Can I Drink When I’m Training?
I like a drink – few people don’t, but I learned many years ago that alcohol and muscle building are quite simply incompatible.
This is something I struggled with during my Navy years and long after, even when I was into long distance cycling. I used to alternate days of cycling with days in the gym.
Trouble was I had no hesitation in downing many pints of beer in between training sessions. My legs were generally fine, but my upper body just wound’t lose that layer of fat that stops muscle definition from showing. Why? What does alcohol do? And was it just the carbs doing this? Without fairly precise intake and expenditure data, it could be hard to determine what’s causing which effect, but whereas we know we can burn carbs off with little or no other metabolic effect, alcohol is another matter altogether.
What Alcohol Does
The research I’ve done indicates that alcohol lowers testosterone levels and raises estrogen levels. The impact of this will be pretty obvious – to muscle growth is retarded because testosterone is essential muscle growth and estrogen tends to make you gain fat, especially around the waist; in fact estrogen is what gives ladies their lovely curvy look – not what we want for ourselves, I think! Furthermore, alcohol takes up so much of your liver’s resource, that it becomes significantly less effective in processing the fat in your diet . Processing the body’s fat is a key job for the liver;
And anyone who’s drunk too much knows that feeling of ”if I’d known I was going to be so thirsty this morning, I’d have had another drink last night!” – alcohol causes severe dehydration, which again harms the capacity of your body to process fat. Dehydration causes muscle pain and lactic acid buildup, making workouts much more more painful and your recovery much slower. All this is not to say you can’t have the occasional pint – but not when training n in moderation even then. The Muscle Maximizer program, in common with all good training and nutrition programs will guide you in this and steer you away from excess sugar and carbs. Good luck!