The Buzz and the Burn

Starting An Exercise Routine:
Drugs, Alcohol And Physical Fitness

The experts have spoken, so, let’s break it all down. If you’re chugging as many beers as you are protein shakes, chances are your workout program is taking a significant hit. The fact that alcohol is detrimental to the pursuit of any serious fitness endeavors isn’t exactly a major shock, but it doesn’t seem to bother the 83 percent of college students that drink either.
As a member of Quinnipiac’s chapter of the Sigep fraternity, which stresses physical fitness, as well as having a good time, T.J. Coleman is used to juggling both worlds. Even he, however, sometimes drops a ball.
“It’s not impossible, but it’s very tough to get into the gym when you’re hung over,” Coleman said. “You feel like you have to throw up while you’re lifting. It’s one of the worst feelings in the world.”
Coleman advises against working out after a rough night of drinking. “If you’re not mentally and physically ready for it, you can hurt yourself.”
Sigep brothers are required to dedicate time to the gym and track their progress. They also take three fitness tests that include a timed two mile run, pushups, situps, pullups, and wallsits.
“It’s really about benchmarking and seeing how you can make improvements,” Coleman said.
In addition to racking up unwanted calories, drinking can stop you from bulking up too. Alcohol slows the release of a growth hormone, and lowers your level of tetosterone, both of which are essential for muscle building. Your body also uses energy during muscle recovery, but the removal of alcohol from your system expends this energy.
So how do students like Coleman balance the two lifestyles?
“Honestly, it’s a per person situation,” he said. “It’s college, so let’s be real, most people are gonna be drinking. If you can handle that responsibility in moderation, it shouldn’t conflict.”
For Coleman, who devotes time to classes and Sigep, in addition to the gym, drinking is usually only a weekend activity.
“It’s kind of like a reward for putting in the work you need to do 5-7 days a week,” Coleman said. “It’s really all about moderation.”

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