How Alcohol Affects Your Muscle-Building Efforts

Q: How does alcohol affect my nutrition and exercise programs?

A: Alcohol dramatically interferes with your ability to lose fat and it interferes with energy production.

Alcohol is a very concentrated source of calories (7 calories per gram) and, when it enters your blood stream, your liver must reduce or stop its metabolism of fats and carbohydrates and many of its other vital functions in order to process it. This dramatically interferes with your ability to lose fat by causing a buildup of fat in your liver, a decrease in glycogen (master fuel) formation in your liver and muscles, and an interference with niacin, thiamine and B vitamins -- all essential for energy production!

In addition, alcohol will stimulate your appetite (carbohydrate-sensitive people very often crave sweets when they drink), make it much harder to exercise, and act as a diuretic, causing you to lose precious water -- all of which will sabotage your efforts to get lean and muscular.

According to research published by PubMed it is also important to note that Alcohol use is directly linked to the rate of injury sustained in sport events and appears to evoke detrimental effects on exercise performance capacity.

Interaction between alcohol and exercise: physiological and hematological implications - PubMed (

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