Alcohol or alcoholic beverages are solutions for internal use that contain ethanol. Alcohol is a psychotropic substance that has a depressing effect on the central nervous system. The production and consumption of alcohol has a deep history and is widespread in many cultures of human civilization. In many societies, the use of alcoholic beverages is an important part of certain events of the family and social plan.
In comparison with other alcohols, ethanol has a relatively lower toxicity, while having a significant psychoactive effect. Currently, conditionally positive effects of alcohol on the human body and certainly negative ones have been identified, but this article will consider in detail only the effect of alcohol on muscles and results in bodybuilding. You can order the best steroids from our specialist online sports shop.
The effect of alcohol on the muscles
Every athlete should always remember that alcohol in any quantity and in any form has a negative effect on muscle growth and strength indicators in bodybuilding.
A single consumption of alcohol to the degree of mild intoxication corresponds to the effect on the muscles of skipping one workout.
Severe alcohol intoxication significantly reduces sports performance, while full recovery may take 1-2 weeks.
Systematic alcohol consumption, even in small quantities (0.5 beer every other day), inevitably leads to stagnation in 80% of athletes and a decrease in muscle growth by 100%.
The negative impact of alcohol on the body: research
In support of the above theses, we will give the physiological mechanisms of the influence of alcohol on the muscles with links to scientific research.
1. Alcohol slows down the synthesis of muscle protein
Protein synthesis is the process of reuniting amino acids in a certain sequence. Alcohol consumption in moderation slows down this process by about 20%, due to the release of the catabolic hormone cortisol.
A study was conducted in which 8 healthy men were tested after a single intake of a significant (1.75 g / kg body weight) dose of alcohol. Scientists found a significant decrease in testosterone levels and an increase in cortisol levels during the day after drinking alcohol.
2. Alcohol reduces the level of growth hormone
In another study, alcohol was shown to inhibit muscle growth by suppressing the secretion of insulin-like growth factor GF-I and growth hormone. Their level decreases during the next 2 days by an average of 70%
3. Alcohol lowers testosterone levels and increases estrogen levels
This process occurs for several reasons. First, the number of proteins that bind testosterone increases. Secondly, the conversion of testosterone to estrogen is accelerated. Thirdly, some alcoholic beverages (mainly beer) contain estrogen-like substances. Fourth, alcohol and its metabolites are able to stimulate estrogen receptors themselves. It is for this reason that many alcoholics can notice signs of gynecomastia.
4. Alcohol causes dehydration
Alcohol metabolism is accompanied by intensive excretion of fluid by the kidneys, which leads to dehydration. At the same time, it is known that water plays an important role in building muscles, and with its lack, muscle growth stops, and in severe cases, muscle destruction begins. Even drinks with a low alcohol content (4%) can damage muscles and reduce the recovery rate, due to dehydration.
5. Alcohol consumption leads to depletion of vitamins and minerals
When drinking alcohol, there is a deficiency of vitamin A, C, almost all B vitamins, calcium, zinc and phosphates. These vitamins and minerals play an important role in bodybuilding, as they are all required for muscle building and the synthesis of endogenous anabolic hormones.
6. Fat formation
Alcohol is a high-calorie compound, 1 g contains 7 calories, which is more than protein and carbohydrates. In addition, alcohol disrupts the function of the Krebs cycle, which plays an important role in the destruction of fats. In a study by the American Journal of Clinical Research, it was determined that 24 g of alcohol can reduce fat oxidation by 73%. Thus, most of the energy of alcohol will pass into fats. Another reason for increased fat formation is an increase in appetite under the influence of alcohol.
7. Sleep disorders
Alcohol consumption causes a sleep disorder, disrupting the sequence of its fast and slow phases, as a result of which the restorative effect of sleep on the muscles is reduced.
8. Alcohol leads to malfunctions in the mitochondria and an increase in mutations in the body
The new knowledge will help in the development of drugs for the treatment of alcoholic muscle weakness. And it can also become the basis for new methods of therapy for other severe neuromuscular diseases. Scientists believe that most of our diseases are associated with an imbalance of the mitochondria. And this work, in turn, depends on nutrition. And it is not surprising that alcohol leads to malfunctions in the mitochondria.
California scientists have found out that the fusion of two mitochondria occurs in order to actively protect against mutations that cause, among other things, a whole class of neuromuscular diseases. If the merge does not occur, the protection against mutations stops working. And doctors from Thomas Jefferson University found out that the Mfn1 gene is responsible for the bonding of mitochondria in muscles. In half of the mice that were given alcohol, the work of this gene decreased by 50%, and this occurred simultaneously with a decrease in the ability of mitochondria to unite. When alcohol was stopped being given to mice, and the normal functioning of the gene was restored, then the adaptive function of the mitochondria was turned on.