The Impact of Alcohol on Reaching Goals

Mission Monday Episode 14

The Impact of Alcohol on Reaching Goals

Mission Monday Episode 14

Achieving great results comes from being consistent with exercise and diet habits.

Being consistent, though, does not mean you need to completely eliminate what you enjoy.
One thing many of us enjoy is having beer, liquor, or wine with family and friends.

A common conversation in fitness is whether we need to avoid alcohol to reach our goals.

We dive into how drinking alcohol can impact the pursuit of your goals and discuss how you can still enjoy a beverage while making progress towards your goals.

Does Alcohol Impact Muscle Growth?

A study led by Australian researchers examined this topic. In the study, men strength-trained and then consumed a few vodka and orange juice drinks — aka screwdrivers — in the hours after the workout.

The rate of muscle development, or muscle protein synthesis, was measured for a few hours
The researchers noticed that drinking after the workout decreased post-workout muscle protein synthesis.

Over a longer period of time, this indicates it is likely that consistently drinking after a workout will reduce muscle growth.

The study, though, did offer a hack that could help. The researchers noticed that consuming protein immediately and 4 hours after the workout limited the impact of alcohol on muscle growth.

If you drink after a workout, mix in a few high-protein meals or shakes.

What About Weight Loss? Can You Enjoy Drinks And Still Lose Weight?

Similar to eating habits, we need to control our calorie intake when it comes to drinking. If a drink — or drinks — fit into our daily calorie goal, then we can have them.

We often focus on the carbohydrate calories in our drinks. However, alcohol is a macronutrient as well.

Alcohol has 7 calories per gram.

Even if an alcoholic beverage has no carbohydrates, the drink still has calories. So, budget your calories appropriately.

To make alcoholic beverages fit into your daily calorie goals, mix your alcohol with a low-calorie mixer.

In summary, avoiding alcohol is not necessary to reach your muscle growth or weight loss goals.

If you drink following a workout, scatter a few high-protein shakes or meals among your drinks
Ideally, to reach your goals:

  • stick to having 1-2 drinks
  • use low-calorie mixers
  • try to avoid drinking in the hours following your workouts

If you would like to learn more about our method of strength training, read about our methodology. If you are new to The Perfect Workout, try a workout with us and book a FREE Introductory Session.

  • Parr, E.B., Camera, D.M., Areta, J.L., Burke, L.M., Phillips, S.M., Hawley, J.A., & Coffey, V.G. (2014). Alcohol ingestion impairs maximal post-exercise rates of myofibrillar protein synthesis following a single bout of concurrent training. PLOS One, 9(2), e88384.