If you want to lead a healthy lifestyle the choice between exercise and a healthy diet on one side and going heavy on the alcohol on the weekends, is no choice at all. Drinking alcohol reduces the regenerative abilities of your muscles after working out and it serves no beneficial dietary purpose whatsoever which is detrimental to your improvements in condition.
First of all, alcohol is full of empty calories – they provide nothing to your organism while still counting towards your daily intake. While clear alcohol such as gin or vodka has a whooping 97 calories per shot, colored spirits like whiskey have about 105. Even if this looks low to you, which it isn’t if you run a strict caloric count, it adds up incredibly quickly.
Depending on alcohol content and varying dryness, a single 6oz glass of wine has 110 to an amazing 300 calories. That’s 300 calories extra that bring you nothing and you still have to subtract from your regular diet which brings your body necessary material such as protein.
While we’re on the subject of protein, protein synthesis is what makes your muscles grow. It’s achieved by proper nutrition and regular working out and it makes your body regenerate as efficiently as possible, however it is a strictly post-workout condition (usually 24-48 hours after exercising). It’s very existence is threatened by consuming alcohol, and the more you drink the less it happens in your body. The less it happens, the more you go near a catabolic state, where your muscles start going in the wrong direction – they break down instead of gaining mass and function. After a heavy workout, you want to regenerate and improve, not degenerate and have all your work be for nothing, which alcohol does when it affects protein synthesis in your body.
Finally, hormones are another factor in building muscle. There’s two important hormones that you need to consider in this aspect – testosterone and HGH (Human growth hormone). When you avoid alcohol they stay within their limits and your workout goes as planned, however when you binge up, the amount of hormones produced by your body is reduced by over 70 percent, making your session in the gym just an activity instead of an improvement.
Alcohol is highly caloric and practically zero nutritional substance, it requires your body to give up all its water to heal its effects and disrupts the hormone creation process. Your muscles will not only not gain anything, but they will most of the time, lose mass bit by bit. If you are spending a lot of time in the gym and yet every time you look in the mirror you see the same you from a month ago, and you have an extensive drinking career, that may just be the reason. Everyone wants to look good, and if you want others to be envious of your toned body for this summer or for literally any other purpose, drop the bottle and pick up literally anything healthy.