I have stopped drinking alcohol about 4-5 years ago. I never was a heavy drinker, but I would occasionally indulge in a few drinks (beer mostly) at parties. After this many years in which I probably had a maximum 1 beer, I don’t miss alcohol at all. On the contrary, when I drink I feel nauseated and my head hurts right away. So now I can’t even approach alcohol anymore. I know a lot of people who still drink a lot having skin rashes and other health issues and I am sure alcohol is toxic for anyone. I have also written an article to promote why alcohol is bad for humans, if you would like to read it, I would be super-happy: Is Alcohol Bad for You? Yes and Here's Why - 9Pedia.com Thanks and stay sober, guys!
Update on my status. Stopped drinking 6 months ago. I previously noted in this thread that my recovery was the biggest noticeable difference. I feel recovered quickly now. Can ride more as a result. Only thing holding me back from more are long work hours and family commitments; 3 small children.
Here’s the update. Went from a previous FTP PR of 240 over a few TR years to 256 today. This is at the end of SSB1/SSB2. Did Medium volume SSB1, and did low volume SSB2 with two added endurance sessions from M-F, and I add 1 x 3.5ish hour outdoor ride on Saturday. 5-6 rides a week.
Thought I’d share my little story. I’m not a drinker, not since my 20s really (I’m now 40). Since having kids and getting on the training wagon in my early 30s I hardly drink at all. I guess that depends on perspective really! I’d say my weekly average is 1-2 drinks on a Friday night and maybe 1-2 on a Saturday night with the occasional 1 on a Sunday. During the week Mon-Thursday I don’t have any.
Anyway, I got the Brewdog advent calendar this year. Thought I’d have a beer a night leading up to xmas but after 11 days, I felt like poop! I’ve been failing or dialling down workouts for the last 2 weeks, figured I was just a bit weak and hadnt been training enough and work stress etc etc. Also, my Garmin body battery was super low but I thought it was a glitch or something. So I decided to stop again.
Last night I drank nothing, I got 7.5 hours sleep, I got up and smashed my workout (Ansel Adams -2 consists of 6x6-minute sets of 50/50’s where you’ll spend 50 seconds at 130% FTP followed by 50 seconds at recovery watts.) on nothing but a quick espresso. My body battery went up to the highest its been in 2 weeks overnight and I feel epic.
Alcohol is the DEVIL
I’ve spent the majority of my adult life on the alcohol roller coaster. During that time I became a husband, father of two, had success in my career and in my athletic pursuits.
I’ve been sober for over 6 months now and the impact has been felt in all aspects of my life.
The most drastic change was the paradigm shift of no longer centering my life around a 2-3 hour “drinking window” every evening. The paradigm that my daily drinking habit put me in felt like being on a hamster wheel. Getting to that magical hour in the day where I could put a drink in my hand dulled my long term outlook. I didn’t realize how much it was affecting my ability to evolve as a person, husband, father, employee, etc.
As far as cycling related benefits:
- I sleep much better, thus I recover much better. I am able to ride more frequently with more intensity and have seen my fitness skyrocket.
- I am more present mentally. I don’t have to deal with the mental effect of feeling physically depleted by the prior nights drinking which leaves more mental bandwidth for the workout at hand.
- I’ve lost a fair amount of weight by doing nothing more than riding more and not consuming alcohol.
- I’ve realized that when I was drinking, my mindset towards cycling was to “prove” that I could drink an excessive amount of alcohol every night and still be a cyclist. Riding wasn’t enjoyable as much as it was a way to make up for the abuse that I was putting my body through by dumping alcohol into it every night. Since I stopped drinking I’ve found that my enjoyment of cycling has skyrocketed.
Your comment about focusing on the window every evening to have a drink resonates with me. I’ve also given up alcohol for the exact same reasons you listed. I’m very happy to say that physically it was nothing, but as a habit of “this is what I do in the evenings” it was a little harder to shake, but not earth shatteringly hard. Although…heading out to the garage to work on bikes still feels weird without a beer, lol.
I’m now just at the point where I want to hit a goal weight before having another drink, but then what? I’m historically an all-or-nothing type of personality, and although I do miss a bit of the social aspect, I don’t want to go back to where I was before I stopped. I guess we’ll just see.
Indeed, it’s a very good insight - I didn’t fully realize it until I stopped drinking.
You find what you needed?
There’s another thread about reaching 4.0 watts/kg in your 40’s (which is most certainly attainable, even in your 50’s).
As a 50 year old, and having used TR for almost 8 years, I can without a doubt say that alcohol use will hamper my fitness gains. Most certainly, it will derail a middle aged athlete’s goal of reaching 4.0 watts/kg.
As a non drinker for approx 4-5 years, I’m in the best shape of my life, mentally and physically.
Stopped drinking around 3 years ago. If you are looking for a great NA Sam Adams Just the Haze is rather good.
I’m stopping alcohol again, at least until my Ironman (~100 days from today).
From my experience, the difference is huge - mostly on the recovery side, but that changes everything.
In 2021 I was preparing for Nice Ironman - needed to give up after the date change (Covid restrictions). I didn’t drink at all during ~3 months. I was feeling very well rested, even the days after long and hard sessions.
This year, I’m doing similar (just a bit lower) volumes of training, but didn’t stop alcohol - while I do progress, I feel tired quite often and hence train at lower intensity that I feel I could (as compared to 2021).
Will report the results at the end of the period.
Alcohol definitely messes up my sleep and therefore messes up my recovery. This is probably a bigger problem for 50+ athletes than for 20 and 30 year old athletes.
I have also given up alcohol altogether and feel very good about it. My friend also refused as it had a very bad effect on him and now he has ED. The doctor prescribed him treatment, including Generic Cialis . He already has progress, but I think that alcohol is not worth it.
Good thread this! I noticed my units increasing over the summer and my recovery for subsequent workouts struggling. I used Stoptober to reduce consumption and into late Nov sticking with it. Recovery is better, sleep is better and noticing body composition improvements. I do however believe in everything in moderation and with Xmas approaching I’m sure I’ll have a festive tipple, but mentally I’m sure I won’t be drinking to excess as I progress into my 40’s!
My favorite thread. I have been going strong since November 1 and just sleep alone is amazing not having a couple beers in the evening. Sure is tough not to stop in the local breweries while out and about town though!
I’m going to have to try out some of these non-alcoholic beers. I’m laying off the brew as well this season, but it sure would be nice to have a cold one to pretend with.