When it comes to exercising and keeping fit, as men, we tend to favor slightly more primal and even prehistoric methods of training, as opposed to simply sitting on an exercise bike for several hours at a time. Now, why we seem to prefer training in this way, who knows? Maybe it is hardwired into our DNA and genetic makeup as our ancestors once used to carry huge animals they’d hunted and killed, for miles and miles until it was time to eat. Whatever our reasons for enjoying lifting weights, we do tend to enjoy lifting weights, and as a result, we want to ensure that we take our training seriously so as to fully reap the rewards and benefits. Unfortunately, if you’re partial to a drink, or two, or twenty, then you’ll have to make a choice, because alcohol and muscle building just do not mix.
Alcohol dehydrates you – When it comes to exercise, you’ve no doubt heard countless times, how it’s so important to drink water and stay hydrated. The reason for this is not to quench your thirst, but rather to fuel your body. Water is so important for a number of reasons, including the fact that it can help provide our cells and muscles with the energy needed to get through a tough workout. Alcohol dehydrates you, so the more you drink, the less fluid and electrolytes you’ll actually have inside your body. That’s why drinking a lot of water before you go to bed whilst drunk can help prevent a hangover, which brings us to our next example.
Hangovers! – Now, almost all of you reading this will have, at some point in your lives, have drank way too much one night, and will have woken up the next morning, feeling like hell on earth. Hangovers make us feel sick, give us headaches, make us tired, groggy, irritable, and irrational, and the last thing you’ll want to do when hung over, is head to the gym and lift weights for an hour or more. You may think it’s only one day, but some people need 2 or more days to recover, and besides which, even if it is only one day, that’s still one less day you’ll spend in the gym.
Alcohol contains empty calories – When people talk about empty calories, they’re talking about calories that offer us little, to no nutritional benefit in the slightest. Alcohol is the a great example of empty calories, as you get no nutrition from it, as it’s quite literally a poison.
Alcohol lowers testosterone – High testosterone levels mean increased strength and muscle mass, lower testosterone levels mean the exact opposite. Alcohol has been proven to significantly lower testosterone over time, and increase estrogen levels, a hormone, dominant in females, but also present in men, that’s responsible for Gynecomastia (man boobs) and general fat gain and water retention too.