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Can alcohol ever fit into the recovery diet?

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Can alcohol ever fit into the recovery diet?

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According to Australian sports nutritionist Louise Burke, Ph.D., the answer varies. Burke researched the effect of alcohol (vodka) on glycogen replacement. She compared three recovery diets: carbohydrates only, vodka only, or carbs plus vodka. The bottom line: alcohol itself does not convert into glycogen, so it is a poor choice for a recovery fluid. But alcohol itself does not impair glycogen storage, as long as adequate carbohydrates are available. Burke stressed the importance of eating while drinking. Athletes who fail to consume enough carbs while drinking alcohol, plus fail to get up for breakfast the next morning have two strikes against them. Add alcohol’s diuretic effect and you’ve done yourself in for the day! Nancy Clark, MS, RD specializes in nutrition for exercise. She counsels clients at Boston-area’s SportsMedicine Brookline. Her popular book, Nancy Clark’s Sports Nutrition Guidebook, 2nd Edition is available by sending $20 to Sports Nutrition Services, 830 Boylston St.

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