Spread the love


by Contributor

Image credit: Pixabay

(Apr. 9, 2020) — Is it possible to drink alcohol without sabotaging weight loss and muscle building? This question is as old as the world. Many hope to hear “yes,” but assume they will hear “no.”

The truth is that the answer lies somewhere in between. On the one hand, alcohol acts with some destructive effects, but it can be minimized. Allowing yourself to include alcohol in your diet without harming athletic success is real.

In this article, you will find the most common questions on this topic and the answers to them, so it will be easier for you to make the right decision. If you want to get more information, look for the AddictionResource drug hotline number and the specialists will be happy to help you.

What happens when you drink alcohol?

When you drink, alcohol enters the stomach and intestines, where it is redirected to the blood rushing through the vessels. About 20% of alcohol is absorbed in the stomach, and the remaining 80% in the intestine.

Then the alcohol is processed by the liver, the enzymes of which turn it into acetate.

How does alcohol affect your health?

Alcohol is often associated with poor health and fast weight gain. Although the negative consequences of its use do exist, studies show that there are still some health benefits from drinking alcohol.

One or two drinks a couple of times a week have been shown to be effective in reducing the risk of hypertension, preventing some cardiovascular diseases, and even improving the immune system. However, it doesn’t mean it’s better to drink more. On the contrary, if you notice that sometimes you drink too much, it’s always better to call a drug and alcohol hotline.

Losing excess fat

Alcohol is 7 kcal per gram. This is approximately double that of protein and carbohydrates, whose energy value is about 4 kcal per gram and a little less than fat, each gram of which gives 9 kcal. However, studies show that due to the high thermal effect of alcohol, the actual amount metabolized by the body is about 80%. That means that, in fact, alcohol gives about 5.5 kcal per gram.

When you drink alcohol, the liver processes it into acetate. This is a toxic substance. As a result, the body prioritizes the metabolism of alcohol, and the digestion of fat, carbohydrates, and proteins is delayed until all alcohol has been eliminated from the body.

According to Nutrition and Alcohol: The CRC Series in Physiology of Drug Abuse by Ronald Ross Watson, alcohol consumption reduced fat oxidation by 79%, protein by 39%, and carbohydrate oxidation “stopped almost completely.”

How much weight can you gain while drinking alcohol?

The truth is that alcohol leads to the consumption of large amounts of food but in itself is not necessarily the main factor in weight gain. In this regard, researchers pay attention to “the nature of people and their alcoholic preferences.”

So, if you drink high-calorie drinks every evening, then, most likely, you will gain weight. Added to this is how intoxication will affect your choice of snacks. Surely you will overeat.

However, if you drink non-nutritious alcohol and consider these calories in your daily intake, then drinking will not necessarily lead to weight gain. Remember that alcohol inhibits the oxidation of fat, which makes it easier for the body to store this fat and carbohydrates. But the conversion of alcohol per se to fat is negligible, if at all.

And this means that:

  • If you drink alcohol and exceed the daily calorie intake, then you will gain weight;
  • If you drink alcohol but keep the calorie deficit necessary for weight loss, this will not affect your result.

How does alcohol affect muscle building?

Studies have shown that moderate doses of alcohol do not exacerbate muscle damage that occurs during training, and also do not affect muscle strength. Good news. But that is not all. To get the full picture, you also need to study the effect of alcohol on testosterone, body repair, and training results.

Alcohol, Testosterone and Protein Synthesis

It would be a mistake to assume that a drop of alcohol destroys testosterone and the chances of building muscle, turning you into a weak child.

In a study, ten men and nine middle-aged and elderly women with good health and non-smokers consumed alcoholic and non-alcoholic beer for two consecutive three-week periods. At this time, the daily portion of alcohol consumed was 40 g for men and 30 g for women.

As a result of the experiment, scientists found that the level of testosterone in men decreased by only 6.8%, while for women, it remained at the same level.

In another study, eight male volunteers consumed about 120 grams, that is, about 10 servings of beer, over three hours. This led to a drop in testosterone levels by 23% within 10-16 hours after the start of alcohol intake.

What does it mean? We can say with absolute certainty that if you are not going to go into a three-week binge, then a couple of glasses you drink from time to time after work will not harm muscle building.

Alcohol, recovery, and the results

In conclusion, if you do not plan to perform sports feats and drink ten or more drinks at a time, then you should not worry. This does not mean that you can drink, let’s say, six drinks, and expect vigor from the body. But one or three drinks from time to time will not affect the recovery of your body.

You can use this plan so that you do not give up alcohol from time to time when meeting friends, but do not gain weight.

Step 1. Try to know in advance when you plan to drink.

Step 2. On the day when gatherings are planned for a glass, fats should be 5-10% of your daily calorie intake (or 0.3 g per kg of body weight).

Step 3. Carbohydrates should be 10-15% of the daily calorie volume (or 1.5 g per kg).

Step 4. Eat a lot of protein on this day, all your daily intake.

Step 5. When choosing alcohol, give preference to low-calorie types of it, for example, dry white wine.

Step 6. Do not go crazy. Have fun and know about your norm. Do not let one evening unsettle you for the next two to three days.

To summarize: Do not worry if you have drunk too much or broken your diet. Instead of blaming yourself, starving yourself, and imposing other restrictions, focus on a faster return to your usual regime. However, if you notice you overdose too often, it’s better to call an addiction help hotline.

And most importantly, if you do not drink a lot and regularly, then the effect of alcohol on fat burning and muscle building will be minimal.

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.