- Alcohol isn’t so much a fat storer as it is a fat burning suppressor.
- Large drinking has several mechanisms that will destroy fiber protein construction and restoration from training.
- Sportives who take post-competition don’t seem to be all that affected by it, as long as they take some days off.
- The results of alcohol are related to a lot on what you usually drink (beer, wine or mixed drinks), the quantity, when, and what you eat with it.
- As long as you’re not drinking yourself into a stupor nightly, your anxieties of man-boobs and dried testicles are likely overblown excessive.
When you sip beer, wine, or spirits, the ethanol in those drinks is given priority by your body in metabolism. It includes pretty much everything else and goes to work in a four-step manner that looks like this:
Ethanol → Acetaldehyde → Acetate → Acetyl-CoA
Acetate and acetyl-CoA are used by the body for energy, but it’s costly. One gram of alcohol normally contains 7 calories, but like protein, its change into energy is unproductive and 17 to 20% of its energy is lost. In other words, like protein, it has a very high thermogenic impact.
Contrary to popular opinion, alcohol is not easily converted to fat. That method is too costly. But all that acetate and acetyl-CoA showing up in the cells tells the body that no sugar or fat needs to be consumed. So sooner than a fat storer, alcohol is more of a fat burning suppressor.
So all the old theory is now busted? Are you saying alcohol is not as bad as everybody was thinking? What I’m saying is, there’s way more to the alcohol story you don’t know. If used wisely, alcohol might not be so bad to the organism.
Muscle, Body Fat and Performance
To increase muscle and burn fat you need to check calories and hormones. Alcohol has a big impact on both. When you drink you consume calories. This way, it can change the hormones that help your body increase muscle and stay strong. Alcohol also has its own issues as a cellular agent and as such influences the brain chemistry and muscle cell signaling. All this method has an important impact on building muscle, burning fat and working at the level in sports.
Here’s the interesting part about alcohol in doing sports. You may be able to use alcohol and still be able to get great outcomes.
Does Alcohol Halt Muscle Building?
You’ve probably heard alcohol is a big crusher in muscle building. You are probably correct. Alcohol has several methods that will negatively impact muscle protein structure and recovery from exercise. However, as long as you keep it balanced it will be safe.
Does alcohol drinking really affect performance?
There are some common guidelines as it concerns improving from energetic events. It may shock you to discover that athletes who drink post-competition don’t appear to be all that impacted by it. What Do Beer and Wine have to do with Fat Loss?
When we get into alcohol and fat loss, things get a bit difficult. In this field, we have to look at calories, endocrine connections (which influence muscle too) and the context in which alcohol is absorbed.
Red wine includes histamine which raises cortisol. So we assume this would mean an increase of appetite. Spirits and white wine have neither the bitter mixtures or the histamine content of beer and red wine, so it would be hard to consider the effects.
A study out of the journal Pharmacology, Biochemistry & Behavior by Dr. Anna Kokavec shows exactly what we’d prognosticate. Beer lowers cortisol and has a short-term appetite suppressing impact. Red wine raises cortisol very quick and excites the appetite faster too. White wine was similar to beer.
It is already clear that any alcohol will raise cortisol eventually. The results just seem to be time dependent in the case of beer and impacted by the amount as well. We now know cortisol has some impact on appetite, but it also plays a role in workout replacement. Nobody wants cortisol high in either scenario.
Alcohol also seems to impact mind chemistry which is known to impact appetite and needs. It raises dopamine and lowers serotonin. Dopamine is connected with desire and reward. It raises adrenaline and also reduces melatonin. This can negatively affect sleep, which is highly associated with increased hunger and desires.
A study report out of the journal Appetite gives us the following details associated with alcohol consumption taken before feeds. All alcohol enhances food consumption but the power of this effect depended on the drink drank. The decline from this study, plus my extrapolation of a few others, goes like this:
Beer & White Wine < Red Wine < Mixed Drinks
Testosterone and Other Hormones
The main lifters are men. So they are very concerned about the effect of alcohol on testosterone and other hormones because they are related to body-building.
And what about the related consequences alcohol has on testosterone, estrogen and other hormones? This seems to depend on the quantity and context in which the alcohol is consumed. Again, the entrance level of .5g/kg comes up in the investigation. Alcohol intake at this level appears to have just a little impact on testosterone at all.
Alcohol may impact you in a very different way, depending on what you do. Consuming alcohol after exhaustive resistance exercise definitely expands the lowered testosterone levels typically seen in this kind of exercise. The research showing this used 1.5g/kg. That’s about eight or nine drinks for our hypothetical 180-pound man.
But when drinking happens after weight exercise at levels of 1.09gkg (about five or six drinks), both free and total testosterone levels are actually elevated. Could my college buddy have been correct about his post-workout beer custom?
Moreover, most studies on women seem to propose alcohol may increase testosterone levels a bit. And if you understand female physiology, this is not a great thing, especially for their midsections.
When talking about testosterone, the rules seem to be:
- Keep alcohol consumption low (no more than three drinks).
- If you’re going to drink more, do it after training at the gym.
- Alcohol after cardio is not the best idea.
HGH and Estrogen
Alcohol also reduces HGH, but it really doesn’t appear to affect estrogen the way we once thought. A three-week interruption on men and post-menopausal women showed once again that the .5g/kg alcohol level (about 30-40g alcohol in this study) had no impact on circulating estrogen. And two other types of research I looked at using 1.5g/kg alcohol and 1.75g of alcohol didn’t look to impact estrogen either. I was really surprised. It seems that if anyone is going to be affected by increased estrogen as it relates to alcohol it’s women and not men.
Obviously, an entire volume could be written on this subject. The investigation is frustrating and conflicting at times, and more studies need to be done. But we can make some general points.
- When including alcohol at snacks, avoid carbs and fat. Stick to protein and veggies. You’ll ramp up the thermic result of the feed and avoid saving those fat and carb calories.
- When picking your drinks, go with beer and white wine. They seem to have a better impact on appetite.
- Avoid mixing the drinks. The alcohol plus sugar suggests you’re likely to save that sugar plus you’ll drink more.
- Alcohol intake under 5g/kg may be the entrance to keep you protected from any adverse effects linked to muscle wasting, fat gain, endocrine dysfunction and performance issues. (Yes, both types of performance issues!)
- Alcohol after cardio may not be a great idea.
- Alcohol after weight training may be the best time to drink, but keep your intake under 1g/kg.
As long as you’re doing most other things right and not drinking yourself into a coma every night, your worries of man-boobs and shriveled testicles are likely overblown.
Final perspective: Alcohol is a non-nutritive calorie source. It’ll reduce your levels of B-vitamins, zinc, magnesium, and others. This can put you at risk for what’s known as long-latency disorders or issues. This is when the organism experiences slowly over time due to inadequate nutrition. So, every time you drink, make sure you complete your meal with a good quality various vitamin and mineral supplement like ElitePro Minerals.