And can lead to fat gain!!!
Ok so it is nearly the weekend and for most of us that will mean the fitness work is done for the week, shelved and the drinking commences! However, drinking alcohol may undo all that hard work you have put in whilst training at the gym, and not just in terms of fat loss, but muscle gain as well. Research reveals that alcohol can interfere with your muscle growth, as well as slow down the post-exercise recovery process and impact on fat gain.
- It hinders protein synthesis and reduces the release of growth hormone
Protein is of great importance for the development of muscle. Studies have shown that drinking alcohol hinders the protein synthesis in your muscles, resulting in a reduced amount of lean muscle. Protein synthesis happens when the body supplies the muscle tissue with enough protein for it to grow. Alcohol also hinders the release of the growth hormone required needed for muscle by up to 70%. So don’t complain if you are not gaining muscle and binge drinking!!
- Slows down recovery time
The more efficiently you can recover from your workouts, the more muscle gain you will experience. The recovery time process is when your muscle fibers which have encountered micro-damage, repair and grow. Yet due to the fact alcohol hinders protein synthesis, the muscles won’t complete this process in time for your next workout!
- Leads to weight gain!
Alcohol is known to have the so-called ‘empty calories’, which is a fancy word for calories that do not have any nutritional value to the body. When alcohol is ingested the body burns it for energy by prioritizing calories from it and putting the calories from carbs and fat behind. Not only will the high calorie content of alcohol have a negative effect on your total calorie intake, but it also slows down your metabolism by disrupting the Kreb’s cycle. Since the Kreb’s cycle isn’t working correctly, fats cannot be broken down. In short, your body is trying so hard to digest and metabolize the alcohol, that fat burning stops all together. So for those of you trying to lose fat, forget it if you are drinking!!
Surely we all must have experienced the feeling of a hangover and being dehydrated? Alcohol takes the water out of water cells and hinders muscle growth. Stopping vital nutrients that are required for the correct contraction and relaxation of the muscle fibers. Exercising soon after drinking alcohol can make dehydration worse because you also sweat during exercise.
- Reduced testosterone levels
Alcohol is most notorious for both decreasing testosterone levels and increasing the levels of the estrogen hormone which is most prevalent in women. When you are most intoxicated, around 30% of the body’s testosterone levels plummet. Simply said, the more alcohol you have in you the more your levels will decrease!
Take a moment and think about how serious you are about your training? Along with further long term effects alcohol can have on your mind and body.
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