The majority of the population tend to have a drink every weekend, whilst out at the pub or in a club. The same people probably own a gym membership and have fitness goals too. Is it good to have alcohol every weekend whilst working towards a goal? Lets break down the basics...
When you consume a normal drink for a example: water, orange juice, milk ect. the body utilises its nutrients and uses them across the body it whatever way it needs to. On the other hand, our bodies aren't designed to store alcohol, it tries to get rid of it as quickly as possible. This conflicts with other processes, including the absorbing of nutrients from food and also burning fat. This means over time, the body starts to prioritise getting rid of the alcohol in your system which then slows down your metabolism, making it harder for your body to burn calories. 1 gram of alcohol is 7 calories, this is more than protein and carbohydrates per gram! (4kcal per 1g) we all know how easy we can go through a large amount of alcohol as well, which shows how it can make us put on weight.
For the men and women looking to increase muscle size, this can be affected too. Alcohol disrupts sleep patterns and certain growth hormones which are essential for muscle growth, these are released in your sleep. On some occasions it can also reduce the amount of testosterone you produce which is vital for muscle gain and training performance. Some studies have also shown drinking alcohol to an excess can 'poison' muscle fibres which means they don’t contract like they usually would for up to three days!
But aren't there health benefits in some alcohols like wine? There are indeed, these include: removing bacteria, anti oxidants within wine which help blood vessels in your heart and increased HDL (Good Cholestrol). This is all true, and beneficial for the body, but don't think drinking a whole bottle on a saturday night is going to enhance the good effects wine brings. Only 1 to 2 glasses of wine a week have shown to promote these benefits to a healthy level.
Overall, the best way to approach alcohol and fitness is to prioritise your goal and focus. If you want to look like a fitness model or Victoria Secret model, you maybe want to hold back on large amounts of alcohol as you probably wouldn't find those guys drinking too much of it! Drink responsibly, still have fun but just be aware of the affects it can have in correlation to your fitness dreams.
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