Alcohol and Muscle
For those of you serious about maintaining muscle mass
as you age, simply reducing your alcohol intake can
have a positive impact.
Excessive alcohol is known to dehydrate the body, and
deplete it of vitamins and minerals needed to synthesize
new muscle growth.
And if that's not enough, Alcohol can block the synthesis
of protein and reduce testosterone levels....so read
on and find out why.
Muscles are composed of about 70% water. Water is necessary
to hydrate the cells, flush out toxins and synthesize
new muscles. For every glass of alcohol you drink, you
body needs a glass of water, just to maintain normal
hydration. If your alcohol intake exceeds that of water
intake, the cells in the body dehydrate and cease to
function at optimal levels. This is why your brain hurts
in the morning and you feel toxic. Your body has been
unable to flush out all the toxins you ingested with
each glass of alcohol. So number one recommendation
on maintaining muscle mass is restrict your alcohol
intake, and always drink in ratio of one glass of water
to every glass of alcohol.
Alcohol depletes the body of vitamins A, C, B, calcium,
zinc and phosphorus. All the essentials needed to build
muscle. You may think that taking a multi-vitamin will
replace all these vitmains and in part that is so. But
a supplement will not fully counter the effects of alcohol
on the bodys store of these nutrients.
Interferes With Metabolism
Alcohol is not only empty calories [7 calories per
gram] - it contains no nutrition for the caloric value,
but it also disrupts the "Krebs Cycle". The
Krebs Cycle is the process behind the cellular energy
production, and accounts for the oxidation of carbohydrates
and fats. This cycle occurs within the mitochondria
or "power plant" of the cell; providing the
energy required for the organism to function.
Impacts Protein Synthesis
Alcohol negatively impacts protein synthesis, and since
muscles are largely protein, that's not a good way to
build or maintain muscle. Alcohol slows the process
of amino acid synthesis required to make more protein.
Reduces Testosterone Levels
Testosterone is essential to muscle building, playing
a major role in protein synthesis and the creation of
new muscle fibers. Even women have natural levels of
testosterone, albeit significantly lower that those
of a male. Drinking alcohol reduces the amount of testosterone
in your body and in some cases, can even increase estrogen
So, if muscle building or maintaining muscle mass is
one of your fitness or anti-aging goals, restrain your
alcohol intake to just a few glasses a week, and no
more than one binge night a month.
Avoid drinking the night before serious weight training
sessions, and never drink in the evening after a work