Alcohol & Muscle Growth

Here Are 5 Reasons Why Alcohol Can Slow Your Muscle Gains

Can alcohol effect muscle growth? The answer is yes.

Hey, I like to drink myself sometimes. This is definitely not an anti-alcohol speech.

Drinking a lot of alcohol will definitely have an impact on your muscle building efforts. It won't stop you from gaining muscle, but it can keep you from building muscle fast.

If you’re serious about achieving a truly impressive physique, you should definitely be aware of the 5 main ways that alcohol can slow your muscle growth…

1) It affects protein synthesis.

Protein synthesis is the process where amino acids are joined together to form complete proteins. Excessive alcohol consumption can slow this process down by up to 20%.

Since your muscles are basically protein and water, you can see how this might be a problem!

2) It lowers testosterone levels and increases estrogen.

Testosterone is the most important muscle-building hormone in your body. One of the limiting factors that determines how much muscle a person can gain is their level of free-flowing testosterone.

There's more info here.

3) It causes dehydration.

Your kidneys have to filter very large amounts of water in order to break down the alcohol. This can cause severe dehydration within your body.

Water plays a crucial role in the muscle-building process.

Hydrated and even over hydrated muscles (like when you take creatine) allows for a much better anabolic environment. Because your cells aren't holding as much water, it becomes harder to build muscle.

Being even slightly dehydrated is a recipe for disaster. Your muscles are made up of 70% water.

4) It depletes your body of vitamins and minerals.

Alcohol consumption causes vitamins A, C, the B's, calcium, zinc and phosphorus to all be drained at fast rates.

Vitamins and minerals keep every little process in your body functioning properly. Many of these processes involve muscle growth and maintenance.

5) It increases fat storage.

With 7 empty calories per gram, alcohol can be quite fattening. Alcohol also disrupts the Krebs Cycle. The Krebs Cycle plays an important role in fat burning.

If you’re serious about building more muscle, you need to monitor your alcohol intake and make sure you consume it in moderation.

A few drinks here and there shouldn’t be a big problem, but if you find yourself drinking heavily during weekends there’s a good chance that you’re going to cripple your ability to build muscle.

When you go out and party,

  • drink plenty of water,
  • take in extra vitamins and minerals, and
  • have a protein rich meal.

It’s not necessary to revolve your whole life around your muscle building program. Just try to keep your drinking nights to a minimum. A couple of times a month is good enough, right?

When you do drink, nourish yourself beforehand to take away some of the damaging effects.

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