Effects of alcohol on body composition.
Plentiful literature has suggested that large doses of alcohol will have adverse effects on your heath, and for this reason it is often demonised within the fitness industry.
Alcohol makes you fat?
False. Alcohol is, however, a fat burning suppressor. The ethanol within the drink is given priority as a fuel source, thus slowing the rate of carbohydrate and fat metabolism.
Excess calories are the cause of gains in fat mass, and alcohol is almost as calorie dense as fat at 7kcal per gram. Therefore, having a few beers after work can quickly take you into a calorie surplus, and indeed lead to belly gains.
However, if you manage your macros (fats, carbs and protein) correctly, and substitute the calories from fat and carbohydrates for that of the beverage, then alcohol could be included into a fat loss programme.
But who does that? We all go out and get slaughtered, right?
In this case, we have to accept that there is going to be a calorie surplus. Much like a cheat day, a one off occasion is not going to have detrimental effects on fat loss, and is perhaps beneficial in maintaining a sustainable healthy lifestyle.
Alcohol stops muscle building?
After a few bevvys, this is pretty much true. Alcohol has negative effects on various hormones such as testosterone, estrogen and growth hormone, whilst also struggling to get into a deep sleep. The result of all this? Not being able to fully recover from your workout.
However, in contrast to this, studies show that low doses of alcohol have actually been found to have little or no effects at all. Furthermore, no significant differences have been found in hormone levels between healthy individuals and alcoholics.
So there you have it, your gains are safe if you are trying to squeeze that lovely beer into your macros!
Damage limitation after a night out.
You will get dehydrated during the course of the night, so a glass of water between rounds will help prevent this. But that’s a ridiculous suggestion, so try to drink a pint of water before you pass out, and when you wake up to possibly lighten the hangover.
The post night kebab is probably the highlight of a night out, but as previously mentioned, alcohol is a fat burning suppressor. Meaning all those carbs and fats are likely to be stored in the love handles. Therefore, try to choose a lean protein meal is possible, such as chicken and salad/veggies.
Alcohol is a non-nutritive source of energy, which can drain your body of its vitamins and minerals, so make you sure that you supplement with multi vitamins every time that you drink.
Get plenty of rest, and don’t visit the gym if you are still drunk or severely hungover. Focus on getting your diet back on track and recouping your energy for the rest of the week. This is the key point, as remember consistency is key to maintaining a healthy lifestyle.
Remember, enjoying yourself is all part of a healthy sustainable lifestyle. Please tweet your feedback to @ScientiaP or @JNewbury_ and follow me on Instagram for more shenanigans @joshnewburyfitness.
All damage in this picture unfortunately, featuring @lewisgough_sp special drunk face