Are you proud of the muscles you’ve sculpted? Or looking forward to the ones you are about to create in the coming months?
Either way – it’s important to skip the alcohol to help gain & retain muscle… It can inhibit muscle gain!
It’s true. If muscle is an important part of your fitness goals then alcohol should take a back seat at your upcoming social events.
Why so? Below are 5 ways that alcohol can negatively affect muscle gain…
- Alcohol Increases Estrogen Levels & Decreases Testosterone Levels
For men, testosterone is one of the hormones that helps to build & maintain muscle.
Alcohol not only reduces these hormone levels but instead, it increases the production of estrogen, a hormone found most abundant in females.
Excess alcohol can even lead to gynecomastia (male breast enlargement – otherwise known as moobies)
Furthermore, alcohol has proven to lead to testicular atrophy, low sperm count & erectile dysfunction as well.
- Alcohol Reduces Protein Synthesis
To achieve muscle growth the body must have a positive balance of muscle protein.
If you are not consuming enough protein to fuel your exercise you may create a catabolic state in which you begin to lose muscle tissue.
Alcohol is another way to send the body into a catabolic state due to its high calorie content & the way that it disrupts the body’s natural processes – including protein synthesis.
Ultimately, you could be eating enough protein but then counteracting the affects by drinking too much alcohol & hindering your muscle growth or causing muscle breakdown!
- Alcohol Strips the Body of Vitamins & Minerals
Alcohol acts as a diuretic on the body.
This means that it promotes the increased excretion of vitamins & minerals.
When you consume too much alcohol, it tends to strip away a great deal of these important vitamins & minerals, specifically:
- Vitamin A
- B Complex
- Vitamin C
The more alcohol consumed, the more quickly the body is drained of these essential elements. As these levels bottom out there is not enough to help support muscle growth.
- Alcohol Creates Dehydration
This is one of the first symptoms you notice when you start drinking.
Because again – alcohol is a fast acting diuretic it can increase your body’s ability to dispose of water.
This means, that your body is quickly drained of water from all areas – including the muscles.
Keep in mind that your muscles are composed of 60-70% water so the more you drink, the more they will be affected!
When you do drink – remember to follow each alcoholic drink with some water to help balance your hydration.
Not only will you keep your body hydrated but you will also reduce your total alcoholic intake & reduce the chances of a nasty hangover!
- Alcohol Increases Fat Storage
We’ve all seen it. There’s even a nick-name for it: “beer belly” or “beer gut” is a term that developed for a reason – alcohol triggers fat production!
Alcohol contains around 7 calories for every gram – & the worst part is: these are empty calories, meaning that they have no nutritional value!
When we intake calories from alcohol they contain no nutritional value, the more you drink the more these empty calories can build up in unnatural looking ways – hence the ‘beer belly’!
When you are building muscle, the last thing you want to do is also encourage fat production – talk about confusing the body as to what you really want!
The Bottom Line…
If you are eating right & exercising well the last thing you want to do is diminish, reduce or completely undo all of your hard work & progress due to a few alcoholic drinks.
Instead, try to stick to water or use social events as a time to get your lemon & lime waters in which help to alkalinise your system (a good thing).
Being obsessive – take one of your protein drinks along & help support muscle growth even while you’re relaxing!
To Your Best Health,
ShapeTrainer Daniel Grant
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