Why Alcohol and Muscle Growth Don't Mix*

Wednesday, 9 March 2016, By Joe Masuzzo


  • Alcohol is empty calories. It doesn't have any nutrients but does have a caloric value of 7 calories per gram. In just one shot (45ml) of 40% alcohol vodka there's nearly 100 calories. For those of you trying to lose fat, forget it if you are drinking. 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. In short, your body is trying so hard to digest and metabolize the alcohol, that fat burning stops all together.


  • Alcohol consumption also hurts muscle growth. Not only due to hangovers lowering your workout intensity but it actually lowers protein synthesis by 20%. Twenty percent! There are several reasons why it does this. For one, it dehydrates your muscle cells. As many know, hydrated and even over hydrated muscles (like when you take creatine allows for a much higher anabolic environment. Because your cells aren't holding as much water, it becomes much harder to build muscle. The second reason why alcohol can severely hurt muscle growth is because it blocks the absorption of many important nutrients that are key to muscle contraction, relaxation and growth including calcium, phosphorus, magnesium, iron and potassium.


  • When highly intoxicated, testosterone levels can drop 25%. Alcohol has also been shown to cause a quicker aromatization of androgens into estrogens, which would explain why heavy drinkers often get gynecomastria (man boobs) over a period of time. So basically, the less testosterone in your body, the less muscle you put on.


  • How many times have you decided to get that late night maccas run or kebab on the corner on a night out?? Or that massive big breakfast or bacon and egg roll with a hashbrown the next morning?? Also this ugly hangover will most likely make you miss that morning cardio you were suppose to do. Am I right?
*Disclaimer: Individual results vary based on agreed goals. Click here for details.

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