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Alcohol and Fitness | How Alcohol Effects You Progress in The Gym! | Drinking Alcohol and Building Muscle

January 28, 2018


If we are being completely honest, I think the majority of us would confess to enjoying a drink or two... or ten! So a worry for many of us is how a good night out with your friends, may negatively affect your gym progress. What effects then does it have, and can they be managed so that you can still enjoy the occasional night out?


Of course the answer to that last question is going to be ‘YES’ as Evolve Muscle is all about achieving your fitness goals whilst maintaining the best lifestyle possible and enjoying your life, and for many of us we enjoy the occasional night of drinking far more than we should! Here then I discuss are a few tips to get around it and lessen the negative effects that alcohol can have on your training.


... First of all though let’s distinguish the reasons why alcohol is detrimental in your quest for your desire able physique.



Alcohol Will Increase My Body Fat?


The first thing that people think of when they think of alcohol and the gym


is that it is ‘fattening’. This is true as most alcoholic beverages are high in calories. Especially lagers which can contain upward of 200 calories for every pint! So when you are drinking multiple those calories soon add up.


Then cocktails can be even worse, particularly the sugary sweet ones, where calories can exceed the 300 calorie mark quite easily.


However... the actual calorie count isn’t even the whole story. As when your body is intoxicated with alcohol it uses alcohol as its source of energy. This means that any fat burning get’s put on hold. Any food consumed on top of this then, will get stored as fat, as your body is already feeding off the alcohol as its source of energy. So any additional calories you consume when drunk are more likely than not going to be stored straight as fat!


That then leads on to the fact that alcohol consumption increases appetite, as it inhibits the hormone leptin which reduces appetite and keeps you full. This is why a night out is typically followed for most of us by a big greasy meal, which seems a great idea at the time! So in terms of losing/ not putting on fat, alcohol certainly isn’t the best!


Alcohol Will Hinder My Gains?


Another negative effect that alcohol can have is that it decreases levels of testosterone in the body, the anabolic male hormone that stimulates muscle growth. So this will hinder any gains that should be being made. As well as decreasing muscle growth, lower levels of testosterone can also slow down your metabolic rate, thus you will burn fewer calories.


Your training in general will suffer as a result of drinking too! For starters the day after a night out you will have had a restless sleep all night and so will be tired the next day which will make you far less enthusiastic to go to the gym the next day! So your training routine for the week will suffer as a result of that!


Sleep as we know is vital for muscle growth as it is when your body actually

grows and builds muscle. Drinking too much alcohol has adverse effects on sleep, as it will most likely lead to a shorter and restless nights’ sleep, where quality of sleep is minimal. This will once again mean that muscle growth is limited.


But... Is there a way around it?