Does drinking alcohol affect your ability to build muscle? Should you cut back on how much alcohol you consume if you’re trying to get fit and build muscles?
There’s definitely a relationship between consuming alcohol and muscle development, and I want to tell you about the effect alcohol has on your physical development, particularly, I want to focus on muscle growth and what you want to know if you’re trying to bulk up, get more toned, or simply become more muscular.
The effects of alcohol and muscle growth are important for anyone to know who’s looking to improve their fitness.
How Does Alcohol Affect Muscle Growth?
Consuming alcohol can set back your muscle gains and make it take longer to reach your fitness goals. How does that happen? The effects of alcohol on muscle growth, according to research, are severe for the process of muscle protein synthesis (or MPS). In other words, drinking alcohol impairs muscle growth. Your muscles simply won’t develop at the rate they should if you’re drinking alcohol regularly.
Your hormones play a big part in muscle development as well, and testosterone and estrogen are seriously affected by the alcohol you consume. Alcohol will change your hormone levels in the body. On top of that, drinking alcohol negatively affects your metabolism, slowing it down and limiting your body’s ability to burn through body fat.
If you’re trying to work out and achieve a more ripped look, alcohol can be holding you back. You’ve probably heard the term beer belly, which comes from the way alcohol causes you to retain fat. When you drink alcohol, your body tries to process the alcohol immediately, getting it out of your system fast. It won’t have much opportunity to work on any foods you’re consuming as well. So, all those restaurants that serve buffalo wings and burgers with beer make for a bad combination.
Your body will try to process and filter out the fat from the alcohol before it gets to the fat from the food. That means that the food that will likely go straight to your waistline, creating the beer belly. It’s going to be tough to get ripped with that thing in your way.
What does that have to do with muscle development? Well, your muscles are all there whether you work out or not. Working out and dieting help you to lose body fat and reveal the muscles that are already on your body. If you are consuming a lot of alcohol, your body fat will be retained, and it will be tougher to get rid of excess fat. That means the fat will hide your muscles, keeping you from getting a ripped, impressive physique.
How Does Alcohol Affect your Performance?
Are you trying to figure out whether you need to cut out alcohol or cut it back? As you work to get fit, bulk up, and reach your physicality goals, you should keep in mind how alcohol hurts your athletic performance. Drinking alcohol regularly can keep you from performing at your peak. It can be having a negative effect on your athletic performance as well as everyday activities.
That’s because alcohol is a sedative, slowing down your body, draining your motivation and energy, and making it difficult for you to focus and to operate at your optimum levels. You react slower and suffer from poor judgment, if alcohol is regular part of your life.
It’s also going to affect your eye to hand coordination, which can be dangerous when you’re working out with heavy weights in the gym. You’re more likely to lose your grip, not pay attention to what you’re doing, and suffer an accident that can put you out of commission, where you would need to take a break from exercising for a while.
So, even if alcohol weren’t slowing down your metabolic processes and messing with your hormones and muscle development, it is affecting your overall performance. That means you’ll have a tough time working out as effectively as you used to if you start drinking alcohol.
If you already drink alcohol and you want to start working out, you’ll be handicapping yourself right from the start. You won’t be able to achieve your optimum performance, and you’ll take longer to reach any goals that you’re aiming for. Whether you’re weightlifting, doing cardio, playing sports, or doing anything else that builds muscles and trims fat off your body, alcohol is going to slow you down and hurt your performance.
The effects of alcohol consumption on muscle growth are severe, and people who consume it regularly struggle to work out as long as people who don’t. It’s going to hurt your energy levels and your endurance because of its sedative effects. If you’re looking to make great gains and achieve peak muscle development, you have to cut the alcohol out of your life.
It Gives Your Body too Much to Do
It’s not wrong to think of alcohol as a poison that really hurts your body in a lot of ways. If you look at the way your body treats alcohol, it’s very similar to how it treats a dangerous foreign substance or simply a poison. The way the body prioritizes filtering out alcohol and getting rid of it as soon as possible shows you that your body is desperate to purge this from its system.
That means that when you drink alcohol, your body will be focused on dealing with that and won’t be operating at its peak. So, if you’re working out and hoping to recover from your workout for the next day, you may be in for a nasty surprise. If your body is dealing with the effects of alcohol, it may not have the time and resources to repair your muscles.
You may experience muscle fatigue and muscle soreness that lasts much longer than it should if you weren’t drinking alcohol. This means decreased gains and more wasted time at the gym. It also means you have to take more time off to recover.
Drinking alcohol boosts your cortisol levels. This is a hormone that causes stress, which can lead to muscle wasting. That means alcohol actively fights against your muscle development, destroying the muscles you’re trying to grow.
When you work out and try to build muscles, you’ll be causing micro tears in your muscles. Tearing your muscles like this is essential if you are going to grow new muscle tissue and expand on the muscles you already have.
Your body needs to heal from this tearing process, though, and alcohol slows all that down. It decreases the gains that you’re trying to achieve and makes it tough for you to recover from muscle tearing and muscle soreness. You will find that if you continue to drink alcohol as you work out, you’re fighting against yourself and you will likely have shorter workout sessions and longer recovery times than you need to.
Finding an Alternative
Many people who drink alcohol do so to deal with stress. Did you know that exercising is a great stress reliever? It helps to burn up excess manic energy and relieve stress in a way that’s safe and natural.
The effects of alcohol on muscle growth and fat loss are severe. You will have a difficult time losing fatty weight and gaining muscle if you’re drinking alcohol regularly. If you really need a stress reliever and you have some body fitness and muscle development goals you want to hit, then try working out instead of drinking. When you feel the urge to grab a beer, instead go to the gym then put in a workout session. See if that helps you control your urges and move past the need to drink alcohol for comfort.