If you are looking to build a maximum level of muscle, one question you may find yourself asking is how alcohol factors into the mix. Can you still go out with your friends for Friday night drinks without having to sacrifice the results you’ve made?
Or, should become alcohol-free for the next while?
Understanding how alcohol impacts the muscle building process can help you better evaluate whether you should be skipping those nights out.
Alcohol And Calories
The first way in which alcohol is going to influence your results is with the calorie content that it contains. Considering the average beer contains over 150 calories and the average shot 100 or more, the calories can add up quickly.
If you go out and drink a few beers and a couple shots with your buddies, this can easily put you at near 1000 calories total.
And while you are trying to increase your calorie intake while building muscle, alcohol calories are not going to work in your favor. You want to be increasing your calorie intake with lean sources of protein, complex carbohydrates, and healthy sources of dietary fats.
Alcohol provides no usable nutrients for the body, so it’s not going to promote muscle building in any way. Instead, these calories are only going to lead to body fat storage.
Alcohol And Protein Synthesis
The next way that alcohol can influence your results is in terms of protein synthesis. Each time you take a drink of alcohol, you are essentially putting the breaks on protein synthesis.
Since protein synthesis is the key regulator of muscle building (as it’s what causes muscle to be built), when it’s off, so is your progress.
Only once your body has oxidized off all that alcohol can protein synthesis resume. Drinking after an intense workout therefore is the worst possible thing you could do as it’s at this point that protein synthesis is elevated.
Alcohol And Energy
The next way that alcohol will impact your muscle building results is simply by influencing how much energy you have. Now, if you don’t plan on getting in a workout that evening that you are drinking, this clearly isn’t going to be an issue. And for the record, you should never lift weightswhile under the influence. The risk of dropping the weight and seriously injuring yourself is simply too great.
But, what about the next day? Think about how you feel after a night of heavy drinking. Chances are, you aren’t so keen on getting in an intense workout.
So if that night out causes you to miss the next day’s gym session, this is now going to hinder the results that you would otherwise see.
If you are drinking on Friday night and take weekends off, you can afford to sit on the couch Saturday and not do much, but if you are drinking a beer or two throughout the week, it’s important to keep this factor in mind.
Alcohol And Testosterone
Finally, the last way that alcohol can influence your muscle building results is by playing a role in your overall testosterone levels. Sadly, as much as many men will hate to hear it, alcohol intake suppresses testosterone release, so the more you drink, the less of this hormone you have moving through your veins.
And since testosterone is such a powerful hormone when it comes to building muscle and gaining physical strength, it’s not one that you want to be doing without.
Your testosterone levels will already be dropping each year as they naturally decline with age, so you really don’t want to be doing anything to accelerate the process.
While one drink here and there – say one or two a month probably won’t hinder your testosterone levels much, if you are drinking weekly and having more than one drink each time you go out, you can bet it is going to impact you.
So there you have the main points to know and remember about alcohol and muscle building. The answer to the question is yes, alcohol does negatively influence your muscle building results and the relationship between the two increases the more alcohol you drink.
If you really enjoy going out with your friends, do so, but keep it to a rare occasion here and there, not a regular thing.