5 Reasons Why Alcohol Will Destroy Your Muscle Gains
06-16-2006 12:31 PM
5 Reasons Why Alcohol Will Destroy Your Muscle Gains
I receive emails every single day from aspiring muscle-builders all over the world, and one of the most common questions I’m asked is “does drinking really affect the muscle growth process?” I’m sorry to say it, but yes, too much alcohol will almost definitely have a significant negative impact on your muscle-building results. Alcohol is far more harmful than most people think, and it’s very important that you understand how this drug (yes, alcohol is a drug) is affecting your progress. This is not an anti-drug speech, but if you’re serious about achieving a truly impressive physique, you should definitely be aware of the 5 main ways that alcohol is slowing down your gains…
1) It negatively affects protein synthesis.
Protein synthesis is the process where amino acids are joined together to form complete proteins. Excessive alcohol consumption slows this process down by up to 20%, and since your muscles are made up of protein, you can see how this is 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.
3) It causes dehydration.
The kidneys must filter very large amounts of water in order to break down the alcohol, and this can result in severe dehydration within the body. Water plays an absolutely crucial role in the muscle-building process, and being even slightly dehydrated is a recipe for disaster. The muscles alone are comprised of 70% water.
4) It depletes the body of vitamins and minerals.
Alcohol consumption causes vitamins A, C, the B's, calcium, zinc and phosphorus to all be drained at rapid rates. Vitamins and minerals keep every little process in your body functioning properly, and many of these processes involve muscle growth and maintenance.
5) It increases fat storage.
With 7 empty calories per gram, alcohol can actually be quite fattening. Alcohol also disrupts the Kreb’s Cycle, which plays an important role in fat burning.
It’s important to have fun in life, but too much fun can lead to problems. If you’re serious about achieving significant muscle-building results, you definitely need to monitor your intake of alcohol and make sure that you are consuming it in moderation. A few drinks here and there shouldn’t be a problem, but if you find yourself drinking every weekend you can almost certainly kiss your muscle gains goodbye.
If you do decide to go out and party, make sure to drink plenty of water and to properly nourish yourself with vitamins/minerals and a protein rich meal.
I don’t recommend revolving your entire life around your muscle-building program, so don’t be afraid to go out and have a good time once in a while. Just make sure to keep your drinking nights infrequent (no more than once a month) and properly nourish yourself to lessen its effects. As long as you monitor what you’re doing you can achieve an impressive physique and have a social life at the same time.
06-17-2006 08:23 AM
06-17-2006 08:34 AM
Great post JJ. I was thinking of having a few beers today.... maybe not thanks for ruining my weekend you bastach
06-17-2006 09:03 AM
There goes my wine and cheese for the weekend.......damn
06-17-2006 11:19 AM
JJ, can you please reference or link all your articles. Im not saying that these may indeed be true, but there's no telling where this came from. Thanks.
06-17-2006 11:26 AM
Originally Posted by idunk42
Yes sir I would like to read more about it... I love my long island iced teas!!!!
06-17-2006 01:32 PM
If you're interested, Par Deus wrote a good two part piece on alcohol consumption - he cites claims with research diligently. You can find his writing on his company's website's online magazine.
Last edited by akp2004; 06-17-2006 at 01:51 PM.
06-17-2006 02:27 PM
06-17-2006 03:16 PM
Yes, what I liked about his articles is that he does give information about the studies that give details and context - good point. I recommend you actually read part 1 and part 2 off of mind and muscle, they are originally posted in 2001.
Originally Posted by newequation
For example, in some instances some effects were present with low doses, single exposures, some were happening with chronic, or high dosings.
Bottom Line: I dont recommend drinking and bodybuilding as a regular activity... Certainly after reading these articles and also just watching my own life and how it has affected me when I drank and when I abstained for long periods, I highly recommend eliminating alcohol if you're serious about bodybuilding.. as an older adult now, I also think if you're worried about having a glass of nice cabernet at a nice celebration dinner or having a glass of champagne with your wife or girlfriend to toast a big day or event, you are probably not going to screw yourself up too bad if it's a once in awhile thing.
