Does alcohol have an effect on your gains?
How seriously do you take your training?
You may love a glass of wine after a long day at work, or a few beers over a game but the reality is, it’s doing you more harm than good while seriously inhibiting your progress.
Winding down every night with an alcoholic beverage may seem like a good idea, but add these units up over the week and you may well be putting more away than your recommended weekly average.
Alcohol really is your enemy when it comes to your training and weight loss goals. It’s time you learnt the truth about how much damage that daily drinking could be doing to you with some science-backed evidence - are you ready?
Alcohol can be DETRIMENTAL for weight loss
Alcohol is your enemy when it comes to weight loss. Alcohol can be extremely calorific, with no nutritional value. Think of it like this - you are consuming hundreds of completely useless calories that your body can do nothing with, with no nutritional benefits at all.
If you have had a night out on the town or been out with your friends to an alcohol-fuelled event then your body will have no choice but to burn the alcohol as fuel first – sucks right? What about all the body fat you already have stored? So all that effort doing cardio will be wasted until your body has used all of the calories from the alcohol. Of course, this doesn’t permanently stop weight loss, it just postpones it significantly. Your body can’t store alcohol as glycogen to be used up later, so it virtually hangs around in your body until it's burned – after it's burned your body will then get back into ketosis/lipolysis.
A negative impact on muscle gain & strength
Alcohol can affect a number of different processes in your body which makes it a terrible choice for athletes, bodybuilders and professional sportspeople alike. Studies have suggested that alcohol consumption decreases the use of glucose and amino acids by skeletal muscles, adversely affects energy supply and impairs the metabolic process during exercise.
Alcohol is metabolized (broken down) very slowly so you can still suffer from its effects 48 hours after consumption. Alcohol affects muscle recovery because it interferes with the processes of protein synthesis. Not only that, alcohol can disrupt your sleeping patterns and growth hormones, imperative for muscle growth. Alcohol can also cause vitamin and mineral depletion in your body as it makes it tougher for these to be absorbed. It just doesn’t seem worth it does it?
Alcohol also impairs your balance and coordination as well as gross motor coordination, it also increases fatigue because your liver function is significantly impacted following its ingestion.
Inhibited sporting performance
Studies have shown that alcohol use is directly linked to the rate of injury sustained in sport events and appears to evoke detrimental effects on exercise performance capacity.
Alcohol acts as a diuretic, and putting away too much of it can lead to you becoming dehydrated because as a result of drinking it, your kidneys work harder which will make them produce more urine. If you then choose to exercise soon after drinking alcohol, this can make the dehydration more severe because you will also be sweating as your body temperature rises. As a result of dehydration, alcohol also negatively impacts your aerobic capacity significantly reducing it.
Alcohol & your sex life
Alcohol can also inhibit your sex life and can be a big contributory factor of erectile dysfunction in men. A lot of younger men out there don't realise this because they actually think that alcohol increases their libido and arousal making them hornier!
It may well increase the desire, but it takes away from the performance, unfortunately! Don’t forget alcohol slows down reactions in the body and mind too which will make masturbation a tad more difficult.
It may be a nice social activity to enjoy, having a few beers or cocktails but your body will be the one that has to pay for it eventually.
Ask yourself this ‘Is alcohol really worth it’?
Weigh up the evidence presented above in relation to your goals. How much do you want to achieve your goals and can you really afford to cope with all those damaging effects presented above?