Alcohol can be FUN… but How Much can it Affect your Gym Goals?
I’d like to start with this Fact: You can drink alcohol moderately, and still make great progress in the Gym.
Now, don’t use that as an excuse to have a few drinks daily (or more) because all decisions do equate.
I’m going to skip repeating scientific data on this one and just get to what we’re all interested in, Outcome. We know excess alcohol in a single bout can ruin a day (or 4 as you age🤣), but how much & how often can you drink alcohol and still progress in the gym?
This solely depends what your goals are. If general fitness is your goal and you workout to stay in shape, feel good, and eat whatever you want with some consideration, I could see one even being able to have several drinks a week and still progress.
Now… If this person is 2 months in and still making no progress, it may be time to review the useless calories alcohol and its mixers give.
Here’s how alcohol affects different goals…
Losing Fat & Alcohol Consumption
I feel like losing body fat and alcohol consumption are the least compatible of all goals. It’s actually pretty hard for your body to turn Alcohol into fat, but it does a fantastic job at halting Fat burning. Tracking Macros is essential for the majority of us for maximum Fat loss with the right help, and alcohol makes it tricky(er). We see things marketed like, “only 4 carbs…”, which confuses most people because they’re not taking into account the 7 calories per gram of alcohol. This leads many to over consume, and most lose the will-power of moderated eating when alcohol is in the system.
For many people and me personally, it can definitely lead to binge eating and affect the next day’s activity and eating as well.
Gaining Muscle/Strength & Alcohol Consumption
To gain muscle you need three things over time: Resistance Training, Plentiful Food, & Rest.
Excess in alcohol can affect all three, so one must really do a self analysis and ask, “If I do drink and must train the next day, what is my threshold?” This number changes person to person but depending what their drink choice is, I find the most common answer is 1-3 drinks.
Bringing it all together…
So yes, alcohol can indeed be a part of your Fitness journey as long as it’s under control. However, if you’re shooting for the stars, it needs to be honed in on, and possibly cut out altogether. Taking a break for a week or month may be a great idea if you feel it’s holding you back. I attest from taking 5-6 month breaks during Bodybuilding show preps from alcohol altogether makes my overall diet and training much easier to stick to.
Be honest about two things: “Am I making progress and do I believe alcohol is holding me back?”
With those things answered truthfully, you can now make a conscious sway to move you closer to who you want to be.
So in the end…
In my experience with Training countless people on weekends after nights out and in my own “happenings”, 1-3 drinks is the most common # of drinks one can have and not have their workout affected.
Now… One last thing… Don’t be the person to have 1 drink with 8 shots in it and try to “cheat the system”, because it would only be cheating you.
Train Healthy & Hard & Have Fun!
Badger Fitness – Madison Wisconsin
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