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Combination of alcohol and physical exercise deserves attention

Combination of alcohol and physical exercise deserves attention

There were not many situations I noticed athletes gather after the tests to consume alcoholic beverages, especially beer, to cool down and also rehydrate. However, the reality is that alcohol inhibits the release of the antidiuretic hormone (or vasopressin), resulting in decreased reabsorption of water by the kidneys and, consequently, increased urine production - which, unlike what these athletes believe, can

Many people ask me about the possible (negative or positive) consequences of alcoholic beverages after physical exercise.

Some studies point out that, even in small amounts, alcohol can potentiate the severity of muscle losses for athletes who suffered muscle injuries. However, other researchers have found that this substance can act directly in the production of the body's main energy reserve (found primarily in muscles), glycogen - which could be beneficial for athletes.

It is also known that high intensity exercises , such as marathons, significantly increase the incidence of inflammation and immune dysfunctions and that some naturally occurring substances with potent antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties, known as polyphenols, are present in significant amounts in the non-alcoholic components of beer. A study recently published in the journal Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise evaluated the role of non-alcoholic beer in reducing the acute inflammatory process and the incidence of upper respiratory tract diseases in marathon runners. alcohol inhibits the release of the antidiuretic hormone, resulting in decreased reabsorption of water by the kidneys and consequently increased urine production - which can lead to dehydration. "

The study involved more than 200 athletes enrolled in the study. They were separated into two groups with similar characteristics (age, health conditions, among other factors), all of which ingested 1 to 1.5 liters of non-alcoholic beer per day, three weeks before and one week after the race. The only difference was that the participants in one group (group A) ate beer without normal alcohol and the other group (group B) ingested practically the same drink, but without the presence of polyphenols.

Before and after the test were blood samples were collected to evaluate the concentrations of interleukin 6 (IL6) protein and leukocytes (or white blood cells, which are part of the immune system), both of which in high amounts represent an inflammatory alert. In addition, the runners answered a questionnaire to assess the degree of discomfort in the upper respiratory tract (composed of nose, mouth, pharynx, larynx and trachea).

The results indicated that group A (non-alcoholic beer consumption) presented after testing, lower concentrations of IL6, blood leukocytes and fewer respiratory discomforts compared to group B (non-alcoholic beer and without polyphenols). In addition, 12 days after the marathon, no group A runner presented any clinically relevant discomfort, unlike group B.

These results suggest that the polyphenols present in beer act in the protection and recovery of inflammatory processes in individuals submitted to intense long-term exercise. However, it is important to emphasize that there was no difference in the time of conclusion of the test between the two groups, suggesting that although polyphenols are efficient in combating inflammatory processes, they do not improve physical performance. participants in this study ingested a large daily amount of the drink in a very long period. In view of this, new work should be done to verify if there is a cause and effect relationship between small doses and the recovery of inflammatory processes caused by exercise.

Furthermore, I can not emphasize that alcoholic beverages have properties inflammatory, which impair the availability of nutrients and may decrease the secretion of growth hormone. Thus, the results of this study probably would not be the same with drinking alcohol.


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