If you are curious as to the effects of alcohol on the body, this could be the most eye-opening article you will ever read.
Many of us associate the effects of alcohol on the body with the heart, lungs, liver, brain, memory, etc. Furthermore, if asked about effects of drinking alcohol in terms of our fitness goals, most people will let you know about the infamous beer belly. You know what I'm talking about right?
Must... keep... energy levels... up...
Drink too much and you end up storing too many calories as fat.
Many people will choose low calorie alcohol drinks or low carb alcoholic beverages in an attempt to avoid the fat storage issue. They feel that by making this choice the only bad effects of alcohol - increased fat storage - will be minimized.
But what you didn't know is that only about 5% of the calories from alcohol are stored as fat!
Then it hit me as it should hit you right about now...
The effects of alcohol on the body are far more damaging than can be predicted by the number of empty calories in some alcoholic beverage. The truth is...
1 Alcohol really affects the amount of fat your body can and will burn for energy!
In a study done by the American Journal of Clinical Research they concluded that just a mere 24g of alcohol consumption showed whole-body lipid oxidation (the rate at which your body burns fat) decreased by a whopping 73%!
When alcohol goes thru the liver, the by-product is called Acetate. It would appear that acetate puts the proverbial brakes on fat burning. Your body can use many types of fuel. Protein, carbohydrates and fat. In many cases, the fuel used is dictated by it's availability. Trouble is...
Your body tends to use whatever you feed it for fuel right? As your acetate levels increase, your body burns more acetate as fuel. What this means is...
Fat burning takes a back seat! What it all boils down to is this...
a) You consume a couple of alcoholic drinks or more. b) Your liver metabolizes that into acetate. c) Your body uses the acetate for fat as fuel.
2 Increase in appetite
In another American Journal of Clinical Nutrition study, there was evidence to suggest that consumption of alcohol lead to an increase in appetite over that of any other carbohydrate type drink.
Got any chips?
Researchers over in the Research Department of Human Nutrition and Center for Advanced Food Studies in Denmark concluded that consumption of alcoholic beverages, and wine in particular, may enhance total energy intake at a meal relative to a soft drink, when served with no restriction.
3 Decrease in testosterone and an increase in cortisol
A study of 8 healthy male volunteers observed that after drinking alcohol, the effects of a significant decrease in testosterone and an increase in cortisol (a muscle destroying hormone) lasted up to 24 hours! The only real question to ask yourself is this...
If you are serious about building muscle and burning fat, you want all the free testosterone levels you can get and you want to reduce cortisol in any way you can. That means go lite on the drinking because it does affect your hormones.
Is that the effects were even worse if you exercise before drinking. This means that if you are going out and will be drinking more than a small amount of alcohol, you might as well skip the gym.
Not shocking is a study done by the Department of Radiology, Sahlgrenska Hospital, Goteborg, Sweden that determined increased waist to hip ratio of alcoholics may include not only changes in adipose tissue, but also in muscle tissue distribution.
In layman's terms... that means more fat around the waist and less overall muscle mass.
Look for Part 2 of this article to learn the other 4 reasons why excessive alcohol might destroy your muscle gains and hinder your fat loss.
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