Alcohol is one of the most excepted drugs in our society. For the record I am a non drinker for the past 4 -5 years. I believe that there are many social factors (positive and negative) with drinking however I will not get into that. All I’m looking into is the weight loss and muscle building issues with drinking.
So what does it do to the body. Well we know it makes you drunk and causes you to do dumb things (message ex’s , make you dance like a fool and for most males get into fights) but what does it do to people trying to lose weight or put on muscle mass.
Alcoholic drinks are just empty calories. While you are drinking many of the calories from alcohol has no nutritional value. This means you are getting no value from the drink and will lead to the excess calories being stored as fat. Also when consuming alcohol the energy gained will be used as energy first and not fat or glycogen (carbs) in the body.
While drinking your body will become dehydrated (funny how everyone thinks they are clenching their thirst) why this is important to us is the body’s cells will have less water in them causing the muscle to not be able to absorb nutrients for contraction, relaxation and repair/growth. So this is a no brainer for people trying to gain muscle mass however really important for weight loss as we need that muscle to help get the metabolic rate up during the day. Also with the body functioning at a better rate the body will be more efficient and then be able to process fat out of the body better.
This is mainly for the guys but ALCOHOL LOWERS TESTOSTERONE AND INCREASES ESTROGEN. So low testosterone will mean less muscle growth after consuming alcohol. Also all guys trying to put on muscle will know that testosterone is important in muscle growth and estrogen will destroy muscle!
Then we all know alcohol will also damage the liver. The reason the liver is so important to weight loss and muscle growth is that the liver is where most of the body’s glycogen stores are. This is so important for overall body function, muscle growth and weight loss. However if you have consumed alcohol the liver will be metabolizing alcohol at the expense of glycogen. Amino acids are also processed in the liver and as the liver is damaged over time this will mean that the body will not be able to get amino acids to the muscle efficiently causing less muscle growth and weight loss.
The list can go on and on and on and on however these are the major issues. I know that everyone is asking or said (I’ve had many clients ask with shock in their face) “Do I have to give up drinking?” or “I’m going to still drink!!!!!!” okay so everyone calm down. Im not saying give it up (in a perfect world I would) but try to reduce the amount that you are taking in. Also drink water while you are drinking alcohol to minimise the effect and help the body repair quicker!