Muscle building and regular alcohol consumption
Muscle building and regular alcohol consumption: is it even possible together? That's a valid question that many athletes and strength athletes ask themselves. The answer is: yes, it is possible. However, it is important that alcohol consumption is in moderation and practiced only with regular training in compliance with the training process! Still, it makes it harder for you to reach your goals.
How much does alcohol inhibit muscle growth?
Many people wonder if it is even possible to combine muscle building and regular alcohol consumption. Now there are researchers in the USA and Sweden who have come to the conclusion that alcohol significantly inhibits muscle growth. In a long-term study, the scientists examined the effects of alcohol consumption on muscle growth in test subjects. In every fourth participant, muscle building was so severely impaired that it did not reach more than 50% of normal values. According to an eight-year study, alcohol consumption inhibited muscle growth in the subjects by up to 38%.
How long should you not drink alcohol after a workout?
After training, you should not drink alcohol for at least 24 hours. This can reduce the effect of alcohol on muscle building. A number of human studies have shown that as little as 0.3 grams of alcohol per kilogram of body weight has been shown to block protein synthesis. Another observed effect of alcohol is the direct, rapid drop in testosterone levels. In muscles that were not exercised, alcohol inhibition was significantly lower.
8 facts about alcohol and muscle building:
1. Alcohol slows down the release of growth hormones:
In particular, the growth hormone IGF-1, which stimulates the formation of new muscle cells, among other things, is inhibited by alcohol.
2. Alcohol prevents the absorption of vital substances and the glycogen stores are not replenished:
This reduces performance and regeneration after training is impaired.
3. Alcohol deprives the body of water:
As a result, the body becomes dehydrated and muscles work harder. It also makes it more difficult to break down pollutants and body cells are no longer supplied with nutrients as well.
4. Alcohol makes you tired:
After drinking alcohol, your ability to concentrate is reduced and you become tired. As a result, you can no longer train effectively. Symptoms such as fatigue, exhaustion, headaches and nausea can persist for around 48 hours after consumption.
5. Cortisol release is increased by alcohol:
This stress hormone weakens the immune system and thus also promotes infections or broken bones. It also has a negative impact on muscles by inhibiting the formation of muscle proteins.
6. Alcohol makes sleep worse:
Alcohol consumption reduces the deep sleep phase and leads to increased sleep paralysis. This can lead to muscle injuries. You can still feel the effects of alcohol the next morning. More on this in our blog: The morning after alcohol
7. Alcohol Can Contribute To Weight Gain:
If you take in more calories than you burn, you will gain weight. Alcohol is a calorie carrier and has about 7 calories per gram. In addition, many people drink the alcohol in combination with heavily mixed ingredients, which have extra calories.
8. Alcohol doesn't help you improve your workout:
Muscles do not grow through alcohol consumption, but only through a balanced workout and an adequate diet. Alcohol consumption weakens your body and you can no longer train as well. You can find out more reasons to give up alcohol in our blog: Reasons why you should give up alcohol!
Alcohol and sport – an unhealthy combination!
So there are some good reasons not to drink alcohol while building muscle. Not only does alcohol consumption impair your performance and your regeneration after training, but other aspects also speak against consumption during training. Ultimately, it is your decision whether or not you want to abstain from alcohol. But it's important that you're aware of the health risks associated with drinking alcohol while building muscle. So you can make the right decision and devote yourself to health and effective training.
Sensible use of alcohol
It is best to choose our non-alcoholic alternatives. If you decide to drink alcohol anyway, make sure that you eat a lot of protein, vegetables and fruit that day.
In the evening, it is best to avoid mixed drinks (cocktails, beer with soft drinks, etc.) and try to avoid greasy food while drinking.