Does Alcohol Limits Your Transformation Progress?
It is a topic that is most debatable but least addressed by many people. For most people I have come across who wants to transform physically, the one thing they are not willing to give up or reduce is the alcohol consumption. Primarily because that’s what they enjoy the most during the week with work colleagues or social gatherings but also it has become part of “celebration” in any form.
Note: My goal through this blog is to educate my readers about how alcohol consumption can slow an individual’s transformation in form of fat loss and muscle building. If you are easily offended, then this may not be for you. If you have some big plans this coming weekend, then definitely this blog is not for you.
Before further delays, let’s see what some of the hard cold facts of alcohol that negatively impacts our body’s functionality and overall health.
Hard Cold Negative Facts
- Alcohol has been classified as a toxin for body due to its chemical nature and properties. With approx. 7 calories per gram of it is unable to digest/ metabolize it like a normal food. In simple words, when we consume alcohol the body instantly shuts down the normal metabolism process of breaking down of food to fuel our body.
- Research has shown that alcohol creates an enzyme known as acetyl-CoA that plays a key role in creating fatty acids & molecules that eventually gets stored as fat in the body. Additionally, it also generates an enzyme in the body called NADH which signals the body of having abundance of energy available in the body to utilise, along with storing it as fat.
- Research has shown that when we consume alcohol our body prioritises the metabolism of toxic alcohol and blunts the normal fat and carbohydrate metabolism. So if you are adding high sugar drinks with alcohol (colas, juices, energy drinks etc.) and high fatty & carb food (burgers, pizzas etc.); the fat storage continues.
- Regular alcohol intake slows down the protein synthesis (building new muscle); blunts the future growth of the muscle, and slowly starts impairing muscle growth and recovery – making you weaker and smaller in the long run. The reason is that there is a direct impact on the Type 2 muscle fibres which are crucial ones for lifting weights. So if you have trained hard in the gym and then off you go straight to the pub for a drink then you might as well forget all the hard work you put in to be converted into a better growth.
- Alcohol consumption also has an impact on your growth hormones (important for fat loss and muscle growth); and luteinizing hormone which is key role in testosterone production. Increase in cortisol levels is another impact noticed by research that effects physical recovery of our body.
Given all the negative effects of consuming alcohol to our body, it doesn’t mean to completely eliminate it but a balance is important at the same time. Few tips for having a good balance –
- Recognize Your Goal – If you are competing as a pro athlete then completely avoid during your prep due to reasons explained above. But if you are a fitness enthusiast or fan who loves the lifestyle, then it’s ok to have couple of glasses a week given it is fitting well into your daily macro intake.
- Smart Choices – It is important for you to be smart about your choices. Try to go for low calorie content such as tequila, or spirits mixed with tonic water or diet sodas instead of sugary soft drinks. Wine is also a good option, although with high calorie content, it does have some antioxidant properties and health promoting nutrient called resveratrol.
- Eat Smart – In terms of food intake, choose food high in protein and low in fat or carbohydrates, avoid greasy fried food or with lots of cheese. Also make sure you have a day off next day for recovery of the body as lack of sleep can severely impact your overall growth and recovery.
- Hydration – alcohol does dehydrate your body to a large extent which signals the body mixed messages of being hungry, hence the high carbs food or snack consumption. Make sure you are hydrating yourself for recovery and flushing out the toxins as fast as possible.
The best way to progress is to apply what we learn because there is no better teacher then an experience. I have personally been on both side of curves – high consumption to now a living an active healthy life with minimal to no consumption of alcohol.
With this blog my aim is get through minds of as many people as I can to help them make an educated decision of choosing to consume alcohol instead during their fitness journey or transformation process.
The choice in the end is yours, I am just a messenger!
Messenger of Fitness and Transformation