Does Alcohol And Bodybuilding Mix?


Does alcohol and bodybuilding mix? This is one of the most common questions I get. I have to laugh and shake my head. Let’s be real, people. OF COURSE IT DOESN’T MIX! Honestly, anything in excess is not good.

I Need A Beer, Bud!

Does alcohol and bodybuilding mix? Not really. Here’s why. Mistake number one is “needing” a beer. If you need a drink, dude, you’re in trouble. Sure, beer and alcoholic beverages can be enjoyed on occasion, but only in moderation. That’s the key, and the words “I need a beer” don’t fit. My definition of moderation would be 1-2 drinks every few days or 2-3 on the weekend. Really, I don’t think you should even drink that much. Weekends, in moderation, are enough. Some studies have shown protective health benefits from drinking small amounts of alcohol, particularly red wine. However, drinking excessively will definitely interfere with your muscular gains, decrease your energy and contribute to fat storage.

What’s The Problem With Alcohol?

The primary problem with all alcohol, regardless of what form it’s in – beer, liquor, or wine – is that you can become an addict. The second problem is the calories add up so quickly. At seven calories per gram, alcohol is the second most calorically dense nutrient behind fat. That contains nine calories per gram. When you’re trying to lose body fat, all those extra calories certainly don’t help. Alcohol suppresses the body’s ability to burn fat. When your liver is metabolizing alcohol, fat burning in the body stops altogether!

Does Alcohol And Bodybuilding Mix – No Way!

Alcohol also dehydrates you. It interferes with the absorption of many nutrients you need. Excessive consumption has been linked to health problems such as liver disease, heart disease, high blood pressure, and stroke. Also cardiomyopathy, abnormal heart rhythms, cancer, decreased resistance to infections, gout and hypoglycemia.

The key in developing a successful nutrition plan for yourself is to find a happy medium that you can live with. You’ll have to make some sacrifices to develop the physique you want.

Prolonged Heavy Alcohol:

  • Reduces Your Strength – you won’t be able to lift enough weight to stimulate muscle growth
  • Lowers Your Endurance
  • Decreases Your Recovery Capabilities – it will take you longer to recuperate and you will be much more sore after workouts
  • Lowers Your Aerobic Capacity
  • Reduces Your Ability to Metabolize Fat – you will become a fat “storer” instead of a fat “burner”
  • Interferes with Muscle Growth
  • Acts as a Diuretic – which can rebound and lead to elevated water retention

Does Alcohol And Bodybuilding Mix – Breakdown Of Alcohol Types

Alcohol contains calories (usually measured per 100 ml). Illustrated below is the calorie cost of some of the most popular tipples on our high street shelves.

Alcohol Alcohol(G) Sugars Calories (100 ml)
Beer, Draught 3.1 2.3 32
Lager 3.2 1.5 29
Red wine 9.5 0.3 68
White wine, Dry 9.1 0.6 66
White win, Sweet 10.2 5.9 94
Liquor (Rum, Gin, Whiskey, or Vodka) 31.7 0.0 222

Drinks, Calories And What You’ll Need To Do To Burn It Off!

We will work on the assumption that a typical man will drink 4 units of booze a day.

4 units = two pints of lager

This is equal to approximately 400 calories. In order to burn 400 calories an average man (170 lb.) would need to:

  • Weight train for over 90 minutes.
  • Cycle at a moderate pace for 62 minutes.
  • Jog for 45 minutes
  • Walk for 75 minutes.
  • Swim – Breaststroke – for over 50 minutes.

4 units = Two large glasses of red wine

This is equal to approximately 300 calories. In order to burn 300 calories, an average man (170 lb.) would need to:

  • Weight train for 75 minutes.
  • Cycle at a moderate pace for 50 minutes.
  • Jog for 35 minutes.
  • Walk for 65 minutes.
  • Swim for over 38 minutes.


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