Does getting fit and focusing on one's fitness mean completely eliminating the consumption of alcohol? We'll let you decide that but there is no doubt that alcohol has an impact on muscle growth.
Alcohol is shown to reduce metabolism and decrease our ability to burn fat. This is partly due to how our body responds differently to alcohol than eating real food. Alcohol is 7 calories per gram but rather than these calories being utilized for energy, they are metabolized to support fat production/storage pathways, which is typically in contrast with body composition goals. Alcohol is also considered a diuretic, leading to dehydration if not properly combated. Dehydration could potentially lead to stalled muscle growth, possible muscle mass breakdown, increased risk of injury, and impaired exercise performance
Our body sees alcohol as a toxin and not a nutrient so we’re unable to store alcohol calories in the same way as food calories.
Studies have also shown that alcohol decreases testosterone levels and increases estrogen levels which translates to a compromised protein synthesis. In other words, alcohol reduces the rate of cells make protein.
Let this information be a consideration when deciding on whether to enjoy that cocktail or IPA. If you've had a hard training day, your muscles will be in a greater state of recovery and rebuilding, we suggest avoiding alcohol to give your muscles the most protein absorption possible. But enjoying your favorite adult beverages, while focusing on your fitness goals, can still be enjoyed in moderation and, of course, responsibly.
Until next time! Ignite your life and we'll see you in the gym!