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.


Vitamin Depletion

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 levels.

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 out.



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