Okay, so the question of the day is what the effects of alcohol on muscle growth are. That is, can you continue to make muscle gains and progress while going out on the weekend and having a few? I suppose the answer depends on what your end goals are and whether you’re an everyday fitness enthusiast or a professional body builder or athlete. Unfortunately, alcohol does have some negative effects on muscle growth. However, this does not mean your muscles are going to deflate like a balloon if you have the occasional drink. Read on to better inform yourself.
Alcohol and Muscle Growth: The Negatives
Like most research-based conclusions, there is a still a bit of a debate going on about this one. However, most of the debate seems to sway towards the alcohol-is-bad-for-building-muscles camp. Protein synthesis, the process in which your body turns the protein from your food into muscle, is inhibited by alcohol. A 1999 study in “American Journal of Psychology, Endocrinology and Metabolism” backs this up. Testosterone, the stuff steroids are made from, is lowered by alcohol as well. A 2004 study in “Alcoholism: Clinical and Experimental” is one of the foundations for this belief. Lastly, according to Notre Dame, alcohol decreases Human Growth Hormone release by up to 70 percent.
However, if you’re not committing yourself to muscle-building like a young Arnold Schwarzenegger and just want a formidable beach body, there are steps you can take to have your cake and eat it too.
Alcohol and Muscle Growth: Getting Around the Negatives
It goes without saying that moderation is important. Drinking daily or more than a couple during the weekend is a no-no. However, that said, there are ways to maximize muscle growth while drinking. Since alcohol has a negative effect on muscle growth and muscle growth occurs during the rest period after a workout, drinking alcohol should definitely not be done on training day or the day after. You should also drink water to keep your body functioning optimally.