T Nation

Alcohol during the two hour window post-workout.

Ok, I like drinking wine, vodka or cognac after my post workout shake/shower until my dinner two hours later. If I limit my drinking to this time only, will it really hurt my progress? What if I include some sourdough, cheese, olives, etc, would that be better? I do everything else right (1-1.5g protein, flax, low glycemic carbs, eat every 2-3 hours, gallon water, etc). But, I usually get crampy after my post workout shake and alcohol seems to calm the beast. It also helps me get ready for dinner, hunger-wise. If I get a good buzz going, I don’t want anything to drink with dinner and I usually have a bedtime protein snack. If I don’t get a buzz going, I drink thru dinner and beyond and miss the snack. Ok, that’s getting beyond my question, but if you want to address those as well, I’m cool.

Why does this sound exactly like the stuff they serve at art gallery openings. Wine, cheese, sourdough, olives… My second question is if you are snacking why do you need to drink to curb your hunger for dinner? Why not just eat a small meal that doesn’t take much time to prepare. Getting a buzz every night to curb hunger and/or a cramped stomach seems to be a shabby excuse for alcohol addiction. How bad are the stomach cramps?

Yes, it is a poor excuse, but its better than drinking 24/7 like my dad. I have no want or need to drink any other time. It is just my down time and time to relax after a hard day at work and gym time. Stomach cramps are pretty bad. I have had them since a child. Doctors could never diagnos it. Just said stress/anxiety. I don’t want to go on Zoloft. I prefer only being “medicated” during a small part of the day. I look at it as my reward for being good all day. Yeah, its a vise, but its better than smoking all day. I don’t try to curb my appetite, just the contrary, I need something to stimulate it. Alcohol has that effect. I don’t eat olive, cheese, bread…I was asking if it was better to do so vs. just drinking on an semi-empty stomach. Thanks, and hope this helps you help me.

I once read drinking alcohol was up there with insufficient sleep - no gains - so I cut back to one session per week tops (no more than 20 drinks - its training for whoppers caveman technique) and my gains are MUCH better with much less fat gain. If I dont drink at all (eg a month up to last weekend) my gains are noticably better again. Its a question of priorities i guess.

Dre, thanks for the info. But, 20 drinks in one session a week?

I didn’t drink at all for four months last spring and summer. My gains were phenominal. I am doing the same this year except it will be five months this time. I’m a university student and it gets tough not to drink when every single friend you have does. I dealt with it by drinking light beer and not drinking too many but now school is out and I’m not drinking at all. The amazing gains have already started.

Thats 20 bourbons down from 30 odd on regular saturday night outings. I know its a bad thing but as a single guy I like the interesting things that start happening when Im out and have had a fair number of drinks. Again its priorities but man cant live by lifing alone.

Duuuude, you need to try some alternatives to the alcohol. Have you ever abstained for any length of time? I am also a drinker and I found I was drinking entirely too much and cut way back-but I can’t bear the thought of quitting altogether. I believe I have a genetic weakness for the stuff (alcoholics on both sides of the family)and genuinely enjoy my occasional “buzzes”. Mostly I have substituted 20 mins meditation, double doses of liquid kava kava and/or hot showers/baths for the alcohol. I also benefited from a low carb diet. I found my alcohol cravings disappeared for the most part when I was in ketosis. From personal experience, I would recommend going on a ketogenic diet and abstaining for a couple of months. I did this when I realized how really bad alcohol was for my testosterone level. If this works for you and then you occasionally (1-2 month) indulge you will have the added benefit of a lower tolerance, so a couple of vodka shots may give you all the buzz you need. You also never mentioned your age-I didn’t get on track until I was in my 30s. It is amazing how much better your progress is in the gym without alcohol. Good luck.

Dave, you are so right. Its good to hear someone who understands. “I’ll try”, is the best answer I can give. I have tried Ketogenic diets and they made me feel so bad, I had to drink. I know whats wrong, and you helped me to see this. My diet has been way off lately. I posted that I was eating correctly. Well, I was, but once I started slipping down that slippery slope, I didn’t realize how far down I went. Thanks for the wakeup call.