T Nation

Gains With Alcohol

Just wanted to share an experience I've had and lesson I've learned.  This is for all of you who think that drinking alcohol will not really affect your goals.  I'm not talking about you who have an occasional drink.  I'm speaking to the ones who have a drink or three every other night.  I KNOW you're out there, whether you admit it here or not.

I was always of the opinion that drinking as such had little effect on my training. I still saw progress, yes. But recently, I’ve completely stopped altogether. It’s been weeks since I’ve had a drink. And let me tell you, I can feel and see a HUGE difference. I’m sure some of it is psychological, but who really cares.

Psychological health is just as important. My body composition, altough I don’t measure it, has changed in such a short time (based on mirror observations). My workouts are constantly much more intense, my energy levels are soaring, and I can focus like never before.

This is from someone who didn’t drink too heavily, but consistently. So for all you who don’t think a little alcohol will affect you, it really does, and I would seriously just try to lay off it for a while/change lifestyles, and see for yourself.

I don’t drink much anymore but if I have a beer or two on occasion I wake up with a hangover, not a terrible one but extreme thirst and a mild headache…

it depends how you are drinking also.

fortunately i don’t like beer and usually drink vodka with ice.

alcohol in moderate doses is a stimulant, stimulates digestion for example. Its dilator effect on the blood vessels improves the absorption of nutrients.

However, in large doses alcohol is a depressant. Not good for bodybuilding and metabolism, and basically for any organ in the body.

It also depends when you are drinking. For example, lets say you completed a workout, ate a very nutritious post work out meal or drink. THen you take it easy for a couple of hours and then you meet with some hot chick and drink some vodka with ice.

Remember being with an attractive female raises testosterone by 30% more or less. Plus the fact that alcohol improves your opportunity of getting laid (the more she drinks the better the chances), and then you might even receive a very pleasant cardio session.

so you see, alcohol doesn’t have to be that evil, just know how to use it wisely.

also, forgot to add:

the fastest way to eliminate alcohol is with the presence of glucose and insulin in the blood.

However we bodybuilders do not want a combination of alcohol, insulin and glucose. no way.

just drink a lot of water if you went out drinking and have a nice protein-fat meal before bed. This minimizes hangovers and dehydration.

Thanks for the info, trap. Maybe now I can return to my drinking habit and learn how to do it safely!!!

No, I’m just kidding. Maybe one day. I think some people can handle it responsibly like you, but others like me make it a normal routine. And just going by the gains I’ve seen, I’m going to stay dry for a while. But I think what you’ve said is true and the optimal way to handle it.

This should not really be a surprise to anyone who’s reasonably well read on nutrition, hormones and such. Do a search for “alcohol effects on testosterone” alone and you’ll find lots of hits that all essentially say the same thing about booze and hormones:

“…moderate alcohol consumption can have an impact on circulating hormone levels…”

(by “impact”, they mean reduce. Not good for muscle-heads).

(source: http://www.nattc.org/asme/details.asp?ID=0406b)

There will be tons of similar information sources. Sadly, ‘T’ and beer don’t mix too well. I too have made my best gains when I go alcohol free, and I am not and never have been a big drinker.

But this is not the week to remind me of the booze - ‘T’ relationship. :slight_smile:

Happy New -hic- Year