The Christmas party season is well underway and whilst it may be inevitable that you will consume a few extra units of alcohol over the festive period, the content you pour into your glass can have a prominent effect on your riding once you get back out on the road.

It is not a case of going completely teetotal and this shouldn’t have an impact on your enjoyment, as we all need some downtime from a season of hard training and racing.

However if you still want to count the calories over Christmas and enjoy a tipple or two there are a number of useful swaps that you can implement.

Top Alcohol Swap 1

A small glass of red wine (150kcals) instead of a mulled wine (245kcals) saves 95 calories

Top Alcohol Swap 2

A glass of champagne (95kcals) instead of a large Pinot Grigio (190kcals) saves 95 calories

Top Alcohol Swap 3

A cosmopolitan (99kcals) instead of a white Russian (400kcals) saves 301 calories

Top Alcohol Swap 4

A vodka with soda and lime (55kcals) instead of a vodka and cranberry (190kcals) saves 135 calories

Top Alcohol Swap 5

A small bottle of beer (135kcals) instead of a pint of cider (233kcals) saves 98 calories

Swapping double shots for singles and trading pints for small bottles will obviously reduce your calorie intake.

But it is not all about the calories when it comes to alcohol, as it can also restrict the body’s ability to access fat stores for energy as well as lower blood sugar.

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This can leave you body feeling hungry faster and lead to the temptation of unnecessary indulging in late night foods.

Research published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition reported that the body’s fat metabolism can be reduced by as much as 73 per cent in one hour after just two glasses of vodka and lemonade.

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As with most things, there are plus sides to consuming some alcoholic beverages, one of these comes in the form of red wine and its proven ability to reduce the risk of heart disease by up to 40 per cent.

This is done by increasing good cholesterol in the body and reducing blood problems that can lead to clogged arteries.

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Wine also contains high levels of flavonoids, which is an antioxidant compound that also helps with circulation.

However these benefits don’t automatically mean it is an excuse to drink copious amounts as these positives are consequently over run by the negatives after just two glasses.