One of the most common questions I get asked as a personal trainer is: if progress can be seen on a physique, even if the individual drinks alcohol, which is a toxin.
Sorry to say it, yes alcohol is a toxin, but does this mean you won't see results on your physique even if you train hard, and eat with an intelligent approach?
The answer is 'Yes, you can still notice results, even great results, depending on how many days a week you drink, and how many hours/minutes you're drunk for in one sitting.'
Let me break it down for you, and explain in the simplest way, why alcohol can impede your gains. Imagine a factory, hundreds of workers at the assembly line, each handling their specific task. Well, when alcohol hits your bloodstream, the factory turns off -- lights out. No more workers to pack the boxes…no more uptake of nutrients in your body…
Essentially you're cutting the life support off to your muscles. Your muscles need nutrients to survive, and when alcohol shuts off your internal factory…protein and other essential amino acids will not make it to the muscles. This causes stress on the muscle because, it's no longer being provided the vital nutrients to survive.
Now let's not get carried away, you're not going to loose an inch of muscle on your arms from one night of heavy drinking, BUT now that you understand why and how your muscles are affected by alcohol, you can take certain steps to minimize the damage.
If you know you're going to be drinking on a certain day, make sure you consume at least 2 servings of glutamine before you leave
Glutamine is the most abundant amino acid found in your muscle tissue. This is because it is most responsible for muscle health..so make sure you support your muscles by providing plenty of this amino acid before you go out, and start drinking.
Drink AT LEAST half your body weight in ounces of water a day
To be honest, you should be doing this everyday. Water is the oil for you car…it keeps everything clean and running smoothly.
You should also know that alcohol dehydrates you…well you may already know that..but anyways drinking lot's of water before you have alcohol… will provide a solid base of hydration for the night.
Continue to hydrate yourself through out the night, and certainly before you go to bed.
Now you're heading to bed, shoes off and ready to pass out…NOT YET
Grab a casein shake -- your factory has been off the second alcohol hit the bloodstream -- so a serving of protein will help bring your muscles back to life as you sober up.
While you're at it, take a serving of your multivitamin
Your vitamins are flushed out of your body when you drink alcohol -- so replenishing your body with essential vitamins is very important.
Do as I suggest, train hard, eat right, and I guarantee you will be happy with your physique progress!
Sean Kaufman | Elite.
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