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A question about alcohol consumption

Answered on August 19, 2014
Created July 17, 2012 at 2:19 AM

I drink Red wine Or Scotch every other day. What influence does alcohol have on fat loss and Muscle gain?

Medium avatar

(3213)

on September 05, 2012
at 02:55 PM

Thank you August, this makes very much sense and I also have an insomnia problem due to my drinking.

11b7b7ba720a5cd43c74a0ef99a16adb

(3448)

on July 17, 2012
at 02:29 PM

If you buy into the theory that one of the major causes of heat disease is stress, then the alcohol does have some benefit. As it has been shown to relieve stress.

61844af1187e745e09bb394cbd28cf23

(11058)

on July 17, 2012
at 12:50 PM

Juices make you fat and add belly fluff, as well.

58d456f4c4d551a697e65ada8c32ad4f

(1178)

on July 17, 2012
at 06:40 AM

I don't think they were looking for alternatives...

Medium avatar

(3213)

on July 17, 2012
at 03:40 AM

Great answer April S.

Medium avatar

(3213)

on July 17, 2012
at 03:38 AM

I drink several standard servings ;)

C45d7e96acd83d3a6f58193dbc140e86

on July 17, 2012
at 02:47 AM

If you are just drinking a standard serving size of each every other day, don't worry about it. Not gonna hurt you, and might have some benefits. Probably just neutral though.

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8 Answers

8
Medium avatar

(10663)

on July 17, 2012
at 02:44 AM

It will definitely halt fat loss since your body will act to metabolize the alcohol (a toxin) first. It's like it's getting VIP treatment because it is absorbed before any foods. Therefore, fat burning is suppressed, as is carbohydrate-burning. Glucose is shuttled off into storage until your body burns the alcohol off. A modest amount of drinking will disrupt normal metabolic processes. Since alcohol provides 7kcal/g, you won't be oxidizing fat again until several hours later.

I think it was Robb Wolf who recommended eating protein before drinking and drinking water in between drinks.

Medium avatar

(3213)

on July 17, 2012
at 03:40 AM

Great answer April S.

2
5e5ff249c9161b8cd96d7eff6043bc3a

(4713)

on July 17, 2012
at 02:32 PM

I am under the impression that alcohol consumption can interfere with weight loss because it inhibits hormone production, particularly if you go to bed drunk as many hormones are produced while you sleep. I think if you sober up before you sleep, you're better off.

2
B41cdb2253976ba9b429dd608d02c21f

(1495)

on July 17, 2012
at 01:26 PM

Honestly, just like we were told eggs are bad for us, no wait, eggs are good for us...I think the same will happen with some alcohols (kind of already has with red wine). If you enjoy a drink and can deal with the consequences of perhaps a little less fat loss and you have no addiction pattern with it, I say live your life and have a drink or two. However, if fat loss is more important to you, try laying off for a while to see if you can achieve your fat loss goal first. I spent years being unable to drink during my 20's, when all my friends were out drinking, and although it has made me who I am today (someone who really doesn't understand why going out to a bar is fun), I do like to enjoy a drink here and there, now that I'm able to.

2
Fab409ac4a30957e3ed508514f7bff02

(295)

on July 17, 2012
at 02:55 AM

The poison is in the dose. While you can surely find blog posts either way (alarmist or not), I'll offer this one up for fodder: Lean Gains and if you consume in "excess": Our Favorite Racoon

Personally, if this was a habitual thing for me, I'd know how many calories I typically imbibed on these days and let that influence how I ate other days (i.e. less) to make up for it. Usually, the problem with alcohol and weight gain is that you tend to want to snack, which increases calorie intake and after awhile, weight gain (unreferenced). Being that it is habitual you probably have a good idea on what you're doing.

1
7bf306ada57db47547e9da39a415edf6

(11214)

on July 17, 2012
at 04:48 PM

The real problem is actually the opposite- fat loss has an effect on drinking alcohol. The effects get stronger, dehydration more obvious, and the annoying need to actually think about what you are doing comes into play.
Weightloss while drinking is doable, though when I felt stuck on a plateau I would give it up. This was rare and in retrospect I don't see how I could have lost weight any faster. Muscle growth is a different thing, though I wouldn't call my half-hearted attempts at working out a proper experiment. I was mainly interested in just keeping whatever muscle I had during my weight loss phase, and that seemed to work out okay. To actually bulk up is a whole different ball game. I don't know how well drinking would work with that, but considering the dehydration and the electrolyte derangement, I suspect the only time a bodybuilder should drink red wine is when he wants to look shredded.

I have tried to figure out where the cutoff point is and for me it seems to be about 12oz of wine or 4oz of the hard stuff, though obviously if you space it out over a longer period of time there is more room for error. If I keep to the limit, I tend to be able to sleep through the night; if not, I wake up at 4am and can't get back to sleep.

NAC and Vitamin C before each drink helps minimize the damage.
High Brow Paleo has a full supplemental regime for drinking. and here is what Dave Asprey does to minimize the pain.

Medium avatar

(3213)

on September 05, 2012
at 02:55 PM

Thank you August, this makes very much sense and I also have an insomnia problem due to my drinking.

1
9c8a6d20ee1db00a795709d6d2e2ce7a

on July 17, 2012
at 02:42 AM

It really depends on the amount. A drink or two is going to have minimal effect. More than that can start to interfere with muscle growth and fat loss though (it suppresses growth hormone release). If you really hit a plateau you can experiment with eliminating it, but other than that there's no real reason to cut it completely unless you get some sort of puritan-style self-gratifying feeling out of doing so.

1
7013f85d06b6afe3554ca4bae8b512ce

on July 17, 2012
at 02:34 AM

alcohol makes you fat, adds belly fluff, dehydrates you. all health benefits from red wine can also be found in fruits(juices) like cranberry. cut back to maybe once or twice a week. Your muscles won't grow if they're not getting plenty of hydration. Try drinking hot tea instead and don't keep alcohol in the house.

58d456f4c4d551a697e65ada8c32ad4f

(1178)

on July 17, 2012
at 06:40 AM

I don't think they were looking for alternatives...

11b7b7ba720a5cd43c74a0ef99a16adb

(3448)

on July 17, 2012
at 02:29 PM

If you buy into the theory that one of the major causes of heat disease is stress, then the alcohol does have some benefit. As it has been shown to relieve stress.

61844af1187e745e09bb394cbd28cf23

(11058)

on July 17, 2012
at 12:50 PM

Juices make you fat and add belly fluff, as well.

0
03a4ec34751186201a56da298ac843ce

on July 17, 2012
at 02:42 AM

It's like eating fructose or drinking a glass of juice.

If you have ever seen Dr. Lustig's "sugar: The Bitter Truth," he says fructose is processed by the body the same as ethanol, so I am assuming the opposite to be true (that alcohol is processed like fructose).

That said, if it is your nightly ritual and seems to be doing no harm, then I would enjoy it :-)

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