If you aim to bulk up, then you certainly know just how difficult, expensive and time-consuming this can be – besides, gaining some extra muscle mass also requires you to make some sacrifices, both in terms of diet and lifestyle. If you are the type of person who waits all week for the weekend only to go out and get drunk, then you might want to reconsider your lifestyle –ultimately, it is known that alcohol can hinder your gym progress and it can actually reverse it, if you are not being careful enough. One or two drinks a week may not cause any harm, especially if you opt for wine as opposed to hard liquor, but it is imperative to be aware of all the side effects associated with alcohol and why these “empty calories” will not benefit you at all.
Why Is Alcohol So Counterproductive?
In order to understand why it is important to limit your alcohol intake when you go out if you still want to have a rock hard body, you must firstly know how alcohol works and how it affects your body. Alcohol does not have any nutritional value whatsoever: there are no vitamins, minerals or proteins present in it, but instead it has around seven calories per milliliter. In other words, one small shot of vodka can have around 100 calories, which is anything but beneficial to your muscle building efforts.
It is a known fact that calories are your worst enemy when it comes to weight loss and muscle building, but besides the fact that alcohol is very high in calories, it has yet another notable downside that you should know about – it slows down your metabolic rate, which means that your body will not burn the existing calories at the same pace. The slower the metabolic rate, the more difficult it will be for you to stay fit in the long run. Besides this, alcohol is known to cause dehydration, which takes its toll on your body on many different levels. Not only does dehydration affect your muscles, but it also dries up your skin and lowers your workout intensity and protein synthesis by up to one fifth.
How Can You Enjoy Your Weekends To The Fullest Without All These Side Effects?
Just because alcohol has a series of negative effects on your health and your overall fitness status, this does not mean that you can no longer enjoy your weekends to the fullest. There are several simple “safety precautions” that you can take in order to keep these negative effects to a minimum, and one of the most important tips is to eat before you go out. This will not only prevent those bothersome stomach aches later on, but it will also make you drink less.
On the other hand, staying hydrated is an aspect of utmost importance, so make sure to drink one glass of water for every cocktail or glass of whiskey – the water will hydrate your muscles and replenish all the lost nutrients, while preventing the dreaded hangover at the same time.