Consuming alcohol is seen as a very social pass time for many people. I enjoy a drink just like the next person but, when you’re talking about optimising your health and fitness results, even consuming a moderate amount of alcohol can be detrimental to your results.
Here are some of the effects of alcohol on your training regime:
• It lowers testosterone levels and increases estrogen in the body.
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.
• 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 becomes a problem.
• It causes dehydration.
Our kidneys need to filter large amounts of water to breakdown alcohol and this can result in severe dehydration within the body. As alcohol is also a diuretic this exasperates the problem. Water has a crucial role in the muscle-building process, and being even slightly dehydrated is a recipe for disaster.
• 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.
• It increases fat storage.
With 7 empty calories per gram or (29 Kj), alcohol can actually be quite fattening. Alcohol also disrupts the body’s normal breakdown of foods, as it is argued the body will see alcohol as toxic and proceeds to break it down before anything else.
If you want to get significant results, cut the alcohol to a very minimal amount. But if you go out drinking make sure you consume alcohol on a full stomach and go drink for drink with water.