Drinking Alcohol is KILLING Your Gains!

Have you ever wondered if drinking alcohol is killing your gains and hurting your ability to build muscle? If so, then you’re definitely going to want to watch this video. We’re going to talk about whether or not alcohol has as a detrimental effect on muscle growth as you might think.

When it comes to alcohol and body composition, we can’t just look at alcohol and building muscle, but also at alcohol and losing fat. In both cases, alcohol has a role to play. You might think that the answer is simple enough in that drinking is always going to play a negative role, no matter what. Well, you might want to change that way of thinking after watching this video.

Now, if you are looking to lose fat, there are some things you need to be aware of when it comes to drinking alcohol. As it turns out, if your caloric intake is kept constant, there is likely no effect that alcohol will have on keeping fat off. Here’s the the thing, though; it’s not so easy.

Sitting at 7 calories per gram, alcohol sits closer in its caloric range to fat than it does say protein or carbohydrates. Not only that, but alcohol is not very satiating. What this means is that you are likely to consume more calories from drinking than you might think. Imagine how many protein shakes you can drink in one sitting versus how many alcoholic drinks you can in a single sitting and then compare the caloric intake. Alcohol also halts the metabolism of fats and carbs as it prioritizes the processing of the alcohol. This means that those fats and carbs are more likely to be stored by the body in the form of body fat.

When it comes to drinking alcohol and body fat deposition, I think I have a huge advantage because as someone that doesn’t drink, I don’t have to worry about these factors when it comes to staying as leans as I do. So if getting as lean as possible is your ultimate goal, then I would invite you to explore the option of avoiding drinking alcohol all together.

But what if you don’t want to abstain from drinking alcohol like I do, what then? In that case, I have a few recommendations that can help you stay lean without having to give up drinking. First, make sure you are eating lower calorie-dense but higher fiber foods. Decrease your fat intake on days where you know you will be drinking as well as decreasing the number of calories you are getting from non-protein sources due to alcohol’s blunting of muscle protein synthesis.

What about building muscle? Well, when you consider drinking alcohol and working out, you have to consider how much you are drinking. As it turns out, 1-3 drinks is not going to have much effect on building muscle, as long as you are not getting drunk (more on that later). On top of that, it’s been shown that there is a small increase in testosterone as well. Don’t get too excited though, it’s not enough to make a clinical difference, but at the same time, it illustrates that it isn’t going down (which is obviously a good thing when it comes to building more muscle).

Where alcohol and building muscle becomes a problem is when the drinking comes to the point of excess (getting drunk). We can’t really quantify how many drinks this is because every person’s tolerance is different based on a multitude of factors including size and what type of alcohol is being consumed. Since we can’t put a specific number, we’ll just use the bench mark of intoxication.

Heavy drinking effects muscle growth in two significant ways that you are going to want to be aware of. First, drinking in excess has been shown to drop testosterone levels acutely. Knowing how important testosterone is to building muscle, any significant lowering of the hormone is going to be a problem if you are looking to grow more muscle. Not only that, but heavy alcohol consumption also affects how protein is processed by the body. Alcohol has been shown to have a blunting effect on muscle protein synthesis which means that your body is not converting the protein you are eating into new muscle.

So, is drinking alcohol killing your gains? Well, like in many other instances, it depends. You have to be mindful of how much you are drinking as well as what food choices you are making when you are drinking alcohol.

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