Is Drinking Alcohol After Working Out Bad For You?

When you’ve finished your workout, you want to celebrate and relax, but is drinking alcohol after working out the way to do it? At Liv Fitness in Dublin, CA we don’t recommend you do it habitually. It adds extra empty calories and hurts efforts to lose weight. Calories come from everything you consume, whether it’s food or drink and those calories are stored as fat, often around the belly.

Alcohol makes it harder to lose weight.

After a tough workout, your body continues to burn calories, but not if you’re slowing that process with a few alcoholic drinks. Alcohol is recognized as a toxin by the body and it immediately activates the liver to rid the body of the toxin. That means it isn’t performing the task of breaking down the fat in the body. The process causes glucose levels to drop and leaves you feeling hungry, which makes you eat more and burn fewer calories from fat.

Is building muscle one of your goals? Skip the booze right after exercise.

When you consume alcohol, the cortisol levels in your body increase and that slows the process of recovery. The elevation of cortisol also decreases testosterone levels, while it prevents or slows protein synthesis. Again, the process of removing the alcohol is what causes these functions to be put on hold. While occasionally having a drink won’t affect you that much, doing it on a regular basis will slow your progress.

Besides reducing the rate of protein synthesis up to 37%, alcohol is a diuretic.

You’ll slow the uptake of protein, slowing the process of building muscles, but even worse, you’ll deplete your body of fluids. If you’ve just completed a high intensity workout, you probably sweat a lot, too. Your body may already be dehydrated and since alcohol is a diuretic, it can exacerbate the problem. It takes longer to restore the fluid, increase blood volume and replace electrolytes lost. If you have an injury, drinking alcohol after a workout can make swelling worse, since it expands blood vessels and inhibits testosterone. You need water and a snack that has both carbs and protein after a workout, not alcohol.

  • If you want a drink after a workout, make it a beer. Beer can help replace carbs and electrolytes. It’s best if you drink it with water on the side and sip on the beer, then on the water.
  • Some types of alcohol have been shown to aid in immune functioning and reduce the risk of heart disease and dementia. However, wait for a few hours after your workout to allow recovery before you drink for the best results.
  • Alcohol makes it harder to build muscle, but it also makes it harder to lose weight. It can cause spikes in insulin, which aids to insulin resistance, weight gain—especially around the belly and makes weight loss more difficult.
  • If you’re trying to keep your appetite under control, skip the alcoholic drink. Studies show that people who drink alcohol with a dinner ate more than those who didn’t.

For more information, contact us today at LIV Fitness

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