Do Weight Training and Alcohol Mix?
Is alcohol detrimental to your weight training regimen? Many serious bodybuilders completely cut alcohol from their diet, but for most of us, it is nearly impossible. Between social events and business functions, a glass or two of wine in the evening becomes a regular occurrence.
Alcohol contains several calories per gram, mostly from sugars. Low carb beers, though low in carbs, are still 100 calories each. This translates into lots of empty calories as a result of a few drinks. Plus, alcohol absorbs into the bloodstream quickly, so its negative effects appear quickly.
When you consume more than a couple of drinks a day, you are negatively impacting your training in the following ways:
• Reduced overall strength
• Wastes antioxidant stores, open the door to infection and illness
• Increased fatigue
• Increased required recovery time
• Kidney and liver must work harder
• Reduced endurance
• Slows the metabolizing of fats
• Reduced stores of Vitamin B
If you are serious about bodybuilding, this simplest solution is to cut out alcohol…period. When you drink alcohol, your body experiences hormonal changes that affect your ability to build muscle. What happens is that your body reduces the amount of testosterone in your blood. If you feel that you have low testosterone issues, blood tests are available online to check your testosterone levels without a doctors appointment. In addition, there is an increased conversion of testosterone to estrogen, which increases your fat deposits and fluid retention. Definitely not what you want when you’re in muscle building mode!
Apart from the testosterone effects, alcohol reduces the minerals in your body that are necessary for your muscle growth. Alcohol depletes your stores of magnesium, potassium and calcium; all minerals important for strengthening your muscles and bones.
During workouts, you may not be able to lift as much weight because your body is using its resources to recover from the effects of the alcohol. Your endurance is also impacted because your stores of B vitamins are depleted and the B vitamins help provide your body with energy.
Most of these effects listed are for those who drinks often (more than two to four drinks per week). An occasional alcoholic beverage will not produce these problems, just be aware of the amount you are really drinking.
For the best performance from your body, remove alcohol from your diet. If you are serious about building muscle, avoid alcohol consumption as much as possible.