As soon as you're talking binge drinking and daily high consumption, bordering on alcoholic drinking, then it's a totally different story... and you have bigger problems than just limiting your gym gains!
Be smart, live in moderation, and you'll probably be ok.
As with jjohn's post, and I appreciate his position and intent, if you have great goals for your body, and your body needs to be running at 100%, then regular or maybe even moderate alcohol use is probably not a good mix. I think the science backs that up. But read for yourself... I also think since the articles were posted in 2001, it'd be nice if someone much smarter than me, could review the current lit, and maybe we could update some of the findings in a sticky - I agree with jjohn, with our readership on Am.com and the other boards, there are plenty of guys in the heavy drinking years (18-25), and having accurate info backed by science is a good thing.
Moreover, I think with all of the people using potentially livertoxic stuff such as the superdrols and pheraplexes and methyls, this kind of information is even more critical. And we don't even know what combo effect is, when people are taking all sort of grey market and other types of hormone modulating supps. My recommendation would be if you're manipulating your chemistry with lots of supps, a prudent man would severely limit or eliminate use of a powerful macronutrient like ethanol/alcohol. maybe I'm overcautious, but harm reduction is a good approach to living life, combined with moderation.
Ok, off soapbox now... I dont mean to be preachy, just want to look out for my fellow bro's.
06-17-2006 05:17 PM
For the people that asked where I got it: I will post the author and info for the next batch If some articles you saw earlier interest you and you want to find it, put in "a exact sentence" and google it. you will find it for sure
07-23-2006 05:11 PM
Originally Posted by delta314
07-23-2006 05:48 PM
Solid post. I have heard of all of those things at one point of time or another, but it was good to see them all layed out in a little more detail.
07-23-2006 06:02 PM
Yeah, I never drink, except if I need a good buzz to relax, which has rarely happened...
07-26-2006 01:57 PM
good post. I share this info with non bodybuilders and they think I'm full of it. these five reasons helped me make the decison to curb my drinking. so did getting married, having kids, pissing everyone off...
07-26-2006 04:45 PM
Ha ha.....that sounds like me...except for the kids part...if that happens anytime soon it would probably be b/c I WAS drinking.
Originally Posted by wastedwhiteboy2
07-26-2006 06:02 PM
I guess most people like to drink once in a while, but I dont. Really, because of my gains would be destroyed. Got the proof. But I know that it wouldn't make a big difference anyways to drink once a month or so..
07-26-2006 06:44 PM
:::6'4 240lbs EndoMorph:::
I am the same exact way. I've never really been into drinking alcohol and don't plan on starting anytime soon. IMO it's a waste of money. I know alot of people at my current and old gyms who wonder why they can't make the gains they want to, but on the weekends, they drink a prodigious amout of alcohol to the point where they don't know what happened last night. On a funny note, guy at my job asked me if it was okay to take creatine with beer. It was funny as hell, but I just mentioned to him that alcohol has a negative effect on protein synthesis. He didn't believe me but oh well, it pays off to read and inform yourself.
Originally Posted by jjohn
07-26-2006 07:35 PM
Yeah. I guess that reading is the best way to increase your knowledge. As for the money, I probably spend as much on supplements as a guy who takes regular beers. And creatine with beer would counteract together. Alcohol dehydrates, and creatine super hydrates the muscles, so you can lift heavier volume, and therefore stimulate growth. So no, it's not okay to take beer with creatine, and probably not a very good idea if the guy is serious..
Originally Posted by Achilles13
07-26-2006 10:30 PM
I'm not trying to be a ****, but you really need to cite at least the author (and preferably the source itself, be it a website, magazine, etc) when you post articles. It makes the information more authoritative (if it comes from an authoritative source). It also takes away from someone trying to say you plagurized the material (I am NOT accusing you of this, since you readily admit it is not your own work).
Originally Posted by jjohn
It's copyright infringement either way, but one can make a better claim for fair use if the author and source are correctly cited.
07-27-2006 04:10 PM
I know. It's been awhile since this has been originally posted. I don't really post articles anymore. I did one in the past 2 weeks which I found was really worth sharing.
Originally Posted by jrkarp
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