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Bodybuilding and Alcohol
Does alcohol interfere with bodybuilding?
Facts About Alcohol Use
Alcohol acts directly on cell membranes and intracellular metabolism. It serves as a preferred metabolic fuel and, depending upon the frequency of use, can suppress the utilization of fat. Since it provides 7 calories per gram it may contribute substantial "empty" calories, which can promote fat deposition while simultaneously tempting you to reduce your consumption of high-quality, high-protein nutrients essential to optimizing training. How often do you feel like eating something healthy after swigging down a beer? For that reason, it's especially detrimental to those trying to lose fat and get "cut".
These effects are compounded by hormonal changes which include reductions of testosterone and increased conversion of testosterone and other androgens to estrogen - with resulting elevated estrogen levels contributing to fat deposition, gynecomastia, and fluid retention.
Even though, over the short term, alcohol acts as a diuretic, it can severely impair, not just protein synthesis and growth hormone release but also immune function. You're more likely to get sick.
Alcohol can also deplete minerals critical to muscle contraction, relaxation and growth, including calcium, magnesium, potassium and phosphorus. What's more, alcohol-induced suppressions of the rhythms of growth hormone secretion can adversely influence body composition, performance and recuperation. Things which you critically need when involved in regular intense training.
Alcohol depresses the central nervous system, impairing strength and other neuromuscular capacities, as well as mental performance. It can bring on hypoglycemia, mood swings and legal and behavioral problems that can cost one relationships, jobs and careers. Long-term use can lead to addiction (alcoholism) and a host of other serious physical and psychological problems, including feminization (in males), loss of sex drive and impotence, skeletal-muscle myopathy, gout, high blood pressure, life-threatening liver problems and strokes.
Bottom line on bodybuilding and alcohol use - drink less!
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