I realize this isn’t a popular thing to discuss and that many of you enjoy unwinding with a few drinks but, I think it is important to know how much alcohol can weigh you down and slow your progress!
If you are stuck at a plateau or maybe haven’t seen the results that you’ve wanted, you may want to consider cutting back on alcohol or stopping completely for a small amount of time! Here are some of the specific things alcohol does that slows our progress!
1. First and foremost the consumption of excess calories is a killer!
Think about a night out once! What do you do? Have two drinks, head home and rehydrate? Or do you have 6-12 drinks, order a pizza, and lay around the next day sleeping off the headache? Most people will probably say the second option and if you didn’t, good for you, this isn’t an issue for you!
Look at all of those calories! With 6-12 drinks and a generous two pieces of pizza, you’ve already consumed over 1,500 calories. These calories come in the form of sugar for the most part and you are going to bed with most of this resting in your stomach! Most people don’t wake up after a night out and go exercise. Usually people move from the bed to the couch and eat all sorts of foods your body craves after a night of drinking. These foods are typically high in sodium to balance the sugar/sodium ratio in your body. Well now we almost have a surplus of 3,000 calories without even doing anything! As most of you know, 3500 calories equals a pound so that’s almost a pound gained in one night and morning! You probably won’t work through that surplus of calories until Wednesday, if you started working out on Monday! BOO!!
2. Alcohol irritates the stomach lining
An irritated stomach lining can reduce your capacity to absorb nutrients (the reason you have an upset stomach after a few too many), says Brian R. Christie, Ph.D.—not to mention that alcohol makes you pee. For every gram of ethanol you suck down, you pump out 10 milliliters of urine (that’s about 9.5 ounces for two beers). As little as 2 percent dehydration hurts endurance performance. And by the way, you can’t rehydrate with a dehydrating drink (e.g., beer).
3. Boozing also blows your muscle recovery and performance by sapping your sleep
In a study of 93 men and women, researchers found that alcohol decreased sleep duration and increased wakefulness (particularly in the second half of the night), especially in women, whose sleep time was decreased by more than 30 minutes over the night. According to research; “Disrupting the sleep cycle can reduce your human growth hormone output—which builds muscle—by as much as 70 percent,” This makes building muscle, and keeping it, very difficult!
4. Excessive consumption of alcohol reduces blood flow to the muscles
Less blood flowing to your muscles causes deterioration and weakness. It reduces testosterone levels in the blood while increasing the conversion of testosterone to estrogen, causing increased fluid retention and fat deposits. In the liver, too much alcohol causes imbalances leading to low blood sugar, fatty liver and buildup of fats in the bloodstream. In the brain, it cuts off oxygen supply and causes a “blackout” that can kill tens of thousands of brain cells.