Summer time is here again, everybody is out having fun, which means more barbeques, vacations, pub crawls, outdoor parties, you name it!
And while all that’s going on, alcohol is a key ingredient for most people. A common question that people ask me is, “Can you get drink alcohol while getting building muscle, getting lean and lose fat?”.
Truth is Alcohol and Bodybuilding Do Not Mix…
We all know about the negative effects alcohol has on our health, but at the same time it’s fun to head out with your mates and have a few beers, especially if you are going to a beach party and let all the ladies see your jaw dropping physique. Nothing wrong with that! 🙂
But if your goal is to compete in a bodybuilding competition or even to get in the best shape ever, then you will need to minimize the amount of alcohol your drink or give up completely
I’m going to share my experience with alcohol and how you can minimize it’s effects and still continue to keep your body in shape and get locked at the same time.
About a month ago, I went to visit a friend in London and he suggest we go for few drinks. Now, I haven’t’ seen this guy in months so I thought, “why, not, it’s not gonna do much harm….It’s just a once off”.
Besides, I was never really a big drinker so a few beers once every couple of months isn’t going to ruin all all my hard gains at the gym.
We hung out in bars and clubs for and had great craic!
- Didn’t get drunk
- Had a great night
- No hangover the next day
- And was still able to get a great workout in the gym
When I was in my 20’s, I was a regular beer drinker and at that time I didn’t take my health very seriously.
But what I realized is, if I was out drinking with the lads every Friday and Saturday night getting wasted, it would normally take me 3 days to completely recover. As a result, I wasn’t able to train the way that I intended.
So that’s like 3 days wasted when I could have been at the gym getting stronger, fitter, healthier and more muscular.
How Drinking Alcohol Shuts Down The Fat Burning Process
So while you are out partying with your mates every single weekend, knocking pints and shots all night long, you are literally making it impossible for your body to metabolise the alcohol, which makes it difficult to burn body fat.
Biggest Downfall of Alcohol Consumption
I’m sure you are already aware that drinking alcohol in excessive amounts lowers your inhibitions, which means you are likely to make poor choices along the way.
Why waste all your time eating clean all week and working your ass off in the gym if you’re planning on knocking back 8 pints of Heineken when you go out. That’s about 1,200 calories that your body needs to make room for.
Alcohol lowers your inhibitions
You tend to make poor choices. You can probably relate this but the reality is most people make poor choices. In other words their standards go down.
It just doesn’t make much sense, you work your butt off in the gym, while sticking to a clean diet, then letting it all that effort go to waste over 6-10 pints of beer (and maybe even a few shots).
Usually what happens afterwards is you fall out of the pub with the lads and end up getting stuck into a bacon cheese burger deluxe at burger king or a 16 inch pizza at Domino’s and maybe even a taco fries to top the night off.
And when your in that drunken state it’s not easy to resist fast food because your likely to make poor dietary choices because alcohol increases your appetite.
How to drink alcohol while still Burn Fat, Build Muscle and Be Healthy?
Here is a strategy that I follow whenever I go out with the lads.
I would order a pint of beer and then my next drink would be a pint of water. That’s it! I would continue this cycle all night long. So one out of every 2 drinks I had contained alcohol. So if I had 10 drinks over the course of the night, technically I only had 5 bottles of beer.
I repeat this cycle throughout the night so it’s a great way to minimize the amount of alcohol your consume and has less of a negative effect on your body.
Now that’s not nearly as bad as what most people would do. Most people would typically drink one pint of beer after the next.
The good news is you can cut down on the amount of calories (100 calories per drink) by drinking dry wines and spirits (with or without diet soda). A glass of sherry contains roughly 70 calories, where as cocktails such as mojito’s and sex on beach run up to over 300 calories. I try to stay away from cocktails altogether.
You can find a list of calories in other alcoholic drinks here
Other things you can do to minimize the effects of binge drinking.
- Drink a 2-3 pints of water before going to bed
- Don’t workout shortly before you go on a night of binge drinking. Leave it for a day or two.
- Stay away from fast food on the night out and the morning after. Eat something high in protein for breakfast instead. (eg. a high protein chicken omelette and protein shake)
- Avoid Sweet Alcohol Mixers such as cocktails and shots. Instead drink spirits with sugar free mixers.
Having a few drinks with your buddies every now and then, wont’ harm your physique and or health, but obviously if you drink often then it can definitely spoil the hard effort you put into your workout, by decreasing your ability to burn fat and build muscle.
If your serious about building a superior physique then you will need to maximize your efforts in the gym and cut down on the booze. Again, alcohol and bodybuilding do not mix!
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