Blog Header Image



July 7, 2023

Should You Choose to Booze?

This post was inspired by recent discussions I’ve had with members about alcohol intake. Many aren’t meeting their body composition goals and, while that can be due to a variety of factors, many people I’ve talked to drink at least a glass of wine most nights out of the week.

I’m not passing judgment, but I want to give my top three reasons to nix the regular nightcaps.

Extra Calories and Fat Storage
Say you have a glass of wine each (or most) weeknight and then two to three each night on the weekends. That’s an extra 1200 calories or more per week. Sure, you can plan for these calories by cutting back on food, but then you are missing out on nutrition - carbs for energy; protein to build muscle, and fat to balance hormones. Moreover, alcohol limits the body's ability to burn carbohydrates and fatty acids. And it can actually lead to fat gain.

You Miss Out on Muscle-Protein Synthesis
Alcohol blunts muscle-protein synthesis, the process of building muscle. And, according to research, it can affect women more than men.  So, you do a lot of hard work in the gym but don't reap the full benefit.

From a hormone standpoint, both acute and chronic ingestion of alcohol lowers testosterone and causes inflammation. It also increases cortisol (the stress hormone), which can also lead to tissue (muscle) breakdown.

Your Sleep Sucks
Alcohol is a sedative, meaning it will put you to sleep. But, it impacts the quality of sleep. Even if you think you slept well, research has shown that even one drink impairs REM and deep sleep, both of which are essential to releasing human growth hormone (which helps you to build muscle and gives you energy).

Sorry to be a buzzkill!

Again, I’m not judging anyone and I’m not suggesting you stop drinking altogether. This article is simply to give you some facts so that you can make informed decisions and choose your battles.


Continue reading