alcohol, fat loss & gym performance
In another blog post, we talked about the calorie and carbohydrate content alcohol has. Despite popular belief, alcohol is not calorie nor carb free – in fact, most of the labels showing total carbohydrates are actually wrong; this includes the food entries food in food tracking apps like MyFitnessPal. Click here to read more about how to properly calculate and track alcohol. For the purpose of today’s post, we’re going to be talking a little more about alcohol, fat loss & gym performance and how alcohol may have an affect on both!
Whether you’re tracking your food intake or not, it’s still important at the very least to acknowledge that alcohol does contain calories and you should pay attention to your consumption, especially if you have body composition goals in mind.
So How Does Alcohol Affect Our Training & Fat Loss?
Is it possible to drink alcohol and still lose weight? The short answer is, yes. The key factor to fat loss is creating a calorie deficit. As long as you are accounting and tracking your alcohol consumption into your total calories for the day, you can still achieve successful weight loss. There are some things to consider however.
While research has shown that alcohol when consumed in low to moderate amounts has no negative impact on body composition when calories are controlled, excessive intakes to the point of intoxication can negatively impact athletes and those who train hard and consistently on a weekly basis. Acute effects of course would be performance issues, but at a cellular level, alcohol interferes with the adaptive and anabolic response resulting from weight training due to its blunting effect on muscle protein synthesis.
Alcohol will actually lower protein synthesis by around 20%. Protein synthesis helps build your muscles. When you get the small micro tears in your muscles due to resistance training, the process of protein synthesis helps repair them into bigger and stronger muscle fibers. So this not only harms your muscle growth, but it slows down your recovery.
But like anything, practice moderation & balance!