Alcohol And Weightlifting

It's the question that every weight lifter and casual drinker wants to know the answer to. Can alcohol and weightlifting still produce positive results in the gym? What are the effects of alcohol on weight lifting? Alcohol has no nutritional value, in fact, it does a whole heck of a lot more harm than it does good. Alcohol and weightlifting do not mix. Alcohol is more than just an empty calorie drink like coke, it is responsible for a whole host of negative things in your body, especially when combined with weight lifting. Lets take a look at for the effects of alcohol on weightlifting.

Alcohol and Weightlifting - The Effects

Dehydration and Hangovers

Let's start with the most basic results from alcohol consumption - the ones that everyone who has had too much to drink can relate to. Over consumption of alcohol makes you feel like garbage the day after - your head hurts, you're lethargic, you feel queasy. You can forget about getting anything done, which means you'll get no results - you won't even be able to drag yourself to the gym. If you do manage to drag your body into the gym, you most likely won't be able to perform with any level of intensity. Dehydration will leave you lacking energy and your muscles will not be in an optimal state to exercise.

Sleep and Recovery

People often consume alcohol in the evening hours; most of the time the party continues well beyond what would be your normal bed time. Once you do finally hit the hay, your sleep won't nearly be of as good a quality as it would have if you'd gone to bed at a reasonable hour and sober. Poor quality sleep severely inhibits the body's ability to recover from the day and particularly from a heavy weight training session. If your body can't adequately recover from an intense training session then the results you see from your training will be minimal. Proper recovery is just as important as hard work and dedication in the gym. If you ruin your body's ability to recover by consuming too much alcohol and getting low quality sleep, you'll be destroying what ever chance you had of squeezing any results out of your training sessions.

Eating Habits

Studies have shown that excessive alcohol consumption can increase a person's appetite. The main problem being that the type of food usually consumed with alcohol is never healthy. You never see a bunch of guys at a bar slugging down pint after pint of beer and eating a salad or boiled chicken breast along with it - the types of food that are usually consumed along with the alcohol are deep fried and loaded with fat, holding almost as little nutritional value to the person eating it as the alcohol that's washing it down.

Decrease Testosterone Increased Cortisol

This is a big one - testosterone is a necessity if you want to build muscle and if you want to burn fat. If you want the best possible results from the hours of hard work you put in at the gym, then you want the highest levels of naturally produced testosterone in your body. The decrease in production of testosterone, coupled with the increased production of cortisol, will have your lean muscle mass decreasing while your body stores even more fat - yielding very little in the way of results from even the most intense sessions in the gym.

Poor Protein Synthesis

In layman's terms, this means that high alcohol consumption inhibits your body's ability to properly digest and use certain types of protein. Another very good reason why alcohol and weightlifting should not be mixed. Protein is absolutely necessary to the building and recovery of muscles. Without enough protein, your muscles will never reach their full potential even if they are worked sufficiently in the gym. Of course all of the above scenarios are based on a subject who consumes an excess of alcohol, the results for someone who only drinks once or twice a week certainly won't be that drastic.

The fact of the matter is that alcohol simply isn't good for you - if you feel that you must do it or like it so much that you can't help yourself on occasion - do it very sparingly or your results in the gym and your overall health will suffer. Every person is different, some subjects react much differently to alcohol consumption than others. Some people can go out and have a few beers the night before a workout and show very little in the way of ill effects and in fact show some positive results from an intense session, but these people would be the exception rather than the rule. If you are truly serious about getting the best possible results from all of the hard work you put in at the gym, then you should eliminate alcohol from your diet.

It's often stated that moderation is the key, which would hold true for most situations including this one - one alcoholic beverage a week, even one alcoholic beverage a night won't destroy your body, but so few people are capable of actually doing things in moderation, so the best possible scenario to get the best results would be to avoid any consumption of alcohol to eliminate all negative effects. When it comes to alcohol and weightlifting, alcohol is best left alone or to be consumed in small moderation for best results.


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