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Alcohol and Building Muscle? – What Are the Effects?

    Alcohol and Building Muscle

    Does alcohol kill muscle gains?

    I have seen the question “Is drinking alcohol has negative effects on building muscle?” many times. The answer is simply yes!

    However, it depends on the amount and the type of alcoholic beverages you consume and how often. A glass of dry wine twice or three times a week does not have serious side effects, it is even healthy. But there is no question that regular alcohol consumption has several unwanted effects on muscle growth and weight loss. (source)

    Here are five ways how alcohol intake ruins the muscle building processes.

    1. Alcohol has negative effects on muscle protein synthesis

    As you probably know, protein is built up from amino acids during the process of protein synthesis. If you drink alcohol, this process slows down. Some studies have proved that by 20-30%.

    Protein is a vital nutrient for muscle gaining. This way you lose the benefits of protein-rich food and supplements you consume.

    2. Lowers your testosterone levels

    Studies have proved that alcohol consumption reduces the amount of testosterone drastically. Testosterone is an essential muscle growth hormone. Hence, it has effects on your weight lifting.

    Alcohol use is associated with low testosterone and altered levels of additional reproductive hormones.


    3. Dehydration

    Most of the people do not take in enough water daily. Keeping your body hydrated helps not only to keep your body healthy but also supports muscle gain. Your muscles contain approximately 70% water.

    Do not think that drinking beer is as the same as taking pure water. Alcoholic beverages, no matter what type you drink, cause dehydration. In order to break down the alcohol, kidneys have to filter a lot of water. And if it is not available they take it from your muscles.

    4. Wash the minerals and vitamins out of your body

    Another unwanted side effect of alcohol consumption is that it washes out the minerals such as zinc, calcium, etc. as well as the vitamins from your body.

    I know, there are some beverages such as wine and beer that contain vitamins and minerals but they wash out more than they bring in. Most of the minerals and vitamins take place in muscle maintaining and building processes.

    5. Alcohol raises body fat storage

    All the alcoholic drinks are rich in calories, mainly bad carbs. This way you can easily take in a lot of calories in almost no time, and that undoubtedly cause fat generation. There is a reason regular beer drinkers are overweighted.

    On top of that, it disturbs the fat burning processes in your body. If you are a regular drinker, it will be very hard to get that six pack abs and lean muscle mass.

    Watch the video for more side effects.


    Conclusion and tips for muscle building

    I sometimes consume alcohol, mainly a glass of dry wine, once or twice a week. There is nothing bad about it. Moderate alcohol intake will not harm my muscle and strength development aims.

    Moderation is the key. If you seriously want to gain muscle, you should pay attention the amount of alcohol you drink.

    And we must not forget about the lack of energy your have the next day that may result in worse performance. On top of that, in most of the cases people postpone the workout.

    If every weekend or even weekdays you find yourself drunk, it will be much harder to build the muscle mass you dream about.

    If you are a partygoer, there are some tricks to avoid the adverse effect of alcohol drinking besides moderation.

    • Take a lot of water during the party to keep your body hydrated. For example, every glass of wine, I have a glass of water. It is especially important if you prefer short drinks. And of course, take in a lot of water after the party as well.
    • You should also nourish your body before, during and after the party with mineral, vitamin and protein-rich meals.
    • Finally, provide enough recovery time for your body with a good sleep.

    This way you can compensate the negative impact of alcohol and these tips also help to get rid of the hangover.

    Jackie Chan was the only one how enjoyed the benefits of alcohol. 🙂

    alcohol muscle building


    What do you think about alcohol and muscle building? Share your opinion below.


    James Wright

    James (36) has been working out since he was 15 years old. He has a home gym where he pumps iron, does bodyweight workouts and boxing. He likes sharing his experiences with others who want to build a better physique.

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