Ways Alcohol Destroys Muscle Gain

Five Ways Alcohol Destroys Muscle Gain

Alcohol is far more harmful than most people think, and it’s very important that you understand how alcohol destroys muscle gain. This drug affects your progress both in and out of the gym.

Alcohol Destroys Muscle Gain
Alcohol Destroys Muscle Gain


Aspiring muscle-builders all over the world frequently ask, “does drinking really affect the muscle growth process?”

The answer: Yes, too much alcohol will almost definitely have a significant negative impact on muscle building results. Literally, alcohol destroys muscle gain.

Alcohol is far more harmful than most people realize. It is very important that you understand how this drug (yes, alcohol is a drug) will affect muscle building.  If you are serious about achieving an impressive physique you need to accept that alcohol destroys muscle gain.

5 Ways That Alcohol Destroys Muscle Gain.

  1. Alcohol negatively affects protein synthesis. Protein synthesis is the process where amino acids are joined together to form complete proteins. Excessive alcohol consumption slows this process down by up to 20 percent!  Since  muscle is made up of protein, you can see how this is a problem.
  2. Alcohol lowers testosterone levels and increases estrogen. Testosterone is the most important muscle building hormone in your body. One of the limiting factors that determines how much muscle a person can gain is their level of free-flowing testosterone.
  3. Alcohol causes dehydration. The kidneys must filter very large amounts of water in order to break down alcohol, and this can result in severe dehydration within the body. Water plays an absolutely crucial role in the muscle building process. This means that becoming even slightly dehydrated is a recipe for disaster. Your muscles are comprised of 70 percent water.
  4. Alcohol depletes the body of vitamins and minerals.   Alcohol consumption causes vitamins A, C, the B’s, calcium, zinc and phosphorus to be drained at rapid rates. Vitamins and minerals keep every single process in your body functioning properly, and many of these processes involve muscle growth and maintenance.
  5. Alcohol increases fat storage. With 7 empty calories per gram, alcohol can actually be quite fattening.

Alcohol is also a calorie-dense liquid.

It is important to have fun in life, but too much fun with alcohol can lead to problems. Yes, alcohol destroys muscle gain, and it wreaks havoc on your liver. If you are serious about achieving significant muscle building results, you may wish to monitor your intake of alcohol and make sure that you are consuming it in moderation. A few drinks here and there aren’t a problem, but if you find yourself drinking every weekend you can almost certainly kiss your muscle gains goodbye.

If you do decide to go out and party, make sure to drink plenty of water and to properly nourish yourself with vitamins and minerals. You should also eat a protein rich meal.  Keep your drinking nights infrequent. No more than once a month is recommended. Properly nourish yourself to lessen negative effects from alcohol.

As long as you monitor what you’re doing you can achieve an impressive physique and have a great social life at the same time!  If you are prone to over-indulge from time to time, check out Effects of a Hangover.

For holiday drinking, consider trying out some Festive Alcohol Free Drink Recipes.

Coffee and Alcohol

Coffee and Alcohol: Drink Up But Drink Smart

Oh no – not doom and gloom on two such commonly ingested beverages! No worries. Just a few notable notes so you can make informed decisions on both your coffee and alcohol consumption. In moderation, coffee and alcohol cannot harm you. That is unless you have a sensitivity or health concern specifically harmed by either.

Coffee Consumption: The Good News

Coffee and Alcohol: Drink Up But Drink Smart
Coffee and Alcohol: Drink Up But Drink Smart

Drink coffee made from coffee beans that are organically grown, properly harvested, stored, and roasted. Drinking coffee in moderation may have some beneficial properties. For type 2 diabetics, reviews of 9 studies of coffee and diabetes by two show that drinking coffee may be the best counter to your sweet tooth. Source: Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA).

In short, experts consider moderate consumption to be up to 300mg daily. That would be the amount contained in 2 to 3 cups of coffee or five to six cans of caffeine containing soft drinks. For more information, see Caffeine and Coffee.

Coffee Capers

Pesticides. They’re the main problem in coffee consumed in North America. Much of the coffee is actually grown in 3rd world countries where they use toxins such as DDT. Coffee arabica tends to be from Central or South America while coffee robusta from Indonesia or Africa. To be free of such toxins, look for organic coffee.

Those white paper filters used to make your coffee could be a culprit in the negative effects. Numerous studies confirm the existence of dioxin residues in bleached paper coffee filters. Dioxin can suppress the immune system, decrease vitamins A, D and K levels and cause bleeding in babies. Some research suggests dioxin can harm the thyroid hormone regulatory system in addition to having carcinogenic potential. Going with the tan-colored, natural paper filters is a good idea.

Decaffeinated Coffee

This is a conundrum. People who are sensitive to caffeine in regular coffee will turn to decaf to help themselves – but then are exposed to the various chemicals used in the process of decaffeinating. Those chemicals may include:

  • Trichloroethylene.
  • Trichloroethane.
  • Ethyl acetate.
  • Methylene chloride.

There is an alternative: Swiss water-processed decaffeinated coffee. More research is needed on the effects of the above chemicals used to decaffeinate coffee. Just to be on the safe side and to avoid consuming the potentially harmful substances, give the Swiss water processed decaffeinated coffee a try. Especially if you need to avoid  caffeine. There are many brands available – just do a quick Bing or Yahoo! search to find options.

What Happens When We Drink Alcohol?

First, your liver has to process alcohol. While busy with this task your liver’s ability to perform up to 500 other functions can be reduced. Second, when you drink alcohol to excess, as in binge drinking, your liver starts to store the excess alcohol. Too much of this behavior can lead to cirrhosis of the liver and hepatitis.

Alcohol decreases your body’s ability to detoxify and inhibits white blood cells, which can negatively affect your immune system. Research also shows links to cancers of the mouth, esophagus, liver and breast from excessive alcohol consumption. According to Cancer.org (PDF):

The way alcohol causes cancer is not completely understood. It could be that alcohol itself causes cancer by increasing hormone levels or it may be carcinogenic because of the way it is metabolized, which can make cells more vulnerable to other carcinogens.

You don’t have to be an alcohol or health expert to understand it’s absolutely best to avoid alcohol in excess.

There you have it. Two of our favorite beverages – coffee and alcohol – can be safely drunk in moderation. In excess, we may have some health problems to contend with. Coffee and alcohol. Drink up, but drink smart.

Fit Tip

As in most things in life, just make those smart, informed choices and practice moderation.

See also: Achieve Coffee Perfection