Do Alcohol and Bodybuilding Mix ?

Alcohol or ethanol is one of the world’s oldest drink, and one which is used by almost everyone. Drinking alcohol has both positive and negative effects, which you should be aware of, especially if you are a bodybuilder.

Although it serves as source of enjoyment and relaxation for many, if you are an athlete or bodybuilder who is focusing on muscle gains, you will be surprised to know how detrimental it is to building muscle.

Some of the adverse effects of alcohol for bodybuilders are listed below:

Empty Calories

Alcohol lacks in vitamins and nutrients and simply provides empty calories. It provides 7 calories per gram, which means that just one shot of 80 proof vodka will give you 100 calories, which is a lot if you are trying to lose fat. Increased alcohol intake in the diet provides high calorie content, which is something bodybuilders do not want. Alcohol intake also slows down the metabolism rate as it disrupts the Kreb’s cycle. When the Kreb’s cycle is not working correctly, the body is unable to break down fats. Moreover, the body has to work extra hard to digest and metabolize the alcohol, that fat burning stops all together.

Alcohol Causes Dehydration

Alcohol consumption has both short-term and long-term effects. Alcohol is a diuretic, which means it causes excessive urination. The presence of fluid in alcohol itself results in more urine formation. Excessive urination also leads to a loss of ions, such as sodium, potassium and magnesium etc. which are required by the body cells to perform properly. Moreover, the water lost in urine is disproportionate to the amount of ions lost in urine. When the concentration of ions in the blood increases, water is pushed out of the cells, thereby depleting the amount of water present in the cells. This causes dehydration and an overall feeling of thirst.

Water retention is important for bodybuilders, as it gives a lean and hard look. However, dehydration as a result of alcohol consumption makes it harder to build muscle cells. Increased alcohol intake by bodybuilders is known to severely hurt muscle growth as it blocks the absorption of important nutrients needed for muscle contraction, relaxation, repair and growth.

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