A question that has boggled the mind of both fitness and pub enthusiasts alike is the relationship between building up muscle mass and the buildup of one’s alcohol consumption. That is, a lot of people want to know whether or not drinking alcohol truly has detrimental effects on an individual’s weight lifting exercises.

For a lot of guys, watching what they eat is way easier than watching what they drink. They would rather eat healthy throughout the week in order to save some space for a couple of beers for the weekend. For others, committing to a healthy diet is achievable whereas giving up their drinking habits becomes a non-negotiable they just choose to live with.

So what’s really the connection between muscles and alcohol? Here are some facts that should be helpful in making up one’s mind on whether or not alcohol should be included in one’s muscle-building workout program.


One of the negative effects of alcohol is that it disrupts the release patterns of growth hormones in the body. Growth hormones are essential in building muscle mass as it stimulates both bone growth, as well as cell development. This means that when an individual has a low level of growth hormones, he shouldn’t expect to gain the same amount of muscle mass than a person that possesses an optimal level of the growth hormone.

The growth hormone is usually dispersed throughout the body during the later hours of the evening which means that the substance is not properly distributed for those who go to bed at around 1 or 2 in the morning. In some cases, the decrease in growth hormone levels can dangerously rise to up to 70%.


Another essential hormone necessary for muscle buildup is testosterone. The reason why men tend to develop more muscles than women is because of the fact that men have higher levels of testosterone in their bodies. The problem with alcohol is that once it is ingested, the body produces a substance in the liver that hampers the release of testosterone. The direct effect of alcohol on testosterone is it brings down its concentration throughout the body, thereby limiting the development of both muscle definition and muscle mass.

Muscle Recovery

One of the worst effects of alcohol – which definitely goes way beyond the development of muscles – is a notion known as the hangover. Some may be luckier than others in that they feel that they are immune from hangovers, but the truth is that everyone experiences his own type of hangover. It may just not be as severe – and painful – as it is for others.

This concept could be interrelated to the ability of muscles to recover. Because of the fact that the body considers alcohol to be a toxin, it expends energy to get rid of it. In order to cleanse the system of any harmful effects of alcohol, the body uses up a considerable amount of energy. This simply means that after a night of drinking, one’s body wouldn’t have as much energy for pumping iron as it would have had if one had a good night’s rest. GP

Author's Bio: 

Supplement Centre is one of the UKs leading suppliers of body building supplements such as Whey Protein and Creatine.