Alcohol and Bodybuilding

by | Apr 6, 2016

As bodybuilders, our bodies are our lives. We eat right throughout the week, get plenty of rest, drink lots of water, stay as healthy as possible, and of course, workout. We put all these efforts into ourselves throughout the week, but on weekends we drink like fish .You may have wondered how detrimental your drinking habits really are on your muscle-building progress If you’re trying to get lean, does this mean you should forget all alcohol for the next month or two. Many guys struggle to cut out foods, for others, cutting out drinking is the real challenge. By reading this article, for those of you that drink, you will see just how detrimental alcohol is to building muscle.
Here’s what you need to know about alcohol and muscles.

Alcohol and testosterone

As you likely know, testosterone is huge hormone associated with muscle growth. When you consume alcohol, however, a substance is produced in the liver that is toxic to the release of testosterone. This substance decreases the concentration of testosterone in the body, resulting in lower muscle mass and definition.  It was also interesting to note, that when blood alcohol levels were the highest, testosterone was at its lowest.As you can see, heavy drinking is like a death blow to your testosterone production, as it negatively impacts a wide variety of systems needed in normal endocrine functions.

Reduces Protein Synthesis

To achieve muscle growth, you must have a positive muscle protein balance. Alcohol can put your body into a catabolic state (in which you are losing muscle tissue). Drinking alcohol can cancel out any potential physical gains you could acquire from training. Both short-term and long-term alcohol consumption can reduce protein synthesis — or muscle growth. It is proved in a research that alcohol caused a significant 15 percent to 20 percent decrease in baseline protein synthesis after a 24-hour period.

Reduces Energy

Alcohol interferes with the way your body makes energy. When you’re metabolizing or breaking down alcohol the liver can’t produce as much glucose, which means you have low levels of blood sugar. Exercise requires high levels of sugar to give you energy. If your liver isn’t producing enough glucose, your performance will be adversely affected.


Dehydration is another issue you have to watch out for if you choose to drink alcohol while trying to build muscle and work out. Excess alcohol consumption can cause dehydration in a variety of ways. Firstly, alcohol decreases the body’s production of anti-diuretic hormone, which is used by the body to reabsorb water. With less anti-diuretic hormone available, your body loses more fluid than normal through increased urination. Drinking excessive amounts of alcohol can also cause vomiting, which depletes the body of fluids and can cause further dehydration.

Central Nervous System

Alcohol also affect in your nervous system like a change in behavior. Alcohol travels through the body easily. It can quickly reach many parts of your body, including your brain and other parts of your central nervous system. That can make it harder to talk, causing slurred speech. It can also affect coordination, interfering with balance and the ability to walk. Drinking can actually shrink the frontal lobes of your brain.

Immune System

An immune system weakened by alcohol has a hard time fighting off viruses, germs, and all types of illness. Heavy drinkers are more likely to get pneumonia or tuberculosis than the general population. Chronic alcohol use increases your risk of many forms of cancer.

So, next time you’re contemplating whether or not you should have that drink, keep these factors in mind. Definitely, alcohol and muscle building are not a good pair, as stated by all these points, but if you aren’t training for any major athletic event or getting ready to step on stage for a bodybuilding competition, chances are that you can afford yourself one or two drinks once in a while without having to worry too much.



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