T Nation

Lifestyle, Alcohol and Gains

I know this topic has come up before, and I know it is common sense that alcohol inhibits gains for a number of reasons. I was wondering, however, if any of the really advanced guys have made serious progress while drinking every once in a while. Every once in a while would be around twice a week.

I’d like to know if many or most of the guys who have really accomplished something (i.e. added around 50 to 60 lbs of lean mass) will be of the same mind about this.

So. What’s the good word?

Drinknig regularly never really affected my strength. I continued to get stronger even during some of my heavier drinking days, but for me it was a physique killer. I gained a lot of fat that I am still trying to take off. I also ate a lot of late night junk when I drank a lot, so I’m sure that contributed.

Of course there is a difference between two beers twice a week and getting smashed twice a week.

Moderation, grasshopper, moderation.

[quote]malonetd wrote:

Of course there is a difference between two beers twice a week and getting smashed twice a week.[/quote]

Which of these was it for you?

[quote]BigRagoo wrote:
Moderation, grasshopper, moderation.[/quote]

What would you consider moderation, specifically?

[quote]shawninjapan wrote:
I know this topic has come up before, and I know it is common sense that alcohol inhibits gains for a number of reasons.[/quote]
I read that somewhere, believed it, quit drinking, made shit gains that week, and went back to drinking a bottle of beer every day with dinner.

I probably just missed the beer’s calories which I could get somewhere else instead but I can honestly say that I make better gains with beer than without it. I usually drink Baltic porter so it’s a lot more calories than a typical lager.

I’ll drink more (2-3 beers or shots) once a month or so, drank 350 mL of vodka once this year and that’s it. Works for me.

[quote]DSmolken wrote:
I read that somewhere, believed it, quit drinking, made shit gains that week, and went back to drinking a bottle of beer every day with dinner.
[/quote]

I doubt a bottle a day is going to do much to inhibit gains, but how could you possibly make any sort of accurate assessment in only one week?

Being a student, getting wasted is a part of life, and although now when I go out drink I am more careful than usual and stick to
-Red Wine
-Beer
-Vodka/other liquors with diet mixer

I usually end up getting pretty wasted, one thing though is I make sure I never eat crap when drunk, I will get home have a piece of fruit and a protein shake then shower and sleep.
While doing this I have managed to make good gains still gaining strength when stumbling into the gym the next morning slightly drunk(I know but I can’t fit it in any other time).

SO yes I think you can still gain strength while binge drinking, but I wouldn’t do it more than once a week while dieting…Recently though I have been cutting out the binge drinking, but sometimes you just gotta get crunk.

SHadoW

I’d have to say that getting wasted on any kind of basis is a bad idea and not just because of the negative health implications. Being young and dumb though it’s one of those things you do/try, but for most people growing out of that phase happens for good reason. Those that don’t are called alcoholics.

I’ve known some alcoholics that were seriously cut and strong. So it certainly is possible to drink a lot and still attain certain physical goals. But I’ve never really known any alcoholics who I’d want to trade lives with strong and cut though they may be.

[quote]shawninjapan wrote:
I doubt a bottle a day is going to do much to inhibit gains, but how could you possibly make any sort of accurate assessment in only one week?
[/quote]

I gained at least kilo a week the two weeks before and at least a kilo a week for a few weeks following (my best period of newbie gains). One week might not be statistically significant but it was enough to convince me that apparently the calories do me more good than the alcohol might do harm.

if and when you drink, you shouldn’t eat anything, because while the alcohol is still in your bloodstream your body has a hard time converting any food into energy. Even lean proteins and veggies will most likely get stored as fat.

[quote]A-Dizz wrote:
if and when you drink, you shouldn’t eat anything, because while the alcohol is still in your bloodstream your body has a hard time converting any food into energy. Even lean proteins and veggies will most likely get stored as fat.[/quote]

This makes no sense to me at all. Can you explain it further?

Everything in moderation, and sometimes in excess.

[quote]shawninjapan wrote:
BigRagoo wrote:
Moderation, grasshopper, moderation.

What would you consider moderation, specifically?[/quote]

having one or two beers in a given night a couple times a week. Or getting a good buzz once a week or once every other week.

Not getting smashed every week or multiple times a week. Not drinking every night.

To the original poster, it sounds like you drink and started this thread because you wanted people to tell you that it’s OK. Maybe you need to ask yourself why drinking is so important to you, and whether it’s more important than progress in the gym.

ask the D1 College football athletes what they think.

since in the offseason several of them do it 2 to 3 times a week and still get big.

[quote]A-Dizz wrote:
if and when you drink, you shouldn’t eat anything, because while the alcohol is still in your bloodstream your body has a hard time converting any food into energy. Even lean proteins and veggies will most likely get stored as fat.
[/quote]

I never heard of that, but I do know that calories from alcohol can’t be burned off as energy, thus it would add to your total caloric intake which may put some people over maintenance from the other food they ate during the day. I don’t know if the additives and the other crap in beer can be burned off as energy, but the actual alcohol can’t be.

I don’t think it’s that big of a problem unless you eat tons of shit every time you drink.

Lift hard and don’t drink EVERY night. You only live once and yeah everyones gonna be like “exactly so dont ruin your body” I say fuck it. Getting absolutely smashed is a great time, I love not knowing what I’m doing. and then I pull myself together and lift the next afternoon. And I’m fine.

as long as you arent drinking every night you should be ok, I get hammered every fri/sat morning/sat, unless you plan on cometing in a show bodybuilding shouldnt run your life.

Beer probably isn’t so bad because of the glycogen reload. Vodka and other drinks still have high calorie values (about 150 cals in a vodka shot). supposedly many german bodybuilders drink a pitcher or so of beer after a workout.

I know lots of kids who drink and get stronger every day (I’m a college student as well), however when they drink vodka they admit they lose about a week’s progress.

Now guys, there’s a big fuckin difference in beer and hard alchohol. Beer, unlike hard liquor, has enzymes that would AID in digesting protein and related nutrients.

That, in essence, could help you to gain if you were to moderate your intake (i.e 1-2 beers a night or so). I’m guessing on what moderate intake is, but that sounds like a good number.

So if you’re gonna drink, drink beer.