How to make alcohol less bad?

This is worth a peek, published last week.

TLDR: >7 drinks per week increases heart disease risk. It’s exponential. n = 500,000.

1 Like

America Has a Drinking Problem A little alcohol can boost creativity and strengthen social ties. But there’s nothing moderate, or convivial, about the way many Americans drink today.

Coincidently this is the number one article at the Atlantic right now. Basic summation: The primary benefit of drinking alcohol comes from the creation of social bonds via moderate drinking. So never drink alone and drink beer/wine in moderate doses. Also, avoid hard liquor - that shit is poison (paraphrased slightly).

It would help if you did not drink on an empty stomach first. It is harmful to the pancreas and liver. Moreover, it leads to a sharp and strong intoxication with a complex hangover syndrome. You should also never mix alcoholic drinks. It will lead to the bad condition of the organism. Otherwise, you will have to learn the medical detox definition. Btw, alcohol is processed better when thyroid hormones are actively produced. Therefore, you need to snack on foods containing iodine. You will get rid of the headache in the morning by doing this. I hope you will be able to find a way out.

I read “A cardiovascular workout is probably not something that normally springs to mind in the middle of a hangover”
and thought that but it’s well worth a try, nothing to lose. So I did Starr King + 4 this morning.
The bad news is in confirming that bit of advice works for me I also confirm that at 54, 6 or 7 0.5L beers (4.8%) take me way too much to recover (Wed evening, to Sat morning, no way I was doing 0.095 IF on Thursday :scream:)
So I will swing with the lower volume per instance in post #1 and figure out the frequency, to match i think recovery week or something.


At 54 years old, 6 or 7 beers would knock me out for 6 or 7 days!

Good listening:

Alcohol is far worse for us than most believe. Zero is indeed better than any & beyond 2 drinks per week, negative health effects accumulate. There are ways to offset/reverse that. All that & more including hangovers & remedies on the Huberman Lab Podcast:

— Andrew D. Huberman, Ph.D. (@hubermanlab) September 30, 2022

Replace alcohol with cannabis.

Unless you’re smoking it, which is probably equally as bad or worse. Edibles, okay that’s one thing. But people acting like smoking weed is somehow good for you or not unhealthy is hilarious.


And another good listen from a podcast that came out this week:

Talks about alcohol research and the 4 Rs of recovery: refueling, rehydration, relaxing, and repair.


The current medical literature is moving towards really almost any volume of alcohol seems to have negative health effects. These are new proposed Canadian guidelines:

They also provide a nice summary of current medical literature which they are based on. Basically they suggest that any alcohol intake beyond 2 standard drinks a week (a large can of an IPA may be more than two standard drinks) has negative health effects. Even 3-6 drinks a week is associated with an increased risk of cancer.

In addition, more recent and better done studies have suggested that low dose alcohol does NOT actually decrease mortality or cardiovascular disease.

Mind you, the absolute risk of cancer from 4 standard drinks a week is quite low. Whether this is worth it for you is somewhat a personal decision. However, from a pure health perspective, the cutoff seems to be much lower than we used to think.

This is a separate question from alcohols impact on training, but this question has also come up in this thread.

1 Like

There are medical benefits to one of the substances mentioned in this thread. Actual combustion and inhalation of anything, probably, isn’t the best choice for over-all health. But, then again, trying to make alcohol, “less bad” - well I find that hilarious and offered a solution that I’ve seen work for others.

Thank you for linking the podcast! Very interesting.

1 Like

Per the OP, the best way to make it “less bad” is to consume smaller quantities of it, and/or consume it earlier in the day.

Edit: A performance expert at one of the name-brand sports wearable companies told me it’s more the sugar/calories than the alcohol that gets you.

So stick with vodka, whiskey and tequila and you’ll be just great. :smiley:


If you’re drinking equal amounts of alcohol then I would suspect beer is worse than vodka since you’re just adding a ton of empty carbs and calories on top of the alcohol.

1 Like

Just wanted to say that as someone who has almost always drank the equivalent of 2 bottles of wine per week. Consumed 20-25 units per week.

Since starting Trainerroad a month ago I made the decision to limit my alcohol intake to at the most 2 drinks per week. About a quarter of my previous intake.

I didn’t notice a great benefit at first and I did miss the regular intake as it was a habit I enjoyed to wind down in the evening, or even enjoy with my dinner.
However, within the last week I have noticed many changes and my recover has never been better. I’m 38 and it’s a fantastic feeling that my body recovers quicker than it used to. I feel ready to go each day, even on rest days.

I also don’t crave that evening drink anymore. Sometimes I think I want one but I then think of my workout the next day and where I want to be next spring and can go without.

Also saving me money!


Just having two beers in the evening raise my sleeping heartrate by 10-15 bpm for most of the night. It probably has a big impact on recovery.


I think the science of the impact of alcohol on resting heart rate in the short term is fairly settled - moderate consumption causes a rise overnight and return to normal the next day with the effects of heaving consumption lasting longer.

This is consistent with my N=1 experience as is the effect on quality of sleep, which seems to be proportional to the amount consumed.

I think what is less certain is the impact on recovery from moderate consumption. Again, my N=1 experience is that there is pretty clear perceived correlation.

I am not certain what the takeaway are other than less is better and none is best. Perhaps that alcohol consumption should be curtailed after harder efforts when recovery is important.

1 Like

I’d argue however that the effect of higher resting heart rate overnight on recovery and the effect of that on performance hasn’t really been quantified. Maybe I’m just a bit simplistic with this, but in all my years of drinking and riding the next day, I cannot say one time that my performance was poor because of a hangover. Occasionally I’ve skipped a workout, but also occasionally I’ve set PR’s the next day after a late night. I certainly wouldn’t recommend this as a sustainable approach, but after living with an Oura ring for 2 years, I find about zero correlation between my sleep metrics and ability to perform.

1 Like

Exactly, the tour pros would never go against science. Plus, the cigarette to open your lunges goes better with wine and helps fight the cold you get from being in air conditioning.


Reading through this thread I was reminded of the distinction between health and fitness that is sometimes discussed on the TR podcast. Could it be that, for those that can recover from a hangover in just one day, binge drinking once a week or twice a month may well be the way to achieve greater fitness but potentially at the expense of one’s long term health?

Incidentally, I recently did a bit of a detox/reset myself and found that drinking a wine glass of pomegranate juice with my dinner made it much easier to do psychologically. Something about that flavour profile really ticked all the boxes for me. Granted, a bottle of the stuff here is pretty much the same cost as a cheap bottle of wine, but I was also far less likely to drink the whole thing in one go!
Just my wee PSA to say if a reset is primarily about habit/routine then it might not be a bad idea to find a substitution - a bit like how smokers sometimes use boiled sweets / hard candy (or at least they did pre-gum and vape - not sure if that’s still a thing now!) N=1 YMMV