Fitness: Will Alcohol Ruin Your Exercise?

Working out but not seeing any results? It might just be that alcohol is negatively affecting your gains.

Fitness: Will Alcohol Ruin Your Exercise?
© Getty Images
Fitness: Will Alcohol Ruin Your Exercise?

A beer or two shouldn’t ruin your gains, however, is it really worth it? Sorry to say it seems that no matter what, you can't out-exercise binge drinking. When we drink alcohol, there are a few negative effects on the body that could impede your progress.

Discover our latest podcast

To truly see results from the gym you need a balanced combination of exercise, nutrition and recovery, and it seems that alcohol can disrupt these systems. This is because drinkingalcohol causes protein breakdown at a higher rate than the body can carry out protein synthesis. This means that no matter how great your diet and exercise is, heavy alcohol consumption can destroy your efforts.

Not only this but alcohol can cause dehydration Water is one of the most important nutrients in the body and is needed to help build the structures of proteins. When the body is dehydrated, muscles will be lacking in electrolytes which can cause cramps as well as weakness.

High levels of alcohol consumption can also lead to calcium and magnesium being expelled at a higher rate. Now, you may be thinking that building muscle is all about protein but caluim is also essential and is used in every single muscle contraction in the body. Magnesium is also essential as not only is this mineral also an electrolyte but it also plays a key role in the activation of ATP which helps digest proteins, carbs and fats.

To offset these effects, try working out earlier in the day. Putting as much space as possible between your workout and your brew can help limit the effects of booze on your muscles.

If you’d still like to knock back a few but are worried about undoing any work you just got done in the gym, try to look for a drink that’s lighter in alcohol (ABV). Drinks with higher alcohol contents typically lead to sleep disruption and reduced efficiency of the body to synthesize proteins for muscles.

At the end of the day, it’s up to you! Remember: moderation is key.

Does Alcohol Really Have Such A Negative Impact On Your Fitness? Does Alcohol Really Have Such A Negative Impact On Your Fitness?