One question that comes up pretty often in our videos is if it is ok to drink alcohol (beers or hard liquer) while weight lifting and bodybuilding. People seem to want to know if it will hinder their gains or have any negative effects on muscle growth and muscle building. Because of the many questions on this topic, we decided to do a video covering it.

Muscle Building & Alcohol Consumption

Video Transcription

Johnny: Hello again everybody, this is Johnny Glen with Today we're going to be covering the adverse effects of alcohol on muscle development. We're doing this because we have a supportive, persistent user that's been asking us to do it, so we're going to do it for him because he keeps asking and we're happy to do it. It actually is a question that people do ask from time to time, so it's actually good to get a video out there because one of the main questions we get is, "I want to put on muscle, but I also like to drink on the weekends, or a few times a month." So, let's go ahead and cover it.

Male Speaker: Yeah. Essentially, if you're someone who's really serious about body-building or a sport in particular and you're looking to get the maximized benefit out of working out, you generally don't want to drink. Because drinking alcohol or consuming alcohol inhibits protein synthesis, which means, slows it down, I should say. You're not as efficient to build muscle.

Johnny: It's a toxin, you're putting a toxin in your body and your liver has to work to break it down and all of that stuff. So that's number one. Two, it's empty calories.

Male Speaker: It is empty calories. Alcohol has seven calories per gram. A lot of people think if you drink Bacardi or Vodka that there is no calories. There actually is calories.

Johnny: It's lower because if you do a Diet Coke, you're not getting sugar. But like you said, there's no benefit to those calories.

Male Speaker: Your body doesn't use it for anything, it's toxic.

Johnny: Now, you will hear studies and stuff that will say, "Hey if I have wine and stuff, it's good for you." That's true. There's resveratrol in wine, but the truth is that yes, wine is good for us, but wine and drinking like that once in awhile - like a drink a day when you see those studies are good - it's because of our lifestyles, because of stress and because of external things and the alcohol is almost an escape from that. So, in a perfect world, which we don't live in, it wouldn't be good for you because it's still a toxin. It still would not be good for you. But because we live hectic lives, we have work we have school and we have all of these other things going on, that stress relief of letting go of your mind - and it shows you how powerful your mind is, it actually is good for you.
And again, aside from the benefit of resveritrol which seems to work best when it is in alcohol, it has to do with the fermentation so that's something else to consider. Also, sometimes when you drink, it's really the decisions you make when you drink. Sometimes you drink and you're like, "Okay," but then you go out and you get burritos, or you're at White Castle or wherever you go late at night sometimes.

Male Speaker: Yeah, a lot of times you'll have a few drinks and after that, you're not thinking about eating healthy. So, afterwards you get hungry and you eat that food, that's why they make these late night visits.

Johnny: You compound the original problem and then the next day maybe you don't feel good, maybe you don't work out. But the thing is, if you do go out and you drink like that, just understand that the next day, it's a new day. So, start fresh and move on. So, we don't want to over-dramatize this, because you can drink on the weekend or something like that and still be in very good shape, look good, and do really well. Let's just say all things being equal, it's always better off not too, but you still got to live and if it's fun for you and you're safe, then by all means. You're an adult, you're old enough to make that decision, great. It's not going to be the difference between you having a six-pack and not, if you go out on a Saturday and have a few beers, it's just not. It's not going to be weight-limiting factor. It's going to be some other things. Is it good, no. But it's not this terrible terrible thing where it's like, "Oh no, I can't do this," or "I can't do that." We recommend not going crazy and drinking yourself into a stupor. That's another thing to consider.

Male Speaker: Yeah, if it's controlled and it's something that you're going out every once in a while and having a good time and it's not an every day thing, then like John says, by all means. It's not the best thing for you but if it's helping you relieve stress, it's not going to be the limiting factor of what your ultimate physique is going to be.

Johnny: And especially if you're staying within that therapeutic range of one or two glasses of wine or an equivalent of one or another booze, it seems that wine seems to have a better effect and it's more because of the resveritrol, red wine specifically. But that's that.

Male Speaker: Another thing to pay attention to also is that alcohol does have a diuretic effect, so if you have some water, generally - you have a drink, have a glass of water - not only will that help you to combat the diuretic effect, it will also help you in the long run throughout the night so you're not drinking as much.

Johnny: More volume in your stomach is going to tend to slow you down and stuff. And there's some stuff out there too about eating and drinking. Sometimes it's not the best thing to do in terms of health, actually combining food and booze. The other thought is, "Well, I do it on an empty stomach, and then that's even worse." So, there's conflicting stuff. It really depends and we're by no means experts on the best way to drink.

Male Speaker: Yeah. The truth of the matter is your body is going to metabolize alcohol at a constant rate.

Johnny: It's relative to tolerance, your body weight, all that stuff. The biggest thing is be safe. When you do drink, just don't go bonkers. You can go out and have a few drinks and not go past that point where you're on another planet and then you're really making some bad decisions for our purposes, what we're discussing in terms of your diet and foods. Start the next day fresh. Have a good breakfast, hydrate, go work out, go do your thing.

Male Speaker: You can get a really good workout.

Johnny: Doing it every day, getting drunk every day, that will inhibit you from getting that six pack, that will inhibit you from building muscle. That's a bad thing. And typically the older you get, the less you're going to be able to get away with because your endocrine system and your entire body, it's not going to be able to recover as well from that.

Male Speaker: It's just trying to recover from workouts and stuff.

Johnny: I think we covered everything. I'm sure there's other stuff. Always be safe, and try to make good decision. if you have any questions, feel free to post them in the comments section of the video or the blog. Also, you could check us out at facebook.combestpricenutrition. Thank you.