Does drinking an alcoholic beverage once a week ( in moderation, like 6 to 7 drinks of 7% per drink of alcohol contents ) affect building muscle or muscle we have?

As a group, the bodybuilder is more health conscious of the foods we put into our physical structures than the Average.  I picked up the following line from Arnold Schwarzenegger in regards to soda pop, but it applies to anything that doesn’t directly provide nutritional value or support for the individual.
“Why take something the body doesn’t need right now?”
Does alcohol affect muscle growth comes to me more often than “can I build muscle and burn fat at the same time?”  It’s a valid query and one that requires a bit more than what advice I keep hearing…

You shouldn’t drink any alcohol if you are serious about bodybuilding people who on a fat loss quest wouldn’t be caught dead with a beverage in their hand drinking completely destroys your muscle building efforts having even just one drink can ruin a week’s worth of gains and so many more statements made by people who’ve never done a set of Crafted Beers?
While it’s true that alcohol has many negative effects on muscle building and the worthless calories from each drink can add up, particularly on a fat loss quest where you’re always hungry and every calorie counts, you can still indulge.  If you’ve ever asked yourself does alcohol affect muscle growth, such as, “Will 1 night of consuming alcohol negatively affect my ability to gain muscle or will 1 or 2 beers hurt my gains,” this article is for you.

But foremost, let’s take a look at generally what alcohol does to the body in relation to the bodybuilder who’s trying to build as much muscle as humanly possible.

Does Alcohol Affect Muscle Growth?

Many of us associate the effects of alcohol on the body with the heart, lungs, liver, brain, memory, etc. Furthermore, if asked about effects of drinking alcohol in terms of our fitness goals, most people will let you recognize about the infamous beer belly.

Drink too much and you end up storing too many calories as fat.

Many masses will choose low calorie alcohol drinks or low carb alcoholic beverages in an attempt to avoid the fat storage issue. They feel that by getting this choice the only bad effects of alcohol – increased fat storage – will be minimized.

Simply what you didn’t know is that only about 5% of the calories from alcohol are stored as fat!

Then it off me as it should hit you right about now… does alcohol affect muscle growth? Absolutely, but the calories have been framed as the perpetrator.

The effects of alcohol on the body are potentially more damaging than can be augured by the number of empty calories in some alcoholic beverage.

The answer to does alcohol affect muscle growth is…

1- Alcohol really affects the measure of fat your body can and will burn for energy!

In a study of Clinical Research they concluded that only a mere 24g of alcohol consumption showed whole-body lipid oxidation (the rate at which your body burns fat) decreased by a whopping 73%!

When alcohol goes thru the liver, the byproduct is called Acetate. It would appear that acetate puts the proverbial brakes on fat burning.

Your physical structure can use many types of fuel. Protein, carbohydrates, and fat. In many cases, the fuel used is dictated by its accessibility.

Your body, tends to utilize whatever you feed it for fuel right? As your acetate levels increase, your body burns more acetate as fuel.

What this means is… Fat burning takes a back seat!

Is that what it all boils down to…

You consume a couple of alcoholic drinks or more>>Your liver metabolizes that into acetate>>Your body uses the acetate for fat as fuel

2- Increase in appetite

In another American Journal of Clinical Nutrition study, there was evidence to suggest that uptake of alcohol lead to an increase in appetite over that of any other carbohydrate type drink.

Researchers over in the Research Department of Human Nutrition and Center for Advanced Food Studies in Denmark concluded that consumption of alcoholic beverages, and wine in particular, may enhance total energy intake at a meal relative to a gentle drink, when served with no restriction.

3- Decrease in Testosterone and an Increase in Cortisol

A survey of 8 healthy male volunteers observed that after drinking alcohol, the effects of a significant decrease in testosterone and an increase in cortisol (a muscle destroying hormone) lasted up to 24 hours!

If you are serious about building muscle and burning fat, you want all the free testosterone levels you can get and you want to reduce cortisol in any fashion you can. That means go lite on the drinking because it does affect your hormones.

4- Decrease in vitamin and mineral assimilation

When you take in large quantities of alcohol, your liver is busy converting the alcohol to acetate and any vitamins and minerals that it might process are taken up by the detoxification process.

Alcohol interferes with the metabolism of most vitamins, and with the absorption of many foods. Alcohol stimulates both urinary calcium and magnesium excretion.

This only means that you’ll get less of a benefit from the “healthy” meal you may be consuming.

Food in the stomach will compete with ethanol for absorption into the stock stream. It is well recognized that alcohol competes and influences the processing of nutrients in the body.

5- Decrease in protein synthesis of type II fibers.This implies the actual building of muscle is slowed down by 20%+ or more. This included a 35% decrements in muscle insulin-like growth factor-I (GF-I).

6- Dehydration

A common side effect of alcohol is dehydration. Alcohol is a natural diuretic. Drinks containing 4% alcohol tend to delay the recovery process.

Seeing how important water is to muscle building and general health, it’s clear that dehydration can put a damper on your progress. After alcohol consumption the first matter you might want to do is drink coffee. But that’s a diuretic as well. How to avoid dehydration? Drink more water.

7- Sleep

Alcohol consumption, especially the times when you would normally sleep, can have effects on the quality of sleep. Clearly, high quality sleep is extremely significant to the rebuilding and growth process of muscle. Without proper relaxation and recovery, your gains will be affected.

Alcohol ingestion can induce sleep disorders by disrupting the sequence and duration of sleep states and by altering total sleep time as well as the time required to fall asleep.

8- The next day

A rather obvious conclusion, but if you plan on drinking on a Friday night in excess, then the leg workout you thought of doing on Saturday morning won’t be top notch. It engages a bit to recover, your body to detoxify and for you mentally to be prepared to workout.

Not to mention you need energy for the workout ahead.

Sure, you can hit the weights, but my point is…

It’s not going to be the best workout you’ve ever known.

At this full stop you might be totally discouraged to ever drink any alcohol again. There’s some great news.

Here’s proof…

In the September 2004 issue of the National Institute of Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism they did a survey on the effects of moderate consumption of alcohol on Human body.

The conclusion to the question does alcohol affect muscle development?

An energy-restricted diet is effective in overweight and obese subjects used to drinking moderate amounts of alcohol. A diet with 10% of energy derived from beer is equally effective as an isocaloric diet with 10% of energy derived from grains and other raw materials..

It’s simple: Moderation is the key! (With first place being abstinence as you already know).  1-2 drinks per day for the general public, is considered moderation.

As a bodybuilder looking for the best possible muscle gains, maybe 1 drink per day or even 1 drink per week would meet into your goals.  However, 6-7 drinks would be detrimental to your muscle building endeavors.  You’re better off having 1 drink a night for 7 days than 7 drinks in one seating.

Does Alcohol Affect Muscle Growth …

The effects of alcohol on your body when it comes to building muscle and burning fat are quite readable. It is a lot more than just some excess calories stored as fat. If you take in too much, it can derail your goals a lot longer after your head has hit the pillow and you’ve gone to sleep.

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