Less alcohol more muscles

November 20, 2022 / Topical / Background

A frequently heard response from athletes who take a break is that their sports performance improves. And that is no coincidence. Because thanks to an alcohol break, the body performs better. Your muscles and your muscle building in particular benefit from an alcohol-free period. So less alcohol means more muscle.

Do you regularly hang on the weights to grow more muscle mass and then drink a few glasses of alcohol? Then the Popeye effect will not materialize for a while… Alcohol itself inhibits the production of new muscle tissue. In addition, alcohol decreases the production of testosterone in your body. Testosterone is a hormone that promotes muscle protein synthesis. This makes it easier for your muscles to recover and grow. By drinking alcohol, you miss the maximum result of all your efforts. Alcohol also reduces insulin resistance. This means that with alcohol consumption, the body has more difficulty absorbing insulin, which in turn has an impact on muscle building.

Furthermore, drinking alcohol before exercising - think of sagging the night before - causes less focus, coordination, muscle strength and endurance during exercise. So you perform less well and keep exercising for less time. And even if you don't necessarily want to grow muscles, but just want to feel fit and well, not drinking alcohol is better for your sleep, condition and resistance.

That's why you want to leave the alcohol just before or after exercise

  1. Drinking alcohol increases the risk of accidents. For yourself and for others. Your eyesight deteriorates, your ability to concentrate decreases, you react a bit slower and you become a bit overconfident.
  2. Did you just boot camp? Run your first 15 kilometers? Did you work up a sweat in the gym? Then your body needs time to recover. Alcohol prevents this recovery process.
  3. During exercise, lactic acid is formed in the muscles. This lactic acid does not belong there and must be broken down. But the breakdown of lactic acid is hindered when alcohol is involved. The liver gives priority to the task of breaking down the alcohol as quickly as possible. Because the lactic acid remains untouched in the muscles, you can eventually suffer from muscle pain. This causes a decrease in condition and therefore (extra) muscle pain.
  4. Most people sweat during exercise. This extra moisture loss is normally not a problem. However, the use of alcohol in combination with intensive exercise results in extra fluid loss. Too much moisture loss results in a shortage of all kinds of important minerals.
  5. The body needs extra sugar to break down alcohol. This can lead to a deficiency after physical exertion.
  6. Do you love the third half? Keep it cozy with a sports drink, a glass of soda or even better: plain water. After exercise, the stomach is empty. If you then drink alcohol, it will be absorbed extra quickly into your blood and the noticeable effects of alcohol will be extra intense. Source: alcoholinfo.nl.

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