks worth of training is possible by getting wasted.
Total BS, as there as absolutely noting wrong at all with "responsible" moderate consumption which is two to three drinks a day (more if you are European). I'd be extremely surprised if many European pros have a coupe of glasses of wine with dinner. It's Americans who have this negative (prohibitionist?) view on alcohol consumption. You metabolize around 1oz per hour so unless your drinking for most of the night, I can't see harm in it.
 

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It depends what your goals are... depending on what category you race in, if you are competitive with them already, and dont necessarily want to cat up, all while having many drinks during the week, then go ahead. If you are crazy about getting faster and cat-ing up, you should be strict enough to not have any alcohol. Everything you eat/drink should be to help you get faster.

I'm in college and racing is not my life, just a lifestyle. With that lifestyle comes drinking. You'd be surprised that the majority of collegiate racers party/drink during race weekends.
 

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david462 said:
It depends what your goals are... depending on what category you race in, if you are competitive with them already, and dont necessarily want to cat up, all while having many drinks during the week, then go ahead. If you are crazy about getting faster and cat-ing up, you should be strict enough to not have any alcohol. Everything you eat/drink should be to help you get faster.

I'm in college and racing is not my life, just a lifestyle. With that lifestyle comes drinking. You'd be surprised that the majority of collegiate racers party/drink during race weekends.
Doesn't surprise ME! ;)
 

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Yes, ok. . .

david462 said:
If you are crazy about getting faster and cat-ing up, you should be strict enough to not have any alcohol. Everything you eat/drink should be to help you get faster.
When my name is on my bike and 100% of my now 105K income comes from cycling, I'll abstain. However, there is no correlation between alcohol and performance. And I don't mean getting hammered till you can't see.:thumbsup:
 

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Dose makes the poison

Joemero said:
I love to drink my microbrews or wine on Saturday's which doesn't help much on my Sunday rides for obvious reasons, even raises my BP some.
You are already answering your own question. If you're drinking enough on Saturday such that you feel it on Sunday, then you're probably drinking too much. That is not what "drinking moderately" looks/feels like. As others have noted, moderate drinking should not be an issue.
 
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