I’m not going to lie and tell you that I don’t enjoy the occasional wine with dinner or beer while watching football (soccer). It’s these simple things in life that I like to enjoy every now and then.
Having the occasional glass of wine is not detrimental to muscles. What’s worse is when you consume alcohol on a daily basis, including excess drinking on weekends. That’s when all hell breaks loose.
Moderate to high alcohol consumption can certainly impact your muscle’s growth and strength. One reason for this is a reduced level of testosterone in the blood stream. Testosterone is considered an anabolic growth hormone, meaning it’s responsible for the growth of muscles, among other things.
Reduced testosterone levels limits the muscle’s ability to reach its full growth potential, including its strength capabilities. I’m sure some of you have experienced working out the day after a rough night. I certainly have and it’s absolutely awful, to say the least. It’s as if all my strength gains have vanished entirely.
Alcohol consumption also increases the stress hormone cortisol. An increase in cortisol causes muscle protein breakdown, ultimately reducing muscle growth and strength. In turn, not only does alcohol decrease growth hormones, it increases stress hormones that limit a muscle’s potential to grow and get stronger!
What’s more? Muscle cramps. Alcohol causes dehydration and the more it’s consumed, the more dehydrated the muscles will be. A lack of water in the body causes muscles to contract and depending on the severity of dehydration, you may very well experience muscle cramps – and painful ones too! I hope for you to limit your alcohol consumption, but as a tip, offset the alcohol with 1-2 glasses of water after every drink.
If you’re one who likes to keep fit and exercise on a daily basis but drinks regularly, I highly urge you to rethink your situation and work towards improving your habits-especially if you’d like to see results from you workouts! So long as your consuming alcohol frequently, you’re only damaging your muscles. And I’m only applying alcohol in an exercise context. This is not to mention the other negative health issues you’ll experience!
Although I do have the occasional drink, believe me when I say the feeling of limiting or completely avoiding alcohol is out of this world. Not only will you feel great, but you’ll always experience solid workouts and rewarding results. Act now and shy away from alcohol whenever you can and replace it with healthy and nutritious drinks!