Thursday, December 09, 2010 • Miami, FL 33186
Alcohol and Fitness
- Alcohol is a toxin—a toxin that travels through your bloodstream to every organ and tissue in your body, thus slowing your body’s ability to heal itself.
- Consuming alcohol after a workout can cancel out any physiological benefits you might have received from such activities.
- Alcohol use diminishes protein synthesis resulting in a decrease in lean muscle preservation and repair
- Alcohol decreases the secretion of HGH by as much as 70 percent! (HGH is produced mostly during sleep. Alcohol disrupts the sleep process.)
- As the liver metabolizes alcohol it produces substances that directly counteract hormonal activity essential to lean muscle repair and synthesis
- Alcohol dehydrates muscle cells, thus altering their ability to produce adenosine triphosphate (ATP), which is your muscles’ source of energy. ATP provides the fuel necessary for your muscles to contract. When alcohol is oxidized by dehydrogenase (the enzyme that breaks down alcohol) it produces an elevation of NADH reducing the production of ATP (which is the muscles source of energy), resulting in lack of energy and loss of endurance. Because women have very little of the enzyme dehydrogenase, females experience the primary effect of higher intoxication even when drinking the same amount with a male their same size.
- Alcohol holds very little nutritional value. The relatively high calories in alcohol are not available to your muscles. The body treats alcohol as fat, converting alcohol sugars into fatty acids.
- Alcohol use inhibits absorption of important nutrients such as thiamin, vitamin B12, folic acid, and zinc.
- Alcohol consumption will reduce the number of fat calories you burn, alcohol can increase your appetite (and impair decision making about healthy nutrition).
- Less than five percent of the alcohol calories you drink are turned into fat. Rather, the main effect of alcohol is to reduce the amount of fat your body burns for energy.
- For several hours after drinking, whole body lipid oxidation (a measure of how much fat your body is burning) drops by a massive 73%. Rather than getting stored as fat, the main fate of alcohol is conversion into a substance called acetate. In fact, blood levels of acetate after drinking were 2.5 times higher than normal. And it appears this sharp rise in acetate puts the brakes on fat loss.
- Although an alcohol-rich meal does increase your metabolic rate, it also suppresses the number of fat calories your body burns for energy — far more so than meals rich in protein, carbohydrate, or fat.
- While the odd drink now and again isn't going to hurt, the bottom line is that alcohol and a leaner, stronger body just doesn't mix.