Thinking of enjoying a drink after working out? Maybe having one as part of your cheat meal on your fat loss diet? Consider thinking again.
When it comes to alcohol it is – in most cases – detrimental to performance, fat loss, and health.
ALCOHOL: THAT GUY WHO CUTS IN LINE IN FRONT OF EVERYONE
Alcohol can’t be stored. Unlike proteins, carbohydrates, and fats which the body can place in muscle or fat cells, alcohol has to be dealt with immediately. If you think of your body as a busy store with proteins, carbohydrates, and fats waiting their respective turns, alcohol is the jerk who comes in and cuts in line and makes everyone else wait for him to finish what he needs to do.
WHAT’S THE PROBLEM WITH THAT?
Why is that bad? Well if we think about it, that means fat can’t be moved out to be burned as energy. Were you trying to lean out and lose body fat? Well that is now placed on hold while your body gets the alcohol dealt with.
What if your goal is to gain muscle or recover from your workout? Those proteins that you ingested post-workout have to wait their turn now because alcohol must be metabolized before other bodily functions can resume. This translates to slowed recovery and muscle gain from workouts. Why slow your progress in the gym for a few drinks?
Then there’s the estrogenic effects. Studies show that as the volume of alcohol intake increases, so does aromatization. Aromatization is the process of testosterone conversion into estrogen. If you know testosterone’s role on health, recovery, muscle mass, sex drive, and mood, you know that you don’t want your testosterone being converted into estrogen. Unless you enjoy man-boobs and bra shopping, you’ll want to limit aromatization.
Slowed recovery, fat loss, and aromatization? Doesn’t sound like a good deal, does it?
WHAT’S A BETTER OPTION?
One would be to stop drinking and avoid all these negatives in the first place. Now I can already hear the “moderation” brigade preparing their torches, pitchforks and forming an angry mob outside, but when it comes to alcohol moderation is a lot smaller than most people think. One or two drinks of red wine should be the max. These drinks should also not take place on training nights or before competitive events. Red wine also has some health benefits and doesn’t cause the inflammation other drinks such as beer cause with it’s gluten and hops. These benefits can be gained from supplementation, however, and if your goal is strength or muscle gain – or fat loss – set the drinking aside.
Hops won’t increase your hops and the relatively small gains from drinking small amounts of alcohol may not be worth the cost. If you can, you can remove it. But if not, stick to small amounts of red wine and keep the drinking infrequent so your hard efforts at your diet and training aren’t wasted.
DON’T FORGET TO COMMENT BELOW WITH YOUR THOUGHTS! AND SHARE WITH YOUR FRIENDS!
Murphy, A., Snapa, A., et al. Alcohol and Rugby League Recovery. The Effect of Post-Match Alcohol Ingestion on Recovery from Competitive Rugby League Matches. Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research. 2012.
Hansen, M., Thulstrup, A., et al. Does Last Week’s Alcohol Intake Affect Semen Quality or Reproductive Hormones: A Cross-Sectional Study Among Healthy Young Danish Men. Reproductive Toxicology. 2012. 34, 457-462.
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