How Does Alcohol Affect Exercise?
In bodybuilding or any other high intensity sports training, the main principle is to train muscles to grow in size & strength through exercise, diet and rest. Along with exercise it is necessary to rehydrate, give rest to muscles and consume a nutrient (micronutrient & macronutrient) dense diet providing enough calories and protein to preserve muscle protein and a low fat diet to burn up body fats reserve so that muscle can take up place of fats leading to overall body toning and overall increased metabolism. Alcohol intake clearly has a negative effect on body metabolism as it slows down muscle repair & synthesis post exercise by impairing the digestion & absorption of important macronutrients & micronutrients consumed through diet.
Both short term and long term alcohol intake has a reverse effect on the all important factors required for bodybuilding as:
1. Alcohol slows down metabolism of carbohydrates (lactose & sucrose), proteins and increases fats production in body (triglyceride and cholesterol synthesis).
2. Alcohol affects absorption of micronutrients like vitamin B12, folate, thiamine & vitamin D. All of them play a critical role in repair and rest of exercised muscles, regeneration of new blood cells and speeding up recovery and stamina gain.
3. Alcohol increases the rate of water loss affecting post exercise rehydration.
Binging on alcohol may negate your last few days’ hard training. Though this doesn’t mean you should become antisocial and stop enjoying the parties. A drink or two occasionally in a social get-together etc. is fine. Having a drink responsibly and in moderation is the key.
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