We all know alcohol is not the best of things for us and can be detrimental in our overall fitness and physique goals… but how many of us still look forward to our favourite tipple, or 5 on a Friday or Saturday night after a long week at work?
First off, let’s look at the calories in alcohol. Alcohol is full of carbs, and some drinks have higher amounts of carbs in than others. Beer is full of carbs, whilst something like gin or neat vodka is relatively low in carb content by comparison.
What drinks don’t list is how many calories you get from the straight alcohol. Each gram of alcohol has 7 calories with ZERO nutritional content (no protein, no carbs and no fat). The downside of these empty calories is that when they are ingested, they convert into fat, and release the hormone cortisol within the body.
Alcohol calories are instantly stored as fat and trigger fat storage mechanisms within the body, which means that ANY other carbs, fats, proteins you have circulating, will now be stored as fat along with what was already converted as fat during the day. Factor on top of this what you are eating with your beer at night when you lose your inhibition to stay on your diet (i.e. your end of evening kebab, curry, KFC etc)!!
Let’s now look at the hormonal changes that occur when alcohol enters the bloodstream. Firstly, cortisol levels are spiked sky high which means not only is muscle being broken down as you become catabolic. On top of this free testosterone is bound (so even exogenous testosterone is rendered useless for up to 24 hours) and alcohol inhibits testosterone production again for up to 24 hours…. Now men, here is an equation for you…
No testosterone = no muscle growth = any training session within 24 hours of drinking is wasted….
So, when you go to get a drink and think to yourself "Hey, its just a few beers, its not so bad." Just take a moment to think of all that hard work you put in the gym and on your diet and think of how much of that you are throwing away with every single sip you take. Do you see the pros drinking while getting ready for a show? In short - No you don’t. And not to be blunt, but they have better genetics than anyone you will ever know and THEY don’t even cheat with alcohol, so what makes you think you can and still get to "perfection"?
Just some food for thought guys...