Q: Sometimes I like to have a glass or two of wine with dinner, a couple of hours before I go out and swim for 60 to 90 minutes. Is it bad for your health to have some alcohol in your system when exercising?--Larry
A: Douglas McKeag, director of the Indiana University Center for Sports Medicine and a spokesperson for the American College of Sports Medicine responds:
"No, it is not "bad" for your health to mildly imbibe pre-exercise. Some of the physiological effects of alcohol in moderation on the body are: dilation of the peripheral blood vessels (that warm feeling you experience) and relaxation of muscles. It stimulates the heart, but so does a warm-up before exercise. Alcohol, however, also has variable psychological effects depending on the "dose": initial arousal, then sedation and eventual inhibition of judgment. Self-determination of how much alcohol is too much has never worked in my experience, so my advice would be to limit your wine consumption to one glass pre-exercise."
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