The Truth About Drinking & the Gym

You wouldn’t think about taking a six-pack of beer to the gym when you train, but you might not give a second thought to partying the night before or after your workout. Unfortunately, the ‘work hard, play hard’ mentality could be ruining your gains at the gym. Here are just a few of the ways boozing can stunt your fitness goals.

Slower muscle recovery. Your body sees alcohol as a toxin, and it takes energy to remove it from your tissue. When you’re focused on fitness, you need those energy reserves for muscle fiber recovery and muscle gain.

Increased cortisol production. Alcohol increases the production of the stress hormone cortisol. High cortisol levels lead to sugar and junk food cravings, along with boosting fat storage in the midsection.

Reduced fat burning. As your liver converts alcohol to acetate, your body prioritizes acetate burning over fat burning. If you are eating while drinking, that means the rest of your meal is stored as fat. Some studies show that moderate to heavy alcohol intake may decrease fat burning by 70 percent or more!

Decreased nutrient absorption. As you’re probably aware, alcohol irritates your stomach and increases acid production. You need nutrients to build muscle and improve your fitness, and an irritated stomach derails nutrient absorption.

Dehydration. Alcohol is a diuretic. Dehydration decreases physical performance, increases fatigue, and depletes energy levels. In addition, dehydration prevents cells from producing ATP, which is a critical source for muscle energy.

And, if all of these reasons aren’t enough, remember that drinking makes your workout feel harder—and nobody needs that.

Treatment for Alcoholism at 10 Acre Ranch

If someone you love is stuck in a cycle of addiction, they are starving their body of the nutrients required to battle harmful toxins. 10 Acre Ranch offers counseling and group meal preparation that teaches the importance of nutrition during rehab. Food is fuel, and proper nutrition restores physical health and supports mind-body balance. Make a radical lifestyle change today! Embrace fitness and healthy eating at our CA men’s rehab facility. To learn more, call 800.266.7044 or reach a team member by email: Your inquiry is confidential and our compassionate team members are ready to help!