So you are curious as to what the effects of alcohol are on your muscle growth? That’s a logical question that deserves an answer. Alcohol can definitely play a part in your muscle building journey.
People ask me all the time about alcohol and muscle growth and what it does. Does it have negative effects? Unfortunately the answer is yes.
When it comes to drinking, there are negative effects and positive effects. Most of the positive effects being social and fun but this isn’t about drinking. It is about what drinking does to your muscle growth.
There are 5 primary ways that it affects muscle building:
1. It has a negative effect on protein synthesis.
Your muscles are made up of protein, and protein synthesis is the process of amino acids forming complete proteins. This process can be slowed down up to twenty percent by excessive alcohol consumption.
2. It causes dehydration.
Your muscles are comprised primarily of water, as is your whole body. Drinking lots of alcohol forces the kidneys to do excessive work in filtering the water which can lead to severe dehydration. Water plays a large role in muscle growth and should not be underestimated.
3. It drains the body of essential vitamins and minerals.
Vitamins and minerals are obviously important to all of the functions of the body, muscle building being one of them. Consumption of alcohol causes depletion of vitamins A, C, B’s, zinc, phosphorous, and calcium.
4. It raises estrogen levels and lowers testosterone.
The most important hormone when it comes to muscle building is testosterone. A person’s gains are largely dependent on their testosterone levels so lets keep it high! The estrogen is also going to put your body in a less anabolic state, the state when your body is building muscle.
5. It makes you fat.
Alcohol has 7 empty calories per gram. Which adds up to quite a few empty calories. The increase in estrogen plays a massive part in fat storage. Excessive estrogen is what gives men “man boobs” and the infamous beer belly. This fat tends to be the hard to remove “stubborn fat” that people talk about.
Now I am not saying to give up alcohol altogether, it can be very fun and great way to loosen up or relax. But if you are deadly serious about gaining muscle, it is a good idea to cut back on the drink for awhile while you focus your efforts elsewhere.