For all the reasons that you don't run on the treadmill after drinking yourself silly, worrying about your performance shouldn't be among them.
Nine researchers at the Italian Federation of Cardiology have published a study that concludes even if you consume a lot of alcohol before you go running, there will be no impact on your exercise regimen.
According to this recent paper published in the Journal of Cardiovascular Medicine, your body doesn't feel any more burdened or exhausted if you run while you're drunk than it does if you're just sitting idle. To prove that exercise capacity isn't significantly affected, the researchers took 10 healthy white men, who were nonhabitual drinkers, for this pilot study and gave them three shots of whiskey. The next step was testing their run.
This was no regular treadmill session; they were made to run to their maximum heart rate. Once their metabolism and other biological signs were measured, they were brought in again within in a two- to four-day time period. The same 10 people were made to run to exhaustion again, this time without the whiskey. And voila! The difference in their performance was so minimal, it had to be discarded.
The researchers concluded: "Acute alcohol intake in healthy white men is associated with a non-significant exercise performance reduction and stress hormone stimulation, with an unchanged exercise metabolism."
Obviously, there are reasons other than performance, such as coordination, execution and unsteadiness, which keep athletes from working out while intoxicated. And some are obviously not impressed with this new finding. "I struggle to see the relevance, as very few people are going to exercise while under the influence of alcohol," Dr. Matthew Barnes of New Zealand’s Massey University told Outside magazine.