T Nation

Alcohol Whilst Gaining


So it's pretty common knowledge that whilst trying to cut/lose fat, that alcohol is bad news, due to it essentially being extra calories with no real purpose, but what is the consensus about drinking alcohol whilst trying to gain muscle? From what I gather, it increases estrogen levels, contributes excess calories with no real purpose and essentially stops protein synthesis.

So does this mean that even in the "off-season", alcohol is a big no-no for weightlifters trying to add muscle? Also, does the type of booze have different affects on the body (Licquours vs. Beers vs. Wines/Champagne)?


All I know is that when I stop drinking, I grow. I don't know why but thats the way it goes. I mean grow as in put on quality muscle


It's not the devil. Moderation. Don't get trashed, certainly not frequently.


Ethanol can increase activity of aromatase, raising estrogen levels.


read education of a bodybuilder.


As long as you don't binge, or eat alot of shitty food while drinking, I don't think a nice beer once in a while is gonna kill you.

Doesn't alcohol spike insulin something fierce? That coupled with the usual shitty food one eats while drunk (BK or MacD's) is a recipe for storing fat, which is why people get fat from binging. Correct me if I am wrong.


Eating enough calories every day >>>> Drinking a few on the weekends.


Poliquin believes that so many men in the UK have man boobs because they drink so much beer. He believes beer is that estrogenic. If you must drink alcohol, he recommends you make it red wine. Apparently, red wine actually prevents aromatization.


I noticed a shot of whiskey before a power session and I can go harder, it takes about 15 minutes - but you will notice. I'm sure if you go hard enough you will burn the extra calories.

Alcohol is estrogenic, but if it lets you "go harder" you can take advantage of it and make it work for you.


red wine has resveratrol which has anti-estrogenic properties.

Alcohol also puts a halt on protein synthesis, meaning until it clears from your system you're gonna have a hard time building anything.


I'd say drinking is different for everyone. I've got a buddy that drinks like a fish and maintains a large amount of muscle. At the same time I know plenty of frequent drinkers who all have no physique. I'd limit it as much as possible. I've rarely had a good workout following a night of drinking...


i love blind self-justification.....ignorance certainly is bliss


I love unnecessarily bridging two words with a hyphen. I also like to make assertions about what works for other people based on generalizations. I'm awesome.


Don't mean to Hijack the thread but I have a serious question...

In about a month me and a bunch of buds/gals are gonna go to the mountains and get a cabin and a tent. Basically where gonna be getting wasted for 2-3 days... How much is this gonna put me back training wise? Will it really set me back a bit? I'll really try not to drink for a long time after this, so..?


You'll probably be eaten by a bear, so live it up.


It's typical for people to put pleasure before work or want to try and fit in to be "cool." So don't feel so bad for yourself kid, we've all got our own weaknesses. However your weakness is pretty damn pathetic. Different strokes for different folks I guess.


I read the other day that one night of very heavy drinking can set you back as much as 2 weeks.


damn, i've heard that too before... but I hope its not true.


I don't know how that's possible. How are they measuring that? Your young, go have fun with your friends. I guarantee your not going to remember the gym time but you will remember the fun times you had with friends.

That's not to say that gym time isn't important but you need to have fun socially too.

As many that have come before me have said. Moderation is the key.


I'm not saying it wouldn't be worth the trip. Hell, I see all my best friends from high school about 3 times a year, and we damn sure have a good time, and how its going to hurt my progress in the gym never even crosses my mind.