How Does Beer Affect Your Workout

By Subodh / October 26, 2014

A can of chilled beer may sound tempting post a flexing workout, but you must know that doing so could be a dangerous obstacle to your workout success. Several studies claim that drinking beer before or after a workout session can trigger the downfall in muscle growth as well as recovery. This could lead to a reversal of effects that you may have got from your workout so far. Unfortunately, there is more than stunting muscle growth that beer does to your workout. Here’s what.

Diminishes Energy Metabolism

As is known, exercising helps to increase the energy usage of different muscle cells. The muscles of the body receive energy from a particular molecule called adenosine trisphosphate, also referred to as ATP. This molecule is produced when cellular respiration occurs by gathering energy from the carbohydrates as well as fats. According to the Montclair State University, alcohol can diminish the ability of the muscle to produce ATP by influencing the water balance in the tissues of the muscles. If you drink beer, your muscles may run out of ATP.

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Decreases Hormone Levels

When you start working out or exercising, your muscles incur micro or minute injuries that are then repaired, thus triggering muscle growth and an increase in muscle strength. This very important process of muscle growth and strengthening happens when one is asleep or resting. Human growth hormone is the most important contributor to this intrinsic process. But, if you consume alcohol, you significantly decrease the level of HGH secretion inside your body. Another important hormone responsible for muscle growth is testosterone, which gets affected when alcohol is consumed because the liquid stimulates liver to produce a toxic substance.

Lack of Protein Synthesis

The muscles need to be able to synthesize proteins to build muscle tissue. The Montclair State University states that drinking alcohol for a prolonged period of time decreases protein synthesis inside the cells of the muscles. This leads to stunting muscle growth and repair. Even if you are not a regular consumer of alcohol, you could still be exposed to the risk of low muscle growth.

Static And Dynamic Muscle Strength Losses

A study that was published in the Journal of Science and Medicine in Sport in the year 2010 had found that consuming moderate levels of alcohol increased the loss of dynamic and static muscle strength as compared with drinking orange juice. It is, therefore, recommended by most experts that one either quit drinking alcohol completely or limit its quantity to a bare minimum to prevent muscle strength losses and hasten the recovery process.

From Burning Fat To Storing Fat

Clearly, alcohol can be counter-productive to your workout. Another of the disappointments that alcohol consumption brings to your workout sessions includes deposition of fat. When you drink alcohol, the body then prioritises metabolising the alcohol instead of burning carbohydrates and fats. Alcohol breaks the amino acids down and sets itself on the process of storing them as fats. This fat is the most pronounced in the glutes and thighs. A bottle of beer a day can eat up the muscle from different parts of the body, especially the thighs and glutes. Besides, there can be an increase in cortisol, the stress hormone, which then further encourages the storage of fat in the midsection.

A Disrupted Sleep

As was mentioned earlier, the loss of muscle growth and strength starts with alcohol consumption and a lack of sleep is what adds salt to injury in this case. In a study of 93 men and women, alcohol was seen to decrease the duration of sleep and increase wakefulness. This pattern was seen especially in women and particularly in the second half of the night. In women, the sleep time was decreased by more than 30 minutes. A disrupted sleep can trigger the reduction of the human growth hormone system by as much as 70 percent.

The Verdict

The bottom line is that if you eat as well as rehydrate adequately after your workout sessions, it is okay to relax with a beer or a glass of wine at the end of the day. But if you religiously take to downing each glass, expect a significant decrease in your performance at the gym.