alcohol consumption and training

Alcohol Consumption and Dieting

If you are following a nutrition plan to lose body fat and build muscle, strength training and getting your needed rest, then you are on your way to having the body composition you’ve always wanted. This blog will explain to you the relationship between alcohol consumption and dieting. You probably know or recognize that alcohol consumption isn’t helpful for reaching your goals, but you may not know the extent to which alcohol consumption and dieting will interact.

First, alcohol consumption post exercise will stop the uptake of protein. In other words, drinking alcohol after you’ve trained stops the protein synthesis your body needs to repair, recover and rebuild damaged skeletal muscle. So not only will you not make gains, you may not even adequately recover to your pre-exercise condition. Repeat this cycle enough times and you will encourage negative adaptation.

Next, alcohol consumption halts the metabolism of fatty acids. At the first sign of alcohol, your liver shifts into metabolizing the alcohol and stops processing other nutrients. So say goodbye to any fat burning once you start imbibing.

Third, alcohol is calorically dense at 7 calories per gram. In addition, alcohol has absolutely no nutritional value whatsoever. So not only have you stopped building muscle and burning fat, your consuming something that is very high in calories.

Your body can metabolize one drink per hour, consume more than one drink per hour, and the alcohol is stored as sugar. Sugar spikes insulin levels and further encourages your body to store fat. Drink enough in a short enough span and inhibitions will lessen. Lowered inhibitions means than now you are more prone to give in to cravings. Speaking of which, alcohol triggers brain chemicals which will cause you to crave salty or sweet foods that most likely aren’t in your nutrition plan.

Lastly, alcohol is a diuretic. Diuretics promote dehydration and constriction of blood vessels. Constricted blood vessels do not intake nutrients and process waste as efficiently as when fully hydrated and dilated.

So before you hit that next happy hour, at least recognize how alcohol consumption and dieting interact and the trade-off you are making with your hard earned gains.