Alcohol And Weight Training

booze and weight training

Many serious bodybuilders completely abstain from alcoholic beverages in an effort to get themselves into peak condition.

However, with so many social events involving alcohol, you may wonder how the alcohol is influencing your weight lifting.

Let's examine the affect that alcohol has on the quality of your workouts and how it affects your training routine.

Alcohol contains seven calories per gram, which are primarily sugars and very little protein.

Don't be fooled by the low carbs beers because they still contain 100 calories. Coolers are high in sugar and anywhere from 125 to 200 calories.

So, the first concern of alcohol and weight lifting is the additional empty calories you are consuming.

If you consume more than a couple of drinks at a time, you are overloading your body with a poisonous ingredient that is toxic to your entire system. Why do you think you vomit when you've drank too much? Your body is trying to eliminate the toxins any way it can.

When you drink in excess, you are doing several things to your body, which in the end impacts your ability to train and build muscle. Here are 13 negative affects of drinking alcohol.


• Attacks your stores of B vitamins;
• Exhausts your antioxidants making them unable to fight off other toxins or illnesses;
• Reduces your strength;
• Interferes with muscle growth;
• Reduces your endurance;
• Strains your immune system;
• Causes your kidneys and liver to overwork;
• Impacts your brain and central nervous system;
• Decreases your aerobic capacity;
• Increases fatigue;
• Causes dehydration;
• Decreases your recovery capabilities;
• Diminishes your ability to metabolize fat, making you a fat storer instead of a fat burner

Alcohol's negative impact on your body is because it is absorbed rapidly, yet metabolized very slowly. Alcohol just doesn't leave your system very quickly. In fact, studies have shown that athletes that consume as little as two or three drinks 48 hours before his or her performance, will experience

decreased strength, impaired reaction time, and weakened hand to eye coordination.

If you are serious about building muscle, then alcohol and weight lifting really don't mix. When you drink alcohol, your body experiences hormonal changes that affect your ability to build muscle. What happens is that your body reduces the amount of testosterone in your blood. In addition, there is an increased conversion of testosterone to estrogen, which increases your fat deposits and fluid retention. Definitely not what you want when you're in muscle building mode!

Apart from the testosterone effects, alcohol reduces the minerals in your body that are necessary for your muscle growth. Drink too much alcohol and you will deplete your stores of magnesium, potassium and calcium. All minerals important for strengthening your muscles and bones.

During your workouts, you may not be able to lift as much weight because your body is using its resources to recover from the effects of your alcohol. You endurance is also impacted because your stores of B vitamins are depleted and the B vitamins help provide your body with energy.

Most of these effects listed are for the person who drinks often, more than two to four drinks per week. An occasional alcoholic beverage will not produce these problems, just be truthful to yourself about the amount you are really drinking.

Several research studies have recommended that athletes not consume alcohol during training and competition periods because of the negative effects on the body1. For truly optimal performance of your body, and to give it the best chance possible, alcohol and weight lifting do not mix.

If you are serious about your muscle building, avoid alcohol consumption as much as possible. If you can, you will find you'll build your muscle mass far more quickly!

Good luck!


As the owner of Building Muscle 101, I am committed to providing you the best practical weight training advice. I've been training for over 24 years (and still train to this day!) and the advice and guidance I provide comes directly from my experience and knowledge.

Home > Tools and Resources HQ > Articles > Muscle Articles