Effects of Alcohol on Muscle Growth and Building

If you are serious about body building or sport and want to get the maximised benefits of working out, you generally don’t want to drink.  Consuming alcohol slows down protein synthesis, and therefore your body is not as efficient to build muscle. Essentially you are putting a toxin in your body and therefore you liver has to work to break it down.  Also, alcohol is empty calories, with approximately 7 calories per gram, in which these calories have no benefit to the body.

There are studies out there that suggest that wine can be beneficial to our health, but not in the perceived method of most.  Some studies show that drinking wine is good for your health; however, this is due to our lifestyles, because of stress, external factors etc, where alcohol provides an escape from work/school/all these other things.  In a perfect world, where we don’t have these external factors, alcohol is therefore still a toxin, so again still not good.  But stress relief through drinking small moderations can be good as demonstrated by studies.

If you do drink, it is the decisions that follow which is where the problems lie, eating bad food, poor sleeping pattern etc.  You don’t want to drink too much, so that the next day you don’t want to go and work out.  Although, the effects are not going to be the difference between you having a six pack, and not, from going out on a Saturday and having a few beers.  It’s not going to be the rate limiting factor, so it’s not a terrible thing to drink, just don’t drink excessive amounts where you go crazy.  If it’s controlled and it’s not an everyday thing, it’s not the best thing for you, but if it relives stress and helps you, then it’s not going to be the limiting factor.  If you only have one or two glasses of wine or so (red wine being better for you).

Another point to bear in mind, alcohol has a diuretic effect (elevates the rate of urination), so if you have water with alcohol, it will help combat this diuretic affect, also helping throughout the night to not drink as much.  Your stomach will have more volume, and will slow down your ability to drink as much.  Some studies also show that eating and drinking is not so good, or on an empty stomach.  Alcohol is metabolised at a constant rate, relative to tolerance, body weight.

Concluding, just don’t go mad with the drinking where you’re on another planet, just a few is fine.  Start the next day fresh, have a good breakfast and hydrate.  But do not get drunk everyday, that will hinder muscle growth!  Note that the older you get, your endocrine system cannot recover as efficiently and everything is generally weaker or slower, so you should take more care the older you are.

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