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Bodybuilder’s Simple Rule To Balance Alcohol, Social Life & Fitness

As a fitness influencer, Mike Thurston’s physique is very much his livelihood. He’s gained one million Instagram followers from sharing his training, recipes, eating patterns and supplement routines. He’s incredibly committed to his work and lifestyle, but if there’s one thing that knocks him off track, it’s alcohol.

Mike spends a lot of time moving between glamourous locations, whether living it large in Dubai or chilling in Europe’s hot spots, so the temptation of drinking is never too far away. In a recent post on his YouTube channel, he reflected on his relationship with alcohol and its many downsides and offered some advice for his followers. Here’s what he had to say.


Thoughts on alcohol

Over the last six months, Mike has been to some of the party capitals of the world. He spent time in Ibiza, Bali, Saint-Tropez and Mallorca. The list goes on. But with his feet back on home turf, he set some goals for the future and put a plan in place to reach those goals. And he realised that alcohol keeps knocking him back.

The first reason Mike gives is the dreaded hangover. The headache, fatigue, sickness in the pit of your stomach the morning after the night before. It’s a feeling familiar to many of us. The older he gets, the more he suffers. Not just the next day, but for two to three days after drinking.

The occasional hangover is manageable, but Mike has a physique to maintain, and the after-effects of drinking make this challenging.

Mike’s second reason: sleep. After a night of drinking, sleep duration and quality are affected. Paired with a hangover, this is a recipe for disaster for Mike’s training.


Why drink?

Considering the many negatives of drinking, Mike asked himself “why drink in the first place?” Because everyone else is drinking. Having been a social drinker for several years, he’s never really questioned his motives when drinking with friends. But Mike asked himself: “should I do something simply because everyone else is doing it?” And the answer was no.


Current approach to alcohol

There are generally two main reasons why Mike would go to a social event or a party. The first is to celebrate, and the second is to network. To keep things simple, Mike set himself two rules for going out…


Rule one:

Now Mike decides if he’s going to drink before he sets off to a social event. After he makes his decision, nothing will change his mind, no matter what everyone else is doing.


Rule two:

If he drinks at an event, he limits himself to two drinks. For Mike, that’s the amount he’s comfortable with, knowing it won’t affect his sleep and training programme.

There are rare occasions when he drinks more than this, but they’re few and far between. And when they happen, he makes sure he has no plans the next day.


General advice

While your alcohol consumption habits are a matter of personal choice, Mike says that if you’re serious about your physique, you should cut out alcohol as much as possible.

He also advises that you shouldn’t let people dictate how much you drink. Just because the people you’re with drink more than you, it doesn’t mean you must do the same. If you want only a few drinks and an early night, good for you. Equally, it’s fine if you want to enjoy yourself and stay out a little longer.


Take home message

Mike’s focus is his physique, work and lifestyle, and he doesn’t want to let anything get in the way of it. Alcohol too often used to knock him off track, but after reflection and setting some rules, he now has a renewed relationship with it.

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Emily Wilcock

Emily Wilcock

Writer and expert

Emily is studying Business Management & Marketing at the University of Birmingham and is currently on her intern year. She has a keen interest in both writing and fitness, so is happy she can now combine the two. She likes to spend time with her friends, both in & out of the gym.