The effect of alcohol on the muscles 

From the point of view of bodybuilding, alcohol has direct toxic effects on muscle and nerve tissue. The type II muscle fibers are most susceptible to alcohol damage (that is, those in which the most active hypertrophy occurs due to weight-bearing training). Alcohol disturbs the hepatic process of glucose synthesis with amino acids or lactates, called gluconeogenesis. This is evident during long workouts, especially when the exerciser is on a low carbohydrate diet – then you may experience a sudden hypoglycaemia. Alcohol has a depressive effect on the brain, people who drink alcohol have a reduced ability to concentrate. 


You can read also: Alcohol and mass building or reduction – can you drink on a diet ?


Alcohol and diet 

One gram of alcohol provides up to 7.1 kcal, but these are empty calories, because they do not provide any nutrients in addition to energy. People who drink alcohol often have nutritional deficiencies and deficiencies of vitamins (folic acid, thiamine – vitamin B1 and vitamin A) and malnutrition. 

Alcohol leads to fatty liver, which can be the cause of its inefficiency. Because the calories provided by alcohol are first converted into fat, it will predispose to the development of obesity in the abdomen (a typical “beer muscle” is created). 

Alcohol harms people practicing strength sports. It harms not only directly affecting the body, but also indirectly through our will. A man who is tired of a hangover, or postpones training for the next day, or tries to get the last of his strength and trains despite the fatigue. Such a training session, unfortunately, does not bring the intended results, and this is due to the low ability to concentrate (the man during the hangover has a reduced ability to think rationally and concentrate). As we know, bodybuilding training requires concentration from the practitioner during different exercises! 

Small amounts of alcohol (56.7g per day) can bring health benefits. Such a conclusion comes from the observation of the French who drink red or white wine for each meal. 

Despite high fat intake, they have low rates of cardiovascular disease. This alcohol-induced protective effect, known as the “French paradox,” has recently been associated with naturally occurring antioxidants in the wine, such as polyphenols. However, studies have shown that other alcoholic beverages (even beer) also provide a degree of protection. 

For mass-builders, however, alcohol is not recommended. First, it acts as a simple toxin for quickly contractile type 2 muscles – the most prone to muscular hypertrophy. Other studies have shown that alcohol has a detrimental effect on weight gain processes. 

The effect of a 12-week alcohol-containing diet on protein synthesis in rats was also investigated. It turned out that alcohol could lower the synthesis rate by 23 percent in the gastrocnemius muscle and by 46 percent in the plantar muscles, but it did not affect soleus muscles. All of the muscles mentioned are leg muscles. Two types of them, which were adversely affected by alcohol, are muscles of rapid contractions. The soleus muscle is a muscle of slow contractions, less subordinate to growth or hypertrophy. 


You can check also: Sport and drinking alcohol


What caused the reduction of the protein synthesis index? This effect has been found to significantly reduce the levels of the anabolic hormone (IGF1) in animals that were given alcohol. 

In their absorption system, circulating levels of IGF1 decreased by 42 percent. Measurements of substances related to breakdown of proteins increased by 34 percent. Reduction of protein synthesis and increased breakdown of muscle protein have been demonstrated. 

Rat studies have led to the conclusion that the adverse effect of alcohol on muscle metabolism is associated with a decrease in IGF1 in blood and muscle tissue. 

The application is one. Those who build mass should avoid alcohol. Whereas the bodybuilders who have the season behind them should not avoid inviting their hearts to a restaurant for a meal in which a glass of wine will be a romantic addition. 

